Mis-Adventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by JB2, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Okay, first I have to give props to Radianrider for starting an Indiana thread here on ADV http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=751468. I live further north of him but there are a wealth of great roads and places to see even up here at the edge of the Great Plains. For reference you should know I was born and raised in the same town that I still live in with my wife of almost 36 years. Most folks around here, including myself at moments, have always felt that you had to go somewhere else to find a great adventure. Not so. I started riding on the back of Dad's bike at a very early age then got my first bike at age nine nine and have been riding ever since. I learned young that the adventure starts as soon as you catch wind and that most of the cool things to see weren't on the main roads.

    I have nearly 50 years of motorcycling captured on film and a new 35mm scanner for converting those images to digital. This will be a blend of old and new and short trips to surrounding states. The first installment will be our latest trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    Let the day trippin' begin.
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  2. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    A good friend and regular riding partner was doing an incredible trip from his home in Puyallup, WA to Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and all points in between. Reepicheep and I conspired to meet up with him on his return to Washington state and make a swing through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our trip was delayed and eventually shortened when Jim's Super Tenere' suffered some problems in the rear drive unit. A shop in Bangor, Maine eventually got him on the road by robbing parts from a new Tenere' they had on the floor. All said and done it was only a partial repair as he still had issues and would have to limp the bike all the way back home. We would have to drop the dirt part of the trip but knew from past adventures the paved roads up there are a blast. We met Jim at the toll road in Northern Indiana and pointed our bikes towards K'zoo where another friend of ours calls home.

    Milo has quite a spread tucked back in the sticks with a machine shop and a collection of old industrial and farm machinery. When we told him of Jim's demise he had already downloaded blueprints and parts lists for Jim's rear drive unit. That's Milo inspecting the Tenere' within minutes of arriving. He was ready to fire the lathe and start making parts. :D

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    Have ya ever seen a house with a drive shaft? On the other side of the wall is a high output generator. When the power is out Milo backs the tractor up to the house and hooks the drive shaft to the PTO. Viola! Instant electricity.

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    This fine old International "Quad-Cab" is one of Milo's most prized projects. It's currently undergoing a full restoration. His dad bought this truck new.

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    After Milo was done insepecting the Tenere' his canines decided it was worth a look.

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    Folks, meet Milo. A huge man. I'm guessing he's 6'8". He's showing us where he broke his arm last year trying to start the drive unit of another of his projects, an antique road-grader. That's the drive unit that did the deed. The front half is just beyond the shop in the weeds. If you squint you can make it out. Sorry no pic.

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    Here's another project, a very well restored and complete David Bradley. If you remember these as a kid you're probably over 50 and worked on a farm. I'm guilty of both but it has been a long time since I seen one this nice.

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    Hiding in one of the storage sheds is an old XS650 Yamaha. I think 1973 was the year for this color combo. One thing I noticed right away is that people living outside of metropolitan areas and north of Interstate 90 are very self sufficient. They throw away nothing. They can make almost anything they can't buy. Gentleman Jim noted that Milo was a lot like the locals you would meet in Alaska. What I don't have pictures of is the main shop from the outside showing Milo's wood fired boiler and solar heating panels. They're connected so that one works when the other one isn't. If you cut this guy off from the rest of the world and came back in ten years everything would be running and working as if nothing had happened.

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    Welcome to Milo's Machine Shed http://milosmachineshed.com
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  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Once we departed Milo's place in the late afternoon we headed north to Newaygo, MI and overnighted there. We left early the next morning with our sights set on the U.P. and following the Tunnel of Trees Highway getting there. Bhuff and I had rode this area with Gentleman Jim a few years back but Jim had peeled off for home when Bhuff and I found this gnarly little stretch of heaven. It was my intent to take Jim back through this area and show him what he'd missed a few years back. That's Jim snapping a picture of the sign.

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    The sign of course but note that Reep, being on a Buell, had to get a photo of the sign stating it was a "narrow and winding road". :lol3

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    One of the few places along the Tunnel of Trees that you could actually see Lake Michigan. The road parallels the shoreline but there's not many places that you can see the lake. At this point in the trip I'll make my apologies for not taking too many pics. I normally would have taken a ton but with a major remodel happening at home my saddle time was severely limited this summer. Once I got the KLR pointed down a road all I wanted to do was just ride.

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    Our second night out we stayed just outside of Newberry, Michigan. I was first up and packed before daylight and captured this image as the sun was coming up.

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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    From Newberry we traversed the U.P. and then turned north on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Our first stop was Eagle Harbor and the lighthouse. This was a place just off the park grounds where you could access Lake Superior.

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    This is Reepicheep having a moment of solitude while taking in the beauty of Lake Superior

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    Close-up of the veins of copper.

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    Another image. No copper thieves up this way. The locals keep everything in check.:lol3

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    There's copper in them rocks!

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    Sign board at the Eagle Harbor Light Station built in 1871.

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    The lighthouse sets on a point and is fenced pretty tightly around the shoreline. It forced me to shoot from a perspective that I normally wouldn't attempt.

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    Despite the limitations however I was pretty happy with the images I captured here.

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    Another angle.

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    And lastly this was about the only vantage point that you could capture the complete structure from.

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  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    After checking into the Bella Vista Motel Reep and I left for a little back-roading. I'd seen a beach coming in from Eagle Harbor that looked like it could be ridden on. We back-tracked to the beach in hopes of doing a little dirt riding. Bill shot around me when we pulled off the road and immediately sunk to his belly pan(muffler on Buell). I didn't get stopped in time but scrubbed off enough speed to not sink as deep as he did. I was able to get the KLR turned around without having to dismount... the knobbies probably helped a little too. :evil Reep, on the other hand, had to walk his out but I stopped him before we were clear out of the marbles to get this shot. First time for being stuck in rocks. Mud and sand plenty, but never rocks.

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    Looking southwest towards Eagle Harbor.

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    Life on the rocks.

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    The KLR in front of a 5-cylinder Kahlenberg Diesel Engine on the outer edge of Copper Harbor.

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    KahLenbeRg :1drink

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    I did a little research to find out exactly what I was looking at. They were used to power "fish-tugs" on the Great Lakes. The company started in the late 19th Century but now only manufactures signaling equipment. As of 1999 there was only one fish-tug still operating with a Kahlenberg engine. There was a lot of info on 2, 3 and 4-cylinder versions but very little on the 5-cylinder shown here.

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    When Reep and I got back from our beach excursion we had a little time to kill waiting for the Harbor Haus to open. While waiting I walked down to the public pier and captured this image looking northeast. We dined at the Harbor Haus a few years ago and the food was excellent. Our return trip did not disappoint. We ate until we couldn't eat no more... had a few beers too. I failed to get a picture but here's a link: http://www.harborhaus.com

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    We met a crew of guys from Gahanna, OH who were out for a road trip. One of their wives had purchased the blow-up doll to keep an eye on them. She road on the back of the Goldwing their entire trip. They had anyone and everyone whom they came in contact with to sign her with a Sharpie. They were near the end of the trip so naturally she had been wrote hard and put up under-inflated. She was, by the time we got her, a tattooed tramp. :lol3

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    Gentleman Jim decided she was talking too much, Reep couldn't quit laughing. We all signed her. It wasn't pretty. :lol3

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  6. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    The day you turn towards home is always bittersweet. Sweet that you're going home but the bitter lies in the fact another great trip is coming to an end. Short as it was we made the most of it... as it seems to be with the group of riders I hang with.

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    Five different bikes. Five different tools. One job. :D

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    Until next time, Ride Safe!
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  7. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    Love them tractors, copper and the Kahlenberg. That's one colorful trip. You best find the bikes and heavy equipment in the pics thread and plant that KLR picture over there. Classic!
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  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    psmcd, Yeah it was a colorful trip. Thanks for the heads-up. Found the thread, posted the pic. :thumb
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  9. Gham

    Gham Long timer

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    nice trip! Haven't done the tunnel of trees yet but it's on the list.
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  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Gham - Thanks and yeah the Tunnel of Trees is worth the trip.
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  11. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    This shot is of an old school house on Mohee Road. There's hundreds of these old schools dotting the rural back roads in Indiana. It seems they're either like this one or fixed up into homes.

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    On the way to our Daughter's home in Noblesville is this new stop of ours. Its located just north of there on Highway 37. We like buffalo and they got it. :lol3

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    No bull here! :D

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    Literally... there is no bull here. Read the Constitution! :deal

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  12. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Finally getting a chance to cruise your RR, amigo - excellent!! :clap

    Color me green w/nv re: the UP ride. Way cool you got to hang with Milo and check out his digs. Amazing stuff!

    Looking forward to more RR, brother. :)
    #12
  13. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Love that pic of the International camper. I grew up in the back of an International Travelall.
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  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    FB1, Thanks for stopping by. Not sure the thread will hit the same high water marks as "Life on the Blue Ridge" but what we lack in roads we make up for in B.S. :D

    tastroman, Milo and his collection of gnarly old things is something to see. The '64 International is straighter than it was new. It'll be a gem once the camper is finished and the new driveline is installed.
    #14
  15. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Mile is indeed a huge man, with an even huger heart of gold. :clap

    Remember these pix that Reep took of me 'n Milo at the Run to the RidgeDome? :freaky

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    Photos by Reep
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  16. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    So on your next trip into "pure Michigan" (I refuse to call it the "wolverine" state), think about crossing over at Ludington on the Badger to Manitowoc, WI. they have a Maritime Museum there that is beautiful and has a bunch of old Kahlenberg Diesels there as well as a WW2 sub to tour, the SS Copia. All very historic. Then of course into WI and up into the extreme Western UP, back across (see Garden Peninsula/Fayette), over the bridge and home.
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  17. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    buls4evr, thanks for the heads-up on the museum. The Kahlenberg in Copper Harbor prompted me to do some research. I found one site that is tracking down all of the old Kahlenbergs and listing what boat they were originally married to. I really like old engines and these things are huge. We did the entire U.P. a few years back and stayed in Bayfield, WI then followed the shoreline to Copper Harbor. For some reason I am drawn to the beauty, the mystique and the unpredictability of Lake Superior. My wife and I like winter and have considered buying a "winter home" there so we could be snowed in for the season. :D
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  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Ferris, The page turned on the thread and I almost missed your pics of Milo that Reep took. Now that's some funny shite here man. :lol3 He dwarfed both Reep and Gentleman Jim but I didn't get a pic of them standing together. The ones taken with you are even better. Thanks for posting!
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  19. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Yer welcome. :)

    Milo's a gentle giant, as you well know. Fingers crossed one of these days I can hook up with you and ride up there and visit him.

    Re the pix of Milo 'n me, I *think* there mighta been some Carolina water at work there... :D
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  20. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    I suspect you could get one a century old...a Kahlenberg, and it would still run with a little prompting. they were tough engines and did not turn any RPMs.The pistons in them are the size of a 5 gal pail!!! Think about it...

    You should go get some property up on CR 58 out of Grand Marais. Very pretty road in an area as remote as Alaska. SERENE for sure.
    #20