Mexico Great Lakes

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by garrydymond, May 17, 2019.

  1. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190804_111657.jpg IMG_20190803_161220.jpg IMG_20190803_154116.jpg IMG_20190803_143208.jpg IMG_20190803_102554.jpg We spent our last 2 days of our trip together in Chicago. We took the double decker tourist bus, ate Chicago hot dogs (disappointing) and deep dish pizza (incredible) and had a great time. Ivonne flew home and part 3 of my trip began.

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    #41
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  2. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We stayed at a Super 8 near the airport with a shuttle service to the airport. It was close to the airport and acceptable but by no means luxurious. The day we left the Police were in the hotel. A girl had died in one of the rooms. We suspect from an overdose. While in reception I heard one of the policeman ask "when did you last see her?" a question straight out of a detective movie. We decided the best thing to do was leave before they said another classic line "nobody leaves the building".
    #42
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  3. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    A few random thoughts on Part 2 of the trip and traveling with my wife:
    Traveling with my wife is a lot more fun
    We see more things and stop more.
    We eat better.
    We ride less.
    We go to varied places.
    It is less about the bike and more about the trip.
    We stay places for more than a night.
    I have someone to talk to when not riding.
    I would miss her on the way home but have a good time any way.
    #43
  4. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Like our last trip to The States there was a mass shooting. This time there were 2. The flag flew at half-mast. If you are not from the US the number of guns and there easy availability is shocking. The answer to outsiders is easy but not from within the country. Hopefully one day you will find an answer to these senseless killings. IMG_20190805_110009.jpg
    #44
  5. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Before Ivonne flew home we were riding along one of Wisconsin's wonderful roads when we saw a sign for a Motorcycle Memorial. We turned right and went down a beautiful country lane. We eventually came to the Memorial. It was in the middle of nowhere. A small space but intriguing. IMG_20190729_160651.jpg IMG_20190729_160358.jpg IMG_20190729_155742.jpg IMG_20190729_155720.jpg IMG_20190729_155537.jpg
    #45
  6. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    I had seen a Rally was going on in Boulder Junction and I decided to go. On the way I stopped at theYamaha dealer our friendly Motorcycle Cop had recommended. They wanted to take the bike into the shop to check it out. I was fairly sure it was one of the stick/coils that I could take out and they could check . They weren't interested in checking them off the bike. I reluctantly agreed to 2 hours of labour for them to check it out. A few minutes later the mechanic came out and said they might spend 2 hours looking and find nothing. He recommended I just keep going. So they charged me nothing and I kept going. In Boulder Junction I took them out found one was damaged ordered a new one and installed it. It cost me less than the 2 hours of labour. My good luck was still going.
    The rally was great fun and I met lot of neat people including Eric and his family. His wife was nice enough to pick up the coil on the way up to the Rally. I was taken very good care of by several families there and ended up staying for 5 days . IMG_20190730_173739_1.jpg IMG_20190805_174543.jpg IMG_20190807_114608.jpg IMG_20190807_123250.jpg IMG_20190807_123545.jpg IMG_20190809_103420.jpg
    #46
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  7. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    I met a lot of very cool people at the advrider rally but the most impressive was this guy. He had lost the use of his right arm several years ago and now rode a 650 VStrom and a KLR with modified controls. He rode on and off-road and also 2 up. A true character. He did all the mods himself and was licensed to ride with left hand controls. IMG_20190807_134959.jpg IMG_20190807_134953.jpg IMG_20190807_134449.jpg IMG_20190807_134445.jpg IMG_20190808_061806.jpg
    #47
  8. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    With my bike running perfectly with its new coil stick I left Boulder Junction late Friday morning with the idea of getting to Madison. I wanted to spend the night there and see a little more of the city. I was going down the highway when it felt like I ran over something. I thought no more of it. I saw a sign for a cheese house and pulled off the highway. I got some outstanding Cheddar with bacon cheese. As I rode away I quickly realised I had a puncture. I pulled into the gas station across the street to fix it. I pulled out my sticky rope things found the hole, reamed it out and made my first mistake by not plugging it with the complete string but separating it as it looked like too much. I pushed it in and pulled it out and then discovered the gas station had no air. My second mistake happened years before when I bought the CO2 canisters and pump but never tested them. They wouldn't work. Luckily a guy asked if I need air and went home for his compressor. Everything seemed fine. I took a country road instead of the interstate and stopped at a mechanics shop and checked the air pressure and the plug. Everything was fine. No air leaking so I went back on the highway. About half an hour later when I was thinking to myself what a great adventurer I was the tyre went flat. Now I was in a real adventure. A fully loaded bike with a puncture repair kit but no air, no Sim card in my new phone because the sim had been stolen along with my phone by some thieving scum bag in Canada. What ensued was an adventure that lasted until midnight.
    #48
  9. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190730_201322.jpg IMG_20190810_070738.jpg IMG_20190730_213046.jpg IMG_20190731_032000.jpg So with no way to communicate I started the bike and walked along the Interstate with it. It was pretty hot. Someone had told me nobody stopped as everyone had a mobile phone and just called for help. Fortunately this was Northern Wisconsin. A guy on a Harley stopped almost immediately and told me there was a town with a gas station and a hotel 2 miles down the road. Next a guy in work truck stopped and gave me some water and a hi-vis vest, next another bike, then another pick up, then 2 ladies (one got out of her SUV to make sure I was ok) etc. It took a long time to get to the exit ramp. To young girls slowed down and asked if I was ok. A couple in 60's muscle car asked if I was ok. They waited for me to get to tge gas stations tgen called around to try to find a shop that could repair tbe tyre. It was around 5:30 on a Fruday evening so they couldn't find anything. They followed me to the hotel and waited till I was checked in before leaving. Try guardian angels.
    Once checked in I went to get something to eat. The hotel was only 47 dlls and was in a converted house with a bar and a band playing outside on tge deck.
    I watched some videos on fixing flats and rode the bike to the gas station and calmly fixed it correctly and pumped it up with their free air. Surprising what a few hours some food and a bit more knowledge can do.
    It was the band's guitar player's birthday and there was free cake, cheese etc. I took some and went into the bar.
    The small bar had about 8 people plus the barman. The were playing bar dice. I was invited to sit in the middle of the group. They were intrigued by the outsider on a motorcycle. I spent several hours talking and being questioned by these extremely friendly locals. I never understood the dice game but sawtgat 2 sixes and 3 fives was not a good score.
    #49
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  10. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190810_073726.jpg
    If you are ever in Northern Wisconsin the Coloma Hotel is the place to stay. Super clean, includes breakfast and has a great bar. You may even get invited to play bar dice
    #50
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  11. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190808_213738_1.jpg While is was at the adv rally in Boulder Junction I went to the Walmart and this old lady was a cashier there. Hopefully she is working to stay occupied and not for economic reasons.
    #51
  12. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190812_101043.jpg IMG_20190811_122048.jpg IMG_20190811_122345_1.jpg IMG_20190811_193853.jpg IMG_20190811_122345.jpg IMG_20190811_123106.jpg IMG_20190812_090321.jpg IMG_20190812_101009.jpg My free tyres with the rear now plugged were a pretty worn so I decided to get new tyres. I rode to Madison in Saturday morning and went to a bunch of bike shops including Cycle Gear nobody had tyres in stock. I decided to go to Milwaukee. I found a BMW shop that was going out of business and got a good deal on the tyres but had to wait until Monday to get them fitted.
    I camped where we had camped the first time we were near Milwaukee. On Sunday I rode around on back roads until I stumbled across a car show with a bluegrass band.
    Monday i went back and that me take out the wheels in their workshop. I couldn't get a matched set of tyres but I am not worried about it.

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    #52
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  13. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    I camped in Dubuque, Iowa where I had camped on the trip North from there I had gone North to the headwaters of the Mississippi. Now I was going to roughly follow the Mississippi South as far a Memphis IMG_20190813_145130_1.jpg IMG_20190813_110804.jpg IMG_20190813_183748.jpg
    I added The World's Biggest Fireworks Store to my list of biggest and best World Things.
    I camped close to St Louis MO and got a 10 dlls discount from the owner for helping some RVers find the campsite. 10 dlls doesn't sound like much but if you can save 10 dlls a day on an 11 week trip it will pay for your new tyres and that coil you had to replace. Another example of this is the oil change I did in Boulder Junction. I did it in a parking lot using a pan and funnel I bought at Walmart. After using them I was going to throw them away but instead cleaned them up and took them back and got a refund that paid for my steak dinner at my campsite.

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    #53
  14. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190814_141439.jpg We went through St. Louis 3 years ago but our GPS stopped working and we couldn't find the Arch. I now wonder how we managed to get anywhere without one. We ended up in pretty sketchy part of town saw a sign for the highway North and left.
    This time I got there and am glad I made the effort. It is an amazing construction and watching the movie of how it was made back in the 60's made the ride up and the view even more impressive. That afternoon I headed toward Memphis. I somehow misjudged the amount of daylight left and found myself leaving a town in the dark. I stopped at a gas station and asked about campsites but they didn't know of any. I went back into town and got and did some laundry. IMG_20190814_142326.jpg IMG_20190814_141026.jpg
    My bike is parked in the Church's parking lot.

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    #54
  15. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    IMG_20190814_093144.jpg
    I wanted to geta photo from the front with the bike but couldn't find a friendly cop to ask..
    #55
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  16. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    When I crossed into Arkansas I discovered it was Elvis week in Memphis. He died on August 15 1977 at the age of 42. The very nice lady at the The Welcome Center booked me a campsite at Graceland Campsite.
    I am not an Elvis fan but I was fascinated by the cult status of someone who died 42 years ago.
    #56
  17. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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  18. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    It was an interesting day with the Elvis fans. I had dinner ata place withan Elvis impersonator. The food was good and he was a good singer. When he stopped singing he turned out to be from Manchester. I went and had a chat with him. He flies over every yeari n January, for Elvis' birthday and August. He was almost in tears when I asked if it was an emotional time for him. He has made a career out of singing Elvis songs. He gave me one of his CDs.
    I then joined the line for the candlelit procession. The whole evening was a combination of glitzy showbiz and sorrow. I wouldn't go again but glad I was lucky enough to be there that day.
    #58
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  19. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    I am not a big Elvis fan but some of the stories of his generosity were interesting. Everybody I talked to said he really cared about his fans and would go down to the gates at Graceland to say hi to them.
    The next morning I went to Beale Street and on the way by pure chance rode by Sun Studio. I then found the Pyramid Bass Pro Shop. I imagine it is the biggest Sports Store in the World. IMG_20190816_101958.jpg IMG_20190816_101423.jpg IMG_20190816_101916.jpg
    #59
  20. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    #60