Minneapolis to New Orleans Summer 07

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Charles Seguin, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    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=&quot]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 Devil’s Lake for a swim along the way. I spent a few days in Madison painting the interior of an uncle’s house, then headed out solo to Manitowoc to make the late run of the SS Badger across Lake Michigan (it’s 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.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    The late ferry spits you out at Ludington a little after 4am. Once across I rode to a park along the beach: the sunrise was magnificent from out along the breakwater by one of the lighthouses.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #2
  3. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    From Ludington I rode up to a cabin that my extended family had rented for the week on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I spent the week hiking, swimming, kayaking and eating. The Sleeping Bear area has an incredible amount of natural beauty which is belied by the simplicity of its landscape. It is also an incredibly dangerous area for motorcyclists; every day is Sunday out there and people drive accordingly (passing on the right on a two lane road is not uncommon); the last time I was riding out there I got into a little tangle with a minivan.



    Here's the MC by some Dunes:[​IMG]


    Here's a veiw of the sleeping bear dunes area:

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    [FONT=&quot]From Sleeping Bear I rode east to Lake Huron, then south down the lakeshore to Detroit.

    Here's the MC by Lake Huron

    [​IMG]

    Along the way I spent the night in a cemetery safely out of view of the road. It was quite peaceful aside from the deer crashing around in the woods behind me, and much cheaper than a hotel room.


    Here's the camp in the cemetery: :grim

    [​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    #4
  5. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    [FONT=&quot]I spent three days in Detroit painting a room for my cousin to make a little more cash for the trip. Detroit has been hit so hard economically that it is literally disappearing.
    Entire blocks in the middle of the city have been abandoned, the houses demolished and lots filled so that they now resemble a field in the country with street lights superimposed.

    This block is close to downtown and was once filled with houses :
    [​IMG]

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Other blocks are littered with burned-out or rotting houses that await demolition: and they can wait for a long time in Detroit.

    [​IMG]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Another burned-out house:

    [​IMG]
    [/FONT] There is a famous artist there, [FONT=&quot]Tyree Guyton,[/FONT] who makes art out of the abandoned houses. He calls his work the Heidelberg Project, named after his block. His work captures the air of pathos and desperation around the bombed-out neighborhoods perfectly.

    Here's some of his work:

    [​IMG]

    And some more:

    [​IMG]

    And some more:

    [​IMG]

    And some more:

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    Stay Tuned :ear
    #6
  7. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    121,908
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk
    #7
  8. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Superior CO
    That's quite the avatar you have there.
    #8
  9. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    That's to let everyone know Charles Seguin doesn't mess around...:robin
    #9
  10. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Superior CO
    Too bad its not you :csm
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,018
    :thumb

    :lurk
    #11
  12. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    How would you know:twitch
    #12
  13. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    [FONT=&quot]From Detroit I rode the two lane highways down to South Eastern Ohio, stayed with a friend there, and then rode highway 50 across West Virginia, which offered some spectacular scenery through the Appalachian foothills as well as enough twisties to keep me awake.

    Here's some highway 50 scenery:


    [​IMG]

    Heres some more HWY 50:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of Clarksburg on my way through W.VA:

    [​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    #13
  14. Staxrider

    Staxrider dirt dauber

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,047
    Location:
    Fourth Chickasaw Bluffs
    I like it. Off the beaten path on an early 80's Suzuki and a 450 no less. And you ain't skeered of the inner city.:clap Now the cemetery camping is another matter.:yikes
    #14
  15. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    736
    Location:
    Superior CO
    :puke2
    #15
  16. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    [FONT=&quot]I kept on 50 into Virginia through the Shenandoah River Valley and then hopped onto Skyline Drive, which is the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I spent the night under the stars in a trail-head parking lot just off of the road; the katydids in the woods were louder than a full procession of Harley-Davidsons.

    Here's the campsite in the parking lot:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a view from the parkway the next day:

    [​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    #16
  17. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Tucson
    That morning I continued on down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Every couple miles or so of the parkway offers a full vista of the Appalachian Mountains, whose claim to mountain status seems dubious to those of us who have seen the Rockies; nevertheless they are beautiful. There is a little technical riding at the beginning of the Parkway, and a little more towards the end of it, with enough action in the middle to keep your rear tire from developing a big chicken-strip. I spent my second night on the parkway camped alongside an access road to a hunting and fishing club’s land. That day was a long hot ride to Atlanta where my father was living: 100 plus degrees and humid. When I was nearly there I got the chance to witness a 14 lane freeway come to a dead stop. The next morning I did an oil change and cleaned/lubed the chain before my father and I headed up to Knoxville to meet my brother.



    Here's some top quality fuel in Front Royal VA:

    [​IMG]

    Some BLue Ridge Parkway Photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stealth Camping ALongside the Parkway:

    [​IMG]

    Doing Some MC Maintence With the Old Man in Atalanta:

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Krusty ...

    Krusty ... What? Me hurry?

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,606
    Location:
    Richardson, TX
    Is that a KZ750LTD in the background?
    #18
  19. LT the Outlaw

    LT the Outlaw new guy

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    TC Ca
    Great pics. :lurkFreaky looking houses to be sure.
    #19
  20. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    121,908
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Look at those handlebars. My, my.
    #20