GAS GUY 2019 - (One year a time)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, May 12, 2019.

  1. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Just received an email confirmation from the IBA confirming the successful verification of our Great Lakes Saddlesore 3000 ! That is a relief; was hoping I didn't blow the mileage figures. Ended up with just a 38-mile cushion. A ride of that length could easily result in a calculation error during my initial planning. Glad we rode through Omaha and to Gretna, Nebraska for the insurance. I'm excited about receiving the SS3K patch; that has always been my favorite IBA patch; the shape, art, and colors all make for an appealing combination.

    The email reads:

    This is to Certify that in July of 2019, Jeff Smith rode his 2011 BMW 1200GS Adventure a total of 3,038 grueling miles around the Great Lakes of North America - the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth - in less than 72 hours! Mr. Smith’s stunning ride started in Detroit, Michigan and continued in a circular route around Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan riding as far east to Kemptville, Ontario and as far west to Gretna, Nebraska before returning to Detroit. This Great Lakes SaddleSore 3000 was conducted under very strict guidelines set forth by the Iron Butt Association. Only a handful of riders from around the world have managed to solve the challenges such a grueling ride involves. ************* Best regards, Lena Huizenga, IBA Verification lena.


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  2. BigDogRaven

    BigDogRaven Been here awhile

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    Coffee was 3 bucks. Hand kid a 10. No change. When I asked for change, he asked what I gave him. Told him 10. He gave me back a 10. We looked at each other. Gave him back the 10. He gave me 8 bucks back. WTF.


    Hilarious-sounds oh so familiar these days.
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  3. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Congrats on the confirmation Jeff. Show us a pic of the patch when you get it.
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  4. luftkoph

    luftkoph Been here awhile

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    3k in 72, jeez reminds me too much of my produce hauling days, my eyes are dry and I have that weird electric vibrating feeling from lack of sleep all over again just thinking about it, you all didn't get paid, and did it on motos, hats off to you mister.
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  5. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Sure thing, Dave. Like I mentioned, always wanted that patch, but didn't know if I would ever commit to an attempt at a Saddlesore 3000. They don't have a specific patch for the Great Lakes Saddlesore 3000, since it is a newer ride; therefore you get the Saddlesore 3000 patch and a Great Lakes Challenge patch. The Great Lakes Challenge patch is also one of my favorites, because it isn't typical. I'll post a picture of them together when they arrive. I'm pretty sure only 8 riders have ever completed a Saddlesore 3000 around all of the Great Lakes; it is considered an extreme ride due to the distance, border crossings, and slower speed limits for a big portion of the route.
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  6. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Dry eyes: For sure. When running hard, there is always a bottle of Refresh Artificial Tears residing in my Klim jacket pocket. During many stops I'm squeezing a drop or two into each eye. Works wonders. That is the go-to brand; minimal ingredients where as many other brands have extra and undesirable ingredients that you really shouldn't put in your eyes. Also, the blue Hearos are pretty much my exclusive ear plug. They use to sell them at Walgreens, but the last couple of packs I had to order from an online musician store.
  7. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    American Iron Adventures - (Part 3)

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    Sit and Wiggle or Stand and Shake. Hilarious. That's original.

    As I rode down to check out the replica Kalamazoo River Lighthouse and a couple of old boats, I took notice of a floating pub and grub I'd never noticed before; really more like a tiki bar. They had some mellow and hip reggae playing over the speakers to add to the vibe.

    The Red Dock:

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    There were a couple of sharp baggers lounging on the green lawn.

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    For some reason, they are flying a New Mexico flag. Perhaps the owners are from New Mexico.

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    The skies were starting to cloud up as I was preparing to head up the road towards the beach.

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  8. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Just couldn't resist. On the way home from work today an overwhelming feeling compelled me to ride the Road King out into this spectacular sunflower field !

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  9. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    American Iron Adventures - (Part 4 of 4)

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    When I set out from home on this day, my intention was to hike through the forested dunes of Saugatuck Dunes State Park, which leads you out and onto a lengthy stretch of unmolested beach along the shore of Lake Michigan. The plan was to relax on the beach, reading and swimming for a few hours, before catching the sunset. Then I'd enjoy a warm summer evening ride home.

    But the clouds were rolling in. Judging by some of the ominous colors, they were hinting at the possibility of a heavy rain storm. A few sprinkles did spot the sidewalks in Saugatuck earlier. So, judging by the developing conditions, the sunset would most likely be less than magnificent. With that consideration, I'd scrap the idea of a hike across the dunes to the lake, and instead, worked my way up to Holland. I'd go see what of the sunset was salvageable - from Holland State Park's beach. From there I could promptly hit the road toward home afterwards, plus the "Big Red" lighthouse was situated at the mouth of the harbor - leading from Lake Michigan into Lake Macatawa.

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    This is Holland Harbor. In 1847 a group of emigrants from the Netherlands were looking for a place to settle. They liked the potential of using Lake Macatawa (then it was Black Lake) as a harbor. The lakes outlet to Lake Michigan was blocked with sandbars and silt, so they unsuccessfully appealed to congress for help. Frustrated - the Dutch settlers dug the channel themselves !

    Holland Harbor Lighthouse: "Big Red"

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    In 1872 the first small primitive lighthouse was built at this location. A few years later a new light on a metal pole was installed. The oil lantern was lowered by pulleys for service. At the turn of the century a steel tower was built for the light. In 1907 the present structure was erected and named the Holland Harbor South Pierhead Lighthouse. It has a gabled roof which reflects the Dutch influence in the area. The lighthouse was then automated in 1932.

    You can't actually get to the Big Red Lighthouse from Holland State Park; you can only observe it from across the channel. Adjacent to the channel is a break wall that is popularly used for a walk or as a fishing pier. I'd take a walk out on the break wall to check out the views.

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    As I proceeded out onto the initial section of damp concrete, it felt and looked as if I was walking along the top of a surfaced submarine; the protruding pipes added to the effect.

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    The end of the pier is also frequently used for jumping into the lake and swimming.

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    The sun was setting now, so I walked along the beach and snapped off a slew of mediocre shots. Every sunset over Lake Michigan is a worthwhile experience, but this night was just average due to the clouds and storm rolling in. You never know what could transpire, so it's best to always wait out the sunset until the end.

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    As I was leaving I'd noticed it was dark enough now that the lighthouse was lit up. With a line of cars all trying to exit the park simultaneously, I shut the bike back off. Might as well get one last picture of the lighthouse while some of the (sunset seekers) congestion clears out. Look at those menacing clouds. There was also obvious wide dark patches of streaking heavy rain out on the horizon of the lake. It was getting even more humid out too. I might be in trouble, as I still had 180-miles to cover.

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    As I was approaching the Interstate, it broke loose. Had no choice but to whip into a gas station and don some old beat-up rain gear that was stored in the saddlebags. I'd no clue to expect rain; not an inkling. Thought the forecast was clear, so was not really prepared. I was even wearing my open-face helmet, but luckily had an old 5-snap visor in the bags too. Was only wearing a pair of Red Wing work boots so there was no hope of my feet staying dry. Put on what I had and jumped on I-96 east.

    The rains intensity steadily increased until it was an all-out frog strangler. The worst part of it for me was the lack of visibility in heavy rain at night. This was the hardest rain I'd ever ridden in at night. I just kept rolling along with my hazards flashing. It was so heavy that even the cars were reduced to 40-mph on the interstate and they also had their hazards flashing ! The rain was coming down so hard that it was blowing right through the top of my shield, through the gap where it snaps onto the helmet, and getting into my eyes. The rain never let up until around Lansing, about 100-miles later; at 40-50 miles an hour that seemed like an eternity. Rains like that will soak you right through the rain gear, but soaked or not, It felt so nice when I got through Lansing and the roads were dry and my visibility was restored. After that, it was smooth sailing all the way home.

    A couple of weeks later I went back, and under better conditions, captured this sunset on Douglas Beach.

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  10. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Nice pics and history lesson. Heavy rain and I96 yuk
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  11. lm248

    lm248 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    89
    Very nice,,,
    Lighthouses and storms just go together.
    Les

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  12. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Been on the road -

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    And trail.

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  13. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    On top of the world ! Runnin' around the Wayne National Forest area for the Wailin' Wayne Weekend - hosted out of Begley's ATV Campground in New Straightsville, Ohio. Great weather !

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  14. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    I've been demanding a heavy workload on the versatile GSA of late. The Beemer says, "If you won't give me a break, I'll create my own." Just glad this didn't develop on the North Shore of Lake Superior during the big ride in July. Had to nurse the large adventure bike home the last 100-miles today, while sweating bullets, and stopping every 20-miles to make sure it didn't start flowing too heavily and become catastrophic. After all, the final drive only holds 180 CC's, so it doesn't take too long before you're in trouble. Thankfully it was a cool day with low 70's and no sun; had it been hot, it may have leaked more. After arriving home, the fluid was drained into a measuring cup; I'd only lost a small amount and the remaining fluid was clean and not burnt. Just a new seal should take care of the situation.

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  15. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Looks like to avoided a spendy repair..... Good that you made it home ok. Insert BMW final drive jokes here.... :D
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  16. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Once again, I've many interesting pictures and a few stories from the 6th Annual Wailin' Wayne Weekend in New Straightsville, Ohio. Not only of the rally and trail activities, but some more interesting pictures to and from the rally - of small town America. I've long been disenchanted with our modern buildings and boring architecture, so I'm going to continue to freeze in time (from my own perspective) what's left of our old and aesthetically pleasing buildings. Especially the County Courthouses; I'm going to start really making a point of stopping and photographing them in my travels, paying homage to the artisans of old. I marvel at the work they performed so long ago without all of the modern tooling and technology.

    When I passed through Newark, Ohio yesterday morning, the clouds and sky were illuminated by the sun and had a wild look to them as they were scattered across the top of the interestingly unique "Licking County Sheriffs Residence and Jail" - which was opened in 1889. More from Newark later.

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  17. kenichi2014

    kenichi2014 WingnPrayer

    Joined:
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    Gas Guy, thanks for the ride! Certainly is great to see your back in the saddle again-sorta speaking. Looking forward to the various tours/rides that I likely won't be making, but it's like I'm there on the ride too-ever grateful to you and your shared compassion and your giving and sharing spirit! Ride Safe and glad you let us tag along with you!
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  18. drbuzzard

    drbuzzard Been here awhile

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    did everyone make it to Wailin' Wayne
  19. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Negative. Herb was a no-show. Just Scott, Ken, and I - and 100 or so other adventure riders. Oh, and John Penton showed up.

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  20. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Thanks, brother ! Good to hear from you again; your soul always shines through cyberspace. Yep, I just keep pecking away when I have the time and motivation. I'll be honest - as I get older, somedays my faith in humanity (that includes myself) is dismal and my mind is so turbulent that my feelings inside are like, what's the point ? Why bother ? Why waste my time struggling to write something worth reading ? And then taking all these damn pictures and fretting over them so much. But then, sometimes a day later, or sometimes a week, and the despair gives way to illumination, as that old fire comes back, motivating me to do my best at expressing my perspective of life and motorcycles.

    Sometimes I struggle with what I should share. My mind is so entangled, within so many levels simultaneously, that sometimes the visceral side of the ride wants to be expressed more than the superficial. For me, everything is intertwined, so it's hard to separate specifics. For inner clarity, I do keep many aspects of the psyche compartmentalized, but then bring various called upon dimensions together, as ingredients of a recipe for adventure.

    The motorcycle is my vehicle these days. There was a time when it was my feet, and they carried me everywhere. The motorcycle moves us in special ways that nothing else can. But make no mistake about it, it is life-force and humanity that I'm chasing down, on two-wheels because it seems like it brings me closest to what I'm searching for. This being a motorcycle thread, I try to keep it on track as best I can, but sometimes it's hard. I'm somewhat unconventional. If not careful, I could run down many rabbit holes. Sometimes it gets fatiguing trying to keep that balance.

    My mind never stops. So many projects I'd like to express in words. Lately I've also started researching some family lineage and how interesting that has become. Fascinating. That is going to eventually lead me on a "Heritage Tour" ride report, as I run down associated areas and gravesites, tuning into my genetic memory as I remotely view how things once were - and where I fit into the whole picture.

    My dad's side has always been a mystery. Especially since his dad died a month after I was born, and my dad broke all contact with his mother shortly after that; so even though she (my grandmother) died just 9-years ago - I never got the chance to know her. Anyway I traced her side back into the 1800's and the documents and trivia that I put together coupled with the bits and pieces I already knew from my dad over the years is intriguing. Should make for a compelling story. Lots of questions were answered in the process. I even found and answered many questions for my dad and uncles and cousins. Perhaps it helps fill a void that I've always felt. I'm fairly certain that it does, and there is more to come. It would also be another chapter in that memoir, if I ever find the time.

    To great riding, keeping the mind switched on, and the elements of life that carry no price tag.

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