Big Great Lakes Loop

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,907
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Yeah... what kind of museum closes at 5pm? It's not a bank, dammit.

    Jamie
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,907
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Today's plan was to meet with some ADVriders in St. Louis. I'd been trying to drum up a big group for my last night on the road.

    My route took me through some very rural country.

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    And saw this in a small-town park.

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    If you follow my ride reports, you might know that I like bridges.

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    Signs of the drought were apparent. It was hot out, and I felt a lot like the corn looked.

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    In some places, they were irrigating.

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    I found a crop sprinkler that was aimed over the road and rode through a handful of times. Fun! And refreshing, too. Don't tell me where the water comes from.

    I thought I found another brewery. A beer would be good in this heat.

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    At first it appeared abandoned, but it seems there was some signs of life here.

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    Nobody here today. Later research online showed that it's no longer a brewery. Just a restaurant today.

    More small towns.

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    My big welcoming party in St. Louis consisted of Steve, Brian, and me. I've been working with Steve on the Tent Space, and Brian and I worked on the Mississippi River Trail project a couple years ago.

    We talked about the hot weather. Steve told me the high in St. Louis had been over 100°F today with similar temperatures tomorrow.

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    We met at the Triumph Grill, which at first looked a little fancy for the likes of me. The food was excellent.

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    But most amazing, it's attached to a motorcycle museum, though closed. That seems to be an ongoing theme with me. However, there is an open ballroom which had quite a few bikes on display.

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    I was especially enamored with this homemade wooden motorcycle. The information sign explained that a farmer built it with materials in his barn.

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    Brian had offered a place to stay. I gave more and more thought to the daytime heat. I changed my plan at the last minute. Even though it was almost midnight, I was going to ride home tonight. I had 288 miles.

    Though I wasn't looking forward to the ride, I got on I-55 headed south. I never ride with earphones, but tonight I hooked up my iPod and set my cruise. The hours and miles flashed by. Curiously, that last stretch was one of my best rides, ever. I only stopped for gas and didn't take a single picture. I pulled into my driveway somewhere around 4am.

    Jamie
  3. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Thanks for taking us along, with teasers when you did the ride, and now--some months later--when you got off your butt and actually wrote the report! Excellent. Always good to see some traveling, the JamieZ way.

    :clap:lol3:clap:lol3:clap
  4. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,536
    Location:
    Lone Pine Ontario (or travelling)
    Thanks for posting. I always enjoy reading your RR and how you often camp for free....
  5. MOzarkRider

    MOzarkRider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    Lost in the MO ozarks
    Wonderful RR :clap This is easily one of my favorites!
    Thank you for sharing this glorious ride. I never knew about geochaching before I read your report but I think it would be a great excuse to ride somewhere. I will definately get out and do some geocaching of my own when it warms up.
    The tent space section of the forum was also unknown to me before this report but I quickly signed myself up as a host for anyone passing through northwest indiana :freaky

    Your canadian stops were my favorite, it is always nice to meet people and strike up a common interest. Your very lucky to go on such adventures. I try to use any time I can to go exploring on my bike.
    Fantastic report :clap
  6. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Thanks a bunch. Glad I turned you on to the Tent Space. It's been a great experience for me, both hosting and staying with others.

    Geocaching can be a mixed bag. True, there are many fantastic geocaches which take you to places you wouldn't believe, but unfortunately, probably the majority are run-of-the-mill. It's become common to place geocaches in suburban parking lots, for example. Don't let those turn you off. With some practice and patience, you can figure out how to weed out the bad ones.

    There will probably be a followup soon.

    Jamie
  7. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,907
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    It's not too hard to find free camping places once you get the hang of it. :deal

    Jamie