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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NomadGal, Jul 8, 2012.
Thanks you guys!
After posting my last report I headed to the Mackinaw bridge. I had mixed feelings on crossing it, part of me was excited because I love going on high bridges over water, but part of me was nervous because of the horror stories about the wind strength.
I was secretly hoping that there would be no wind, and if there was, then I hoped to bump into some other bikers so I could ride behind them and watch how they tackled the wind. Also I figured if some bikers were in the left lane, and some in the right, then I wouldnt be blown underneath the wheels of some huge truck if I got slammed by a gust of wind. Then I decided not to worry about it anymore and to take things as they came. Either way, I would deal with it.
The grey skies were lifting and the sun started to shine the closer I got to the bridge.
The lake started to look bluer as the sun cleared away the grey clouds
Finally I saw the Mackinaw bridge and pulled over at a view point to take a picture.
Awesome bridge! No doubt about it
I asked someone to take a picture of me in case
After paying the $4 toll fee (the guy at the booth had no sense of humor when I suggested I pay only $2 because I had only two wheel instead of four) I stopped to take a picture again before going over it.
Right as I pulled away to go into the lane heading to the bridge I hear two Harleys behind me. I turned my head and there were two lady bikers passing me and waving. I was in seventh heaven!! Not only would I be able to follow a couple of bikers, they were women!! Yay, what could be better than that? I felt confident now that I could ride the bridge, there is strength in numbers ☺
The gal on the grid was a hoot! not only did she slow down traffic by not budging, she was leisurely taking pictures while riding on the grid! She was also keeping an eye on the gal to the right who I'm pretty sure was a new rider.
As we got unto the main part of the bridge, the exciting part, I noticed that there was no wind, none at all! Not even a little smidgen! It was awesome riding so high over the water with the sun shining on it. I took a photo but it came out as a bunch of white glare as the sun was on that side. Oh well.
All in all, it was utterly awesome, and I even rode a few hundred yards of grid, just to find out how it felt, which was probably a stupid thing to do because I was passing a semi-truck .
Once I was passed the bridge I went west in search of the free campsite.
I took a small detour and ended up in the wrong place and when turning around over a gravel hill I dropped Spirit! I hadnt dropped her since I broke my rib. But I have to say I fought it, so she ended up gently on her side. Two guys in a truck saw it happen and they immediately helped me get her up. We talked for a while about my trip, they were awed, and then told me how to get to the campsite.
I found the road in no time and went unto the dirt and gravel.
There were people camped in the first and second sites, also in the third and fourth. By now I was keeping my fingers crossed hoping that at least one of the 6 sites was available. I didnt see a site 5, but 6 was taken too.
At the same time I was holding me heart because again I was going over sandy patches. I parked Spirit and looked for site number 5. Couldnt find it, but noticed another tent on the other side of the trail. That must have been 5 then. I debated on what to do when I saw that there was a small turn around area past number 6. I went on the small sandy loop and saw an area that would easily hold the tent and the bike.
I rode over the hump and decided to just go for it and camp there.
Part of me of course was expecting to be booted out by a ranger for camping in a no camping spot, but then I told myself to shut up and just enjoy camping there. I would deal with whatever happened when it happened, and I would not anticipate and worry about something that might never happen.
The fog started to creep in as it was getting later
I warmed up a can of soup and watched half of a Harry Potter movie and hit the sack. It was a warm night and I slept soundly.
Woke up at 7:30 and saw the sun rise over the lake
Went of a morning stroll and took a picture of this meadow for my daughter.
It looks a little like Bella and Edwards meadow, but without the flowers.
I hit the road at 10:30, after taking my time making some pancakes and packing my junk.
And no, no park ranger or anyone showed out to tell me to go, Yay!!!
Once I got out of the park area and headed toward the lake I noticed this street sign
Wow! A street named after me! LOL
The shoreline was gorgeous and I might as well have been along the ocean because of the sandy dunes.
Now the road along the shore is Hwy 119 and it has a 20 mile long tree tunnel.
I am very sad to say that somehow non of the pictures were on the camera except for the one below. I must not have pressed the button hard enough.
119 is an awesome road though with many gorgeous views when the tree tunnel clears here and there
All along the road are quaint little towns with neat houses. I wished I had taken some pictures of them.
One was a restaurant called Leggs, which I later heard is quite famous.
View of Harbor Springs, the end of 119
Downtown Harbor Springs where a lot of people like to sail and kayak
I ended up filling my tank nearby when I noticed this at the pump
Now I think Ive seen it all!!!! Whatch a movie or the news while pumping gas!! Either they must think you shouldnt be bored while gassing up, or they purposefully want to distract you so you end up putting more gas in your tank than you originally planned on! Clever, very clever!!
I have to say, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have some killer bicycle paths! If only I loved to bicycle!
Yep, red barns in Michigan too.
Once I got to Travers City I called some friends of Robert who said I was very welcome to stay with them.
I am now longing in a comfy chair after having done my laundry, eaten a great meal, and had an even better conversation with my host. Going to change my oil tomorrow, and mess around downtown.
Good update.Look like an enjoyable ride.Good luck with the rest of the ride.
BTW.I never knew your name.Nice to meet you Wilderness Park.I'm Ben.
Loving this report! NomadGal, you are one brave lady, keep facing those fears down and you won't have any left soon.
Wilderness Park, yep! That's my name LOL!
Oh, how I wish! I think once I can handle sand better, learn how to pick up Spirit, learn how to talk back, learn how not to worry, etc. etc. I will be the way I wish to be!
But then again, my mind would probably come up with other things to worry about. It's the nature of the mind I guess.
I thought ya might get a little giggle outta that.
It takes a lot of courage to get out there and ride like you have, and you are doing what you love to do. Please let me tell you a couple other things. I have been riding for over 30 years and have owned every kind of motorcycle you can think of at one time or another, including 4 street and trail or dual sport bikes. I have ridden those over boulder sized rocks in the Rocky Mountains, over passes that would make even most seasoned riders cringe. Trust me I am no expert though! I fell a few times, and got right back up because that is what you have to do sometimes to see the most beautiful places. Take a few risks every now and then. Furthermore, I grew up without a Father (no slam against you women mechanics out there, a lot of you are very awesome mechanics) and consequently I have never learned to change a flat tire or had anybody to take the time to teach me. Can you believe that? After all the hundreds of thousands of miles I have put on bikes, I have never even had a flat! I finally decided to ask somebody to help me, and thanks to youtube, I have seen a few changed now, so when I go out next year I will be ready. I will still keep my fingers crossed, so I won't get a flat though. Bottom line is, don't think badly of yourself just because you might be a little mechanically "declined", so to speak like I am. lol
I am so proud that you have the courage to go out and have some fun. I am the same exact way when it comes to riding. We are like modern Jebediah Smiths or any of the other great explorers of the past. That sense of adventure lives in us all, you can say that about just about everybody on this site! Thanks for the ride report.
You must be getting all my luck
I am a nail magnet (that's what my wife tells me) it seems everytime I put a new tire on I get a flat. The up side is I am an expert on plugging tires
As you know from my posts I am very mechanically declined, but I read were one guy uses his bike kickstand with a little bit of weight to break the bead.
I am so against war that seeing this made me very sad...... what a waste, we could do so much better than this!
The only way I can cope with mankind's stupidity is in believing that everything happens for a reason.
Guess the only way to long for world peace is to finally get fed up with world war. I sure hope that comes around sooner than later!
I am a retired vet, and I hope someday the whole World will just realize what my Dr once told me..........."If everybody in the World started out their day with an IV, and then smoked a bong around noon, just think how much better we would all get along"
I heard those Words ten years ago, and it still makes me laugh, but it is probably true.
Hmmm, actually I am very mechanically inclined.
I took Spirit apart all by myself and put her back together again
Here is my link to the KLR site with before and after pics.
I had trouble changing the tire because I couldn't break the bead. Now I just carry a big C-Clamp which should break the bead easily.
It looks like you are learning along the way and that's the fun way to learn. Like you I worry a lot and as soon as I get rid of one worry I find something else so I can relate to what you are saying about that.
Years ago I spend 6 months doing what you are doing, it was the best and I'm enjoying reliving the travels through you.
I hope you end up out in the NW during your journey, it's a great place to ride and I would enjoy the chance to meet you.
Keep riding and keep enjoying what you are doing.
I am new to this, and wrote before getting to all that. You may notice, I edited that part out. You are obviously nothing like me when it comes to fixing stuff. I am impressed, and just a little bit jealous.....
Was nice to cross your path while I was leaving GunFlint Lake on the GunFlint Trail last Friday 8/31.
Wish I had not passed you up on the main hwy coming into Grand Marias and been able to enjoy a cup of tea with you.
If you get back out to California, dinner and all the tea you can drink is on me.
I got home to Ca last night after leaving Duluth Sat 9/1 and headed to Devils Tower, WYO, then south to Mount Evans and then Pikes Peak, Co before turning west home. 2760 miles in 5 days.
I met this English fellow who you might enjoy reading about who is traveling cross country like yourself.
Can you spot me in post 2973 sitting on his bike "Dot"?
Wishing you safe travels and much happiness.
Hey Holckster! Glad to hear you got home safe and sound.
That much riding in 5 days, wow! Not me for though, I like to take things slowly, haha.
I will PM you if I ever get near California again. Yep, next time don't just race by when passing a gal on a bike, Hahaha.
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</td></tr></tbody></table>Ratman, did you build that trailer?
Thanks for the RR, enjoying it.
Travel safe, and far.
Changed my oil yesterday, and today I got to wash Spirit!
She was pretty darn filthy, let me tell you. Most of the grease was due to chain lube! Doesn't fling off? My arse!
Well, now she's clean, but I also discovered that I lost my good luck charm (a little bell dangling from a sun) that Wayne from Lewiston Idaho gave me.
Then today I decided to post the same RR on my own blog and hopefully get to a point that adds will be put on it and that I will have an income from people reading my blog.
So for those of you willing to click on this link next week sometime, thanks!!
It probably won't be any use to do so beforehand because I haven't done the add thing yet, nor am I all the way done.