Tunica to Winnipeg and Back Again -- why not?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DesertRider463, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

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    This ride report will cover our Summer 2018 ride from Tunica, MS, up to Winnipeg and back. Originally, my buddy and I were going on a 3-day ride. That turned into a conversation about perhaps taking a week-long ride in Mississippi. Somehow, as the conversation continued, that short trip morphed into a two-week ride from the deep southern portion of the USA up to the beautiful plains of Manitoba, Canada. You know how those phone calls go, right? It has probably happened to you...

    Basically, here's how it went: my riding buddy "BK97" called me up on the phone and started talking about a brief ride, then we kept talking and talking and talking and pretty soon it was "Canada was pretty awesome back in 2013, let's go there again for summer 2018!" It should be another great ride.

    We met in Tunica, MS, and departed on Sunday, July 8, 2018. In addition to some awesome Canadian scenery, this trip also includes a stop at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and culminates with a run down the Tail of the Dragon highway -- 318 curves in 11 miles! We hope you'll join us to enjoy our journey.
    #1
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  2. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

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    Day "T-01" -- July 6, 2018 -- in Tupelo, MS

    Well, it's that time again... time for another Canada run! BK97 and I had so much fun back in 2013 that we decided to do it again, although this year's ride will be shorter. Last time, we rode approximately 8,000 miles over the course of 35 days. The trip began and ended in Tunica, MS, so we called the ride report "8,000 Miles to Tunica". You can find it on here back in 2013.

    For this year's ride, we'll leave Tunica, MS, and head up past Milwaukee, over to Thunder Bay, then west to Winnipeg and roll on back south from there. We're aiming for 16-18 days on the road, but are not stuck on some hardcore schedule. We're just going to ride some each day and see what we can see.

    Here's the 2013 ride report. While we didn't get posts up for the entire trip, there were quite a few that covered some good times on the early portion of that ride!
    https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/8-000-miles-to-tunica.904019/

    After that ride in 2013, I spent six weeks on the highways of Brazil in 2014. That ride report is also here on AdvRider, up through about day 33. I've got pics, but never did finish writing everything up. :-(
    https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/brazil-at-60-km-h.991116/

    But enough about the past. Let's get busy for 2018. My riding buddy, BK97, and I have both been busy getting ready for this trip. He even bought a new Harley for the trip! While I don't have any pics of his new bike yet, because he lives over in central Tennessee and I live in north Mississippi, you'll see some pics of it once we meet up on Sunday. I'm going to be on my tried-and-true Yamaha VStar 1300. Last time we both had Scala Rider G9 intercoms and they worked pretty well. However, after five years, it was time for an upgrade. I opted for the newest intercom unit from Cardo, the PackTalk Bold. It has some awesome digital features and ended up working quite well with my phone, so I'm pleased with it so far. It has only been on my helmet for a handful of days. All of the phone calls have sounded great on it and the speakers are better for music than my Scala Rider G9. Everyone that I've spoken with while riding said they thought I was in my car or truck, not on my bike, so that's a hopeful sign.

    In addition to new gadgets and gear, it's a good idea to get a quick tune-up before a 4,000 mile trip. I went back to 4 Seasons Equipment Company, in Tupelo, MS, for an oil change and for some replacement highway pegs. Matt and Kevin were great to deal with and they helped me get a quick turnaround so that I could get on the road this coming weekend. Here's a shot of my bike after the tune-up. It's running great -- thanks guys!
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    There were some dark clouds on the horizon when I left Tupelo to drive back over to Oxford, so I cranked the throttle and made some good time. Thankfully, there were not any LEOs out on the highway yesterday afternoon!

    Tomorrow is "clean out the saddlebags and start packing day", so I'm going to wrap it up for today. We hope you'll join us on this year's trip. It starts on Sunday, July 8th.

    Thanks for reading along!
    #2
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  3. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

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    Day 01 -- July 8, 2018 -- From our homes to Tunica, MS

    It's finally here --> departure day! BK97 is leaving from his house smack dab in the geographical center of Tennessee and I'm leaving from my house in the hills of north Mississippi. We'll be meeting this afternoon in Tunica. His wife shot a quick pic of him, while I took a pic of my bike in front of my garage and then added in the infamous "highway selfie".

    Here's BK97 on his slick new Harley Softail Heritage Classic. We'll see if it's that shiny after this trip... LOL

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    And here are my pics:

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    The rest of todays pics were shot during the ride from my house to Tunica. Finally... the open road -- blazing up I-55 toward Hernando, MS.

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    After turning west off I-55, I rolled through the cool little town of Hernando, MS. They still had some Independence Day (4th of July) decorations up. Sweet! It reminded me of a lyric from a Florida Georgia Line song, which started looping through my mind for the next half hour. Here it is: "May we all get to grow up in our red white and blue little town". It fits, don't you think?

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    Here's the song, if you want to sing along with me while I'm rolling down the road...


    Next up, some "local flavor" from north Mississippi for those who've never been here. On one side of the road, we have "pea soup".

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    And, on the other side, here's what passes for a "jungle" in our state.

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    A little further on down the road, some wide open riding on an empty two-lane highway. I always feel very peaceful on this type of highway. No need to worry about someone texting someone on their phone while driving... It's just me and my bike and the wind and the sun and the feeling of life in motion -- time to settle into the seat and flow on down the road. Wonderful.

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    Another highlight of north Mississippi life is the pervasive and aggressive vine known as "kudzu". It grows 87 feet per day. Not really. But the dang weed grows and grows and grows. It's almost impossible to kill, unless you unleash a platoon of flamethrower-wielding kudzu haters on it or nuke it with enough herbicide to make it into a federal Superfund environmental clean-up site.

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    Then some more twisting/turning two-lane fun, rolling in and out of the shade and heading toward the Mississippi Delta.

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    Soon afterwards, the dive toward the delta appears ahead. I'm always struck by the feeling of rolling downhill toward the delta, from the bluffs. Here's a 5-shot series of photos to give you the sense of rolling down into the land of the blues.

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    Once you're down into the delta, you can feel its seemingly never-ending flatness stretching out toward the horizon while it basks and bakes in the heat of a sunny Mississippi afternoon.

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    Tunica county used to be among the poorest counties in the USA. It's per capita income was crushingly low and there were not many employment opportunities. Then, the casinos came to town in the 1990s. Welcome to Tunica!

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    Here's the guidepost, in case you're lost or clueless and are rolling through here while randomly looking for something to do.

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    If you look closely, across the verdant delta crop-land, you'll see something rising up and calling your paycheck toward it. If you can't afford a little entertainment expense, the prudent thing to do is to "turn away now" while you've still got some money left in your wallet!

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    Finally, a close-up of today's destination. It's been a hot and sweaty ride. I'm looking forward to some air conditioning and to meeting up with BK97 so that our Canada ride can "officially begin".

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    That's it for today, but don't worry -- there's more to come tomorrow and for the next few weeks. Thanks for reading! Your questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome. I'll be posting from St Louis tomorrow night.
    #3
  4. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
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    Day 02 -- July 9, 2018 -- Tunica, MS, to St Louis, MO

    It's time to get on the road. BK97 and I are ready to get out there and ride and roll... and sweat! Yep, summer in Mississippi and it is both warm and humid outside today. But that's okay, our air conditioners begin working when we're up to a speed of 45+ MPH or so. ;-)

    Our bikes await us and our gear. That's his Harley on the left and my Yamaha on the right.

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    A kind lady was passing by and agreed to snap a quick picture of us prior to departure.

    BK97 (on the left) has a brand new Joe Rocket jacket that he's planning to break in for this trip. I'm wearing my same old stuff... Maybe Santa will bring me some new gear this year?

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    We're rolling up highway 61 (also known as "The Blues Highway") toward Memphis and it's a beautiful morning in the Mississippi delta. Thankfully, there's not a lot of traffic for a Monday morning.

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    Highway 61 isn't an Interstate highway, so you can get "up close and personal" with Memphis as you enter.

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    After some bobbing and weaving through Memphis traffic, we finally made it onto the approach to the I-55 bridge over the Mississippi river. Locals call it the "Old Bridge" in order to keep it in its proper position when compared to the newer bridge up-river. According to Wikipedia, the bridge -- including its approaches -- is 5,222 feet long. Wow! That's a "whole lotta bridge", for sure... Halfway across, we entered Arkansas.

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    As we rode north on I-55 through Arkansas, we passed the exit for Jonesboro, AR. That city is home to Arkansas State University. More importantly and personally to me, there is an outdoor motocross track just outside of Jonesboro that my son and I used to race on when we were competing in a 5-state outdoor motocross series called the "King of the Hill" series. Good times and fond memories rolled through my mind as I remembered taking this highway with him on more than one occasion.

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    Fortunately for you, lucky reader, I was able to crack open the "Lost DesertRider463 Motocross Archives" and grab a couple of pics for you. The first shows my son flying high over the finish line jump (note the missing visor -- it broke off earlier in the race) and then later, a pic of us together with some of the trophies from that day. What a great day and such happy memories! See, that's one of the things you do while rolling down the open highway for hours on end; you reflect back upon your life and think about those unforgettable moments that make us who we are and that remind us of what's important in life.

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    Me? I think mostly about my kids, my extended family, and my close friends. Truly blessed.

    The other thing you think about while on the road is food, at least every now and then. There are all kinds of food-related thoughts, such as: "look at that field...Arkansas helps feed the nation!"

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    Another food-related thought that will cross your mind, once you're into Missouri is: "Hmmm, wonder if we could stop in at Lambert's Cafe today and have some rolls thrown at us by the staff?" You see, Lambert's is widely known as "The Home of Throwed Rolls" because they -- literally -- throw gigantic dinner rolls at you from across the room. Fun times! Unfortunately, BK97 and I are pushing on down the road today, so no time to stop on this ride, although we did stop here on the 2013 Canada ride (see the link to that thread a few posts above in this thread). If you go to that other thread, look for the post from July 18, 2013.

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    Here's a quick link to that old post, if you're interested in seeing inside Lambert's Cafe.

    https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/8-000-miles-to-tunica.904019/#post-21894955

    Anyway, back to our July 2018 ride. We're definitely not in the Arkansas flatlands any longer...

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    I'm always struck by the impressive and weighty rock outcroppings in Missouri. Those highway builders did a heck of a job cutting through some amazing stone structures!

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    Speaking of stone, BK97 and I followed a semi truck today with a flatbed trailer stacked high with stone. That dude was making great time, so we let him run blocker for about 40 miles, before he pulled off to refuel. I almost took his picture to post in here as a way of saying "Thanks, buddy, for the Smoky and the Bandit-like experience today!" but decided not to do so on the off chance that his boss or some public safety folks might not be happy about him being celebrated in such a manner... hahaha

    We finally rolled into St Louis, MO, late this afternoon. Our room had a great view of the Mississippi river.

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    Also, here's a quick shot of downtown, with the incredible Gateway Arch featured toward the left side of the photo. Wikipedia ("the oracle") says the Gateway Arch is the tallest arch in the world (630 feet) and was finished in 1965. You can ride a funky little elevator up to the top and look out toward the Mississippi River, to the east, or downtown St Louis, to the west. I've been up in the Arch several times and can report that it is a very cool experience and highly recommend it, although some are not so happy with the ride to the top because of the way the elevator has to "ratchet" as it nears the top in order to keep the passengers upright. Just think about that for a minute... "How does an elevator carry folks up to the top-center of a curved arch???" Very funky and very cool ride, but not for the faint of heart. Of course you, reader, are on the AdvRider site, so we know you're not faint-hearted! :-)

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    That's about it for tonight. After arriving here, we decided to alter our plan a little bit in order to take a more direct route to Winnipeg. We'll be heading out in the morning for the Waterloo, IA, area, with about 335 miles of highway to cover tomorrow.

    Thanks for reading along.
    #4
  5. Sister1963

    Sister1963 n00b

    Joined:
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    Looks like a great trip! Love the pictures :-)
    #5
  6. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

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    Thanks Sister1963 -- we're glad you're reading along!
    #6
  7. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
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    Day 03 -- July 10, 2018 -- to St Louis, MO, to Waterloo, IA

    We rolled out of St Louis early this morning to try to beat the crush of rush-hour traffic. After being on the road for an hour or so, we stopped off for the "Adventure Rider Breakfast of Champions".

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    After refueling ourselves and the bikes, we got back on the highway. In case you didn't know, they grow lots of corn in Missouri.

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    It feels good to be rolling again. We're back on US 61 (known as the "Blues Highway" in Mississippi). We're not really sure what its nickname might be in Missouri, but we'll roll on it anyway.

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    Here's BK97 rolling along on a sunny Tuesday morning. He and I have a standing deal -- I'm supposed to slow down if I can't see him in the rearview mirror any longer. His bike has an automatic cruise control and mine doesn't. Left unchecked, I have a tendency to keep cranking the throttle a little further. He helps us both stay out of jail...

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    This sign was a little confusing to me. Perhaps one of you can explain it? Personally, I wouldn't think that someone driving down this part of this highway would be looking for Mexico or Louisiana. Who knows?

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    We stopped of in little Mt Pleasant, Iowa, so that we could eat lunch and handle a couple of conference calls. While we were there, we made a quick detour past this college. My brother played football there way back in the day.

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    In case you didn't know, they grow a ton of corn in Iowa too. Look at this!

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    That's about it for today. We rolled into Waterloo (no sign of Napoleon) and are going to get some grub.

    Thanks for reading along with us!
    #7
  8. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    Luvin' it! More please.
    #8
  9. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
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    Thanks RedDogAlberta -- glad to have you here!
    #9
  10. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
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    Day 04 -- July 11, 2018 -- to Waterloo, IA, to St Cloud, MN

    Good morning -- rolling again!

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    Don't worry, I didn't lose my little finger last night. It's just hard to get everything "in frame" when you're driving a motorcycle down the highway at a pretty good clip... But I'm doing the best I can, given the situation. Hope your day is off to a good start too!

    It looks like the New Orleans Saints have a new logo and some fans up here in the northland of Iowa. Just kidding...

    In reality, we saw this little add-on sign on highway signs and mile markers for a good bit of today's ride across northern Iowa and into Minnesota.

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    Did I mention that we're still in Iowa. If I didn't, you can easily tell by the ubiquitous corn fields that photo-bomb most pictures taken around here.

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    We ran into a giant windmill field (electricity generators) between Nashua and Mason City, Iowa, this morning. It looked like there were some workers over there doing some maintenance, so we decided to take a break from blazing down the highway and go off-road to check it out. Those windmill blades are huuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggeeee! Look at this, with my bike close to the camera and BK97 sitting on his bike at the other end of the blade.

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    Here's a little closer view of the blade ends that attach to the central hub. They just don't look that large from the highway...

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    Next up, a little more wind-farm fun. I'm really glad to see our country finding additional ways to be energy independent. It's so important to our lives and to our freedom.

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    Welcome to Minnesota, land of highway construction and lots of nice people!

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    We spent a good bit of time in slow-downs and stop-and-go situations on the highway in Minnesota today. Here's what it looked like in front of me and behind me at one point.

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    It reminded me a lot of driving in Brazil, back in 2014, with one key difference. Down there, the motorcycle riders all keep going when the cars stop, using either the shoulder or weaving down the line between parked or slowly-moving vehicles. If you go far enough on a bike in a Brazilian construction zone, you end up at the head of the line, waiting with the other "motociclistas" (motorcycle riders, in Brazilian Portuguese). I like their system better and had to fight an almost endless and powerful internal battle with myself all day long to not just pass all the slow-moving or stopped vehicles...

    Here's what a construction zone looks like in Brazil, from my 2014 ride, first, while looking back at the line.

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    Next, here's what it looks like at the head of the line.

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    See what I mean? Also, as an added bonus, when the flagman flips the sign around to go, there's a race to be the first to cover the next kilometer (and beyond) so all riders have their throttle cranked wide open and zoom off in a little mini-race to be the first one to wherever. Good times!

    If you've never been to Brazil, let me tell you that, in my experience, the vast majority of Brazilians are really good people who are generally laid back about a lot of things. That all ends, however, when they get behind the wheel. Then, many of them become amateur race car drivers who have been set loose on the open roads with a powerful urge to "get there fast", wherever there is... Speed limits and traffic signs are generally treated as loose-suggestions, rather than strict regulations. I'm telling you, hearts made of gold and a foot made of lead on the gas pedal! LOL If you've not gone there, I encourage you to do so. Brazil is teeming with life and is a great place to learn more about yourself and the human condition.

    Back to 2018 -- we rolled into St Cloud mid-afternoon, checked into our hotel, and got busy with some laundry. We travel light, so will do laundry whenever circumstances allow.

    While we were waiting on the laundry machines, we had a great conversation with a couple of fellow gringo motociclistas in front of the hotel. The husband had lots of great riding and car racing stories. He, BK97, and I took turns talking about fractures, wrecks, physical therapy/rehab, and other riding-related topics for a good while. His wife had a very cool bike with a side-car attached. The open road brings riders together. I like it. That's why I'm here.

    When we returned to our room, BK97 and I also had a far-ranging debate about what's going on in politics in the USA these days. We both agreed that we need more common sense, more involvement from everyone, and more folks who vote their conscience -- rather than their party, regardless of left- or right-wing leanings -- in the Congress. Where have all of the courageous and reasonable leaders gone?

    Anyway, that's enough of that... Tomorrow, we're either going to make a really short ride over to Fargo or a longer ride to Winnipeg. We haven't decided yet. Neither one of us have ever been to Fargo and we both feel its call, despite a reasonable fear of wood-chippers (anyone who has seen the movie "Fargo" will get that one, otherwise, just ignore it). On the other hand, we're eager to get to Canada and see what's going on up there. Tune in tomorrow to find out which way we went.

    Thanks again for reading along!
    #10
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  11. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
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    Day 05 -- July 12, 2018 -- St Cloud, MN, to Fargo, ND

    BK97 and I are both early risers on most days and today was no exception. Neither one of us seems to sleep more than about 5-6 hours per night. Fortunately, the hotel we stayed in had a great breakfast buffet, so we got up and chowed down.

    After breakfast, I saw the couple we spoke with yesterday afternoon as they were getting ready to hit the highway. I went out for one last visit and asked them if I could include their picture on this blog. They said yes and that they were also "inmates" of AdvRider, so I'm sure you'll find them on here somewhere. Both of them had very cool rigs and have logged a lot of highway / adventure riding miles. Here they are:

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    The weather was sketchy all morning. You've got to be willing to get out in the weather, when it is absolutely necessary, but there's also something to be said for being smart about it. Fortunately, we weren't pressed for time so we were able to adjust our schedule for a little later departure and avoided most of the rain. While it is summertime, the temperature has dropped some, especially when compared to the deep south, so it was great to get out and ride today.

    Let's get on down the highway and leave the storms behind (hopefully).

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    About 20 minutes further on down the road, it was nothing but blue skies ahead!

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    There's really serene farmland all around us as we ride through the northern portion of Minnesota. It's also generally fairly flat.

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    There have also been some beautiful ponds and lakes along today's route. I'm sure my pics can't properly capture the scenes very well, but here's one. There's a difference between riding in a car/truck/bus versus being on a bike. When you are exposed to the elements, you experience richer textures in the air, such as pollen, dust, and moisture. You can, literally, smell the water from the lake in the air and feel it on your skin as you plow through it at highway speeds. That's a big part of why I like to ride so much -- just being more in contact with our natural environment, rather than zooming along in a rolling cage or a moving can or a flying tube, which is how most other vehicles feel to me. Mmmmmmm smell that fresh water...

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    We are getting farther and farther up north on our journey. This is an important equation that you need to be aware of if you're going to ride up here.

    North + summertime = highway construction & maintenance time.

    Yep, Minnesota had some more roadwork underway (good for you, MDOT!) and we got to experience it along the way again today. Note that I'm not complaining, but am just making an observation on the reality of travel in the northern reaches that folks who might not have been here may not have encountered. Summertime --> better weather --> better to work outside on the roads. It's just common sense, if you think about it. We ran into that a lot during our first Canada ride back in 2013.

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    Even a road construction zone isn't all bad, as long as there are some curves to lean into on your bike.

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    Here's some more beautiful farmland, including what will probably be some of the last corn that we'll see as we continue further north.

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    Morehead, MN, and Fargo, ND, are "twin cities" that straddle the border between the two states. We finally made it into North Dakota, which will be our last stop prior to crossing into Canada.

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    I could just imagine hearing my northern friends saying "Hey der, vou betcha we're sure glad you made it!"... LOL

    The Fargo accent is a real thing -- it's not just a movie thing. It's truly distinctive. I'm sure they all think we sound funny too, with our southern accents, but I'm blown away (amazed, in a good way, and also fascinated) sometimes to hear those around here with more hardcore Fargo accents. It seems to be strongly Norwegian / Scandinavian or something along those lines. We're doing our best to follow along and communicate with them -- you betcha!

    Speaking of movies... BK97 and I are on a mission, of sorts, here in Fargo. We want to see the infamous wood-chipper from the movie "Fargo". We've heard that it's in the local visitor center, so that's where we're heading to next this afternoon. It turned out to be a very nice facility -- much larger than I thought it would be. In addition to the building, there are some scupltures outside and a "Walk of Fame" with footprints, handprints, and/or names of famous celebrities who have stopped by. Here's the visitor center, itself, with a photo of BK97 first and then me, next.

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    And, of course, the object of attention from that unforgettable scene in the 1996 movie made by the Coen brothers, "Fargo". The very friendly lady who welcomed us into the visitor center even gave us some bomber hats and took a quick snapshot for us! (me on the left and BK97 on the right)

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    If you don't know anything about the movie, "Fargo", you can consult the oracle (Wikipedia) at the following page:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo_(film)

    Heading back outside the visitor center, there's a psychedelic buffalo.

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    And a very cool "Welcome" sign for North Dakota.

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    Here's a parting shot of the visitor center.

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    After being welcomed so nicely, we decided to go grab a bite to eat. We stopped off at one of the "official restaurants of the Tunica to Winnipeg 2018 ride", namely Arby's. This is probably our 3rd or 4th stop at an Arby's. Good stuff and no complaints from us!

    On the way back to the hotel, we passed a really interesting local landmark restaurant. Hmmmmmmm... Maybe there's another explanation for the distinctive Fargo accent? Inquiring minds want to know...

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    Maybe next time we're here, we can give it a try or go for a fly with them. ;-)

    Finally, here is another one of those things that we "know" but we don't really "remember" until we experience it. The further north you go, the more hours of daylight you get in the summer. It was about 9:30 p.m. when I took this sunset pic of my bike. In the deep southern part of the USA, it would already be dark. But, not up here. Again, that's something we experienced on our 2013 ride. The memories are starting to come back. I'm so happy to be out on the road with a good friend and getting to see more of our amazing country and world. What a blessing!

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    Good night, everyone. Thanks for reading along with us.
    #11
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  12. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    432
    Location:
    CANADA-1/4 mile N of International Falls, MN
    Hey DesertRider...
    I know that you have never asked for any trip/route advice but I just have to give you some anyway.:D
    Your passing pretty close to my home area today and I just can't hold my tongue.

    If this and your prior trip to Winnipeg were your only visits to Canada I just have to tell you about a little deviation as you leave Winnipeg to head back.
    I mapped it and it only adds 3-1/2 hours to your trip and give you a whole different perspective of the geography in thee region.

    Instead of heading South out of Winnipeg, go East on the Trans Canada Hwy to the town of Kenora (in Ontario) About 2 hrs.
    About 1 1/2 hrs you will ride out of the prairies and into the Canadian Shield.
    This is huge rock with cuts thru for the hwy, many lakes, and enough trees to build everyone in the USA a wood framed house.

    After Kenora about 10 miles you turn South on Hwy 71 which takes you down to the US border.
    Hwy #71 is on a list somewhere as one of the 10 best motorcycle roads in Canada.
    Much of its length has a speed limit of 80KPH (bout 50 MPH) so you can imagine the turns and the views are outstanding on the north portion.
    About 2-1/4 hours to end of 71. You can't cross there as no bridge so go east 20 miles to Fort Frances and cross into International Falls, MN.

    From there you can choose a few routes, one of which takes you straight south back to St Cloud , MN
    I promise you, its worth your extra time.:clap

    Great report to by the way.
    Thanks for posting it.
    Bob
    #12
    Redfish Hunter likes this.
  13. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    MidSouth
    Hey borderlinebob,

    Thanks for the excellent recommendation and for your kind comments on the ride report. I'll discuss the re-routing with BK97.

    It sounds like a great route with some awesome views, so I'd say the odds are better than 50/50 that we'll go for it. We're just out to enjoy a nice ride and are not too regimented about where we'll go next. Our riding motto could probably be stated as something along the lines of "If it sounds interesting, let's give it a try", so we're grateful for your input.

    Best wishes,
    DR463
    #13
  14. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    MidSouth
    Day 06 -- July 13, 2018 -- Fargo, ND, to Winnipeg, MB, Canada

    Is today really Friday the 13th? Should we ride today? Some folks are pretty superstitious about things, but BK97 and I both want to ride. It's time to get rolling and cross into Canada today! We need breakfast and the bikes need gas. Gotta keep both the rider and the machine fueled up every day!

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    Our bikes are sitting outside McDonald's as we have breakfast. There's currently a battle being waged between Arby's and McDonald's for our rider refueling dollars. They are, literally, running neck and neck, in terms of the number of stops.

    Speaking of our bikes sitting out there, I'm reminded of a famous quote by Grace Hopper, one of the early pioneers of the computing era, who said "A ship in port is safe. But that's not what ships were built for." Bikes are not meant to sit still and be perfectly safe. They are meant to be ridden, to be enjoyed, to be experienced, to carry you forward through life's adventures, ups, downs, and everything in between. I hear my bike whispering to my soul, "C'mere...let's have an adventure, together..." Yes. Count me in.

    (By the way, according to one Internet source that I consulted, the original version of that phrase came from John A. Shedd, who penned the following in a collection of sayings entitled "Salt from My Attic" in which the quote was "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." )
    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/12/09/safe-harbor/

    Today is shaping up to be another day of flatland riding. I spent a good bit of my early years of life on the "high plains" of eastern New Mexico and west Texas. Today's vistas harken back to those early memories. I'm at home on the range. ("Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play..") Yep, that dang song popped up in my head today. Don't ask me why. I hope you have better luck getting it out of your mind than I did. Ha!

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    Wide open highways ahead and perfect riding weather -- a winning combination.

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    BK97's new bike is running strong.

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    I'm always impressed by the lives that folks can carve out of almost any circumstance. Here's a hardy example.

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    One day, in Dallas, I was talking with one of my nephews. As we were passing building after building, I remember telling him something along the lines of "Look at that building there, look at that house, look at that store -- they are all acts of human will. Some one person conceived the notion of that house (building, etc.) and made it happen. Most of what you see around you is the result of someone who made a decision and saw their vision through with persistence and determination." That's what I was thinking about today, as we rode past this human outpost on these endless plains. Someone decided "I will build here" and they did.

    Every day, we stop for gas one -- or more -- times. Helmet hair isn't something that we advertise, but it's a reality. Here's the style I was rocking for today. LOL

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    We're still in the USA, but the destination is getting "real" now. Pembina, MN, is the last outpost on the USA side of the border. After that, we'll be in Canada.

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    Welcome to Manitoba! We made it! Like all things Canadian, the welcome center is polite and well-organized. It feels good to be here again. Hello Canada -- we're baa-aaack!

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    I had someone ask me one time about the "safety flag" that was on the back of my bike. My response was "I don't have a safety flag." Then they pointed out the yellow towel. It's not there for "safety" reasons, although that's probably a nice unintended consequence. Instead, it's there to dry out because I'd cleaned my windshield this morning and didn't want to put it back into the bag behind my seat back. Over time, I've learned that if I put a wet bag in there, it'll come out smelling like dead fish after baking in the sun all day while wet. I'd rather just let it dry out and avoid that "fishy" experience.

    Here's BK97 and his bike, "rollin' like a boss" into Canada (but no T-Pain singing in the background).

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    Mackenson Feat. T-Pain & La Fouine - Rollin' Like A Boss (CLIP OFFICIEL)


    It's inescapable. Music is a part of life. I hear it in my mind, in full stereo, all the time, sometimes involuntarily (remember the "Home, home on the range" comment above). Hey, it is what it is. I'm again reminded of rolling through Brazil back in 2014 listening to some awesome modern Brazilian artists doing their thing. Now, sometimes when I hear those songs, they take me back to Brazil. Anyway, I'm better with Portuguese than with French, so I can't tell you for sure what all of the lyrics mean in that song. Hopefully, it won't offend anyone (I'm trying to be extra-polite, Canadian style). But, "rollin like a boss" seems like a good song for entering the country!

    As has already been mentioned, we're not in the USA any longer. It's too bad, because I _really_ like the looks of this speed limit sign. Too bad Canadian highways are on the metric system...

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    Did you notice that little billboard in the background? Here's a close-up, to make it easier to read.

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    I checked out their website. It's an interesting company and concept. They claim to be able to help get criminal records sealed/suspended, which, in turn, makes it easier to leave the country. What an entrepreneurial service.

    Everyone that knows me closely knows that I'm a huge fan of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. In fact, business has been a lifelong passion of mine and I'm always so impressed to meet folks who have found a way to blend their own creativity, insight, passion, and work ethic to create a new business that fulfills its customers' needs. I'm sure the owners of this little company have a great story to tell. Also, you've got to appreciate their placement of this billboard, on the way back into Canada from the border. If you were a Canadian citizen who got turned away at the border, I'm sure this sign would catch your eye. Well done, small business owner, well done!

    After we dropped off our gear at the hotel, we headed into downtown Winnipeg on a mission to visit the finest tobacco/cigar shop in the city. BK97 is a fan of fine cigars, so we stopped off for him to do some shopping. Now his only challenge will be to smoke them all before we cross back over the border, because the customs folks seem to be particularly focused on questions regarding alcohol and tobacco. He's actually outside burning through a new cigar right now, while I'm writing this report. I'm sure the hotel staff will be watching him due to his frequent outside visits, as he tries to smoke all that he bought, and saying to themselves, "How many cigars does that man smoke each day? Must be an expensive habit!" LOL

    [​IMG]

    That's it for today. We're going to go out and explore the city some and debate "next steps" for the ride. Thanks again to borderlinebob for suggesting an alternative route back into the USA. We're actively discussing it and will update here as things progress.

    Thanks for reading along. May you keep your bike shiny side up during all of your rides!
    #14
    Sister1963, 2wingdoc05 and ultrasheen like this.
  15. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,780
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    No arguments here from a local. Go east. 307 and 44 through Whiteshell Provincial Park is some nice riding.
    #15
  16. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    MidSouth
    Day 07 -- July 14, 2018 -- in Winnipeg, MB, Canada

    We woke up in Canada this morning. Cool. The weather was nice outside when we decided to head off for brunch at Denny's. On the way out of our hotel, we passed this sweet ride.

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    We've noticed that almost everywhere that you pay with a credit card here, they hand you a little terminal to finalize the transaction yourself. That seems to be much more sensible than the approach used in the USA, where you hand your credit card off to the staff and it goes on some type of "magical journey" through the restaurant for processing and then, hopefully, returns to you, leaving you wondering who might have all of your card details now. The approach used here is much more secure, IMHO. Here's what the terminal looks like. It even has a small thermal printer on the back, to print off a receipt to sign and a copy for you. Your card never leaves your sight. Well done, Canadian business people and bankers.

    [​IMG]

    Next on the agenda was some touring around Winnipeg. They have over 600 murals around town. Let's see a few of them. They're amazing! All of the murals featured below were along Sargent Ave or Wall St. in the "west end" side of Winnipeg.

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    Since it's "World Cup" week for soccer, I thought this one deserved a full panorama shot.

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    Evidently, there was a massive city-wide mural effort here some years ago. I found this online directory list of most of the murals in town. Maybe some other rider(s) can add to the AdvRider experience in the future, because I'm all mural'd out for today. They're beautiful, but I almost got run over a couple of times trying to get these shots.

    Here is the link to the Winnipeg mural directory:
    http://www.themuralsofwinnipeg.com/Mpages/index.php


    Anyway, all things considered, Winnipeg is an awesome town. We could spend weeks here exploring the whole city, but the open road calls. Thanks to some outstanding advice from fellow riders on this thread, we're going to head out east tomorrow to go through Kenora -- which we rode through back in 2013, during our trek from Ontario to Vancouver -- and then cut south through some scenic highways and byways. Thanks for the tips!

    Also, thanks for reading along. May you keep your bike shiny side up during all of your rides.
    #16
  17. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,093
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Fantastic! :clap
    #17
  18. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,780
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    You were here today? 34 degrees C and windy, like living in a blow dryer. Hardy southerners you are.

    The first pic - Casa Grande - great pizza.
    #18
  19. Sister1963

    Sister1963 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6
    "And the skies are not cloudy all day". Great trip, pics and narrative!!!
    #19
  20. DesertRider463

    DesertRider463 GonzoRider

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    MidSouth
    First off, thanks Sister1963, RedDogAlberta, and everyone else for your replies and comments. It's encouraging to get some feedback and appreciation for these ride reports. As anyone knows who has ever tried to do a ride report, they don't just happen automagically... Where's that dang "Easy Button" (thanks Staples) when you need it? LOL

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    Next, a special note of thanks to MacNoob for the awesome tip regarding highways 44 and 307 through Whiteshell Provincial Park. It was a great way to start our ride this morning and introduced us to some beautiful scenery!

    Also, a second special note of thanks to borderlinebob for the excellent recommendation regarding going south on Hwy #71. Wow! Some of the best views of the ride. It definitely should be on the ride plan for anyone whose schedule and routing allows.

    Seriously, both MacNoob and borderlinebob gave spot-on advice! Hopefully, I can do the scenery justice with my limited picture-taking skills and my phone's camera. Stand by for some evidence of an excellent ride in today's ride report, which I'm about to get started on right now.
    #20