In late July 2007 I set off on my 1980 Suzuki GS450E for a solo trip to the southern states. My plan was to ride east to Virginia then work my way south and west to New Orleans, make another pass up the coast and head home through Canada if time permitted. The preparation of the bike was pretty basic since it had taken me to Alaska a year before with no problems: new chain and sprockets, oil and filter change, new rear tire, new clutch push-rod seal, new battery, fresh lube on the cables, and a good bleaching of my hard-case luggage that stunk of mildew. I carried a tent, sleeping bag, and therma-rest camping mattress all strapped together and then strapped to the back of the seat; packed clothes, an atlas, duct tape and various tools into my hard cases; put two Nalgene bottles, sunglasses, toothbrush, etc. into the tank bag and I was on my way. [FONT="]I left from Minneapolis at about ten in the morning having been up late the night before. I met my father at a gas station in Cannon Falls about an hour late and we headed to Madison on the two-lanes. It was a hot day (a portent of things to come), so we stopped at Devils Lake for a swim along the way. I spent a few days in Madison painting the interior of an uncles house, then headed out solo to Manitowoc to make the late run of the SS Badger across Lake Michigan (its 15% off if you take the late ferry and you can sleep on the deck)[/FONT] Here's the MC by the Ferry dock waiting.