|08-17-2009, 11:30 PM||#1|
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Pretty new here as an inmate, although I've been lurking/reading for probably five years or so. Nonetheless, this is my first ride report on ADV and its perhaps a little overdue (sorry Klay!) but I've been spending more time riding than on the computer, or anything else for that matter.
Anyway, I guess it all started around Christmas 2008, when I was back in British Columbia visiting the family. The whole time, I couldn't stop wondering what I was doing living 4500 km from here, working a job that was only moderately entertaining, riding in a place where the only curves where on the...well not on the roads anyway.
A scheme was hatched whereby I would work pretty much every day until the middle of June, by which time my calculations suggested I'd be able to take the rest of the summer off and ride from Kitchener, ON to Vancouver Island, BC.
Fast forward to June 12:
So, the (still shiny) DR was packed, and a basic course was charted. It seems a lot of my friends live north of 54 so the trip was going to span a bit of latitude, not the most direct route possible, perfect.
After one last visit to my Starbucks in Waterloo, it was destination US border at Sarnia/Port Huron. Driving over the bridge to the border was pretty exhilarating, really felt like the trip was starting. Coming off the bridge into the line-up at the border crossing was perhaps less exhilarating. It would more accurately be described as hot and long; unlike me.
The DHS officer at the border was very friendly, and mostly curious about my trip and the bike. A few minutes of chatting and I was through. The plan was to stay on I94 until I was just past Detroit, and then get onto US12. The first turn I made was of course a wrong turn, but after a few minutes I was on I94, heading in the right direction even. The highlight on the interstate was obviously the sign for Romulus, which I unfortunately didn't get a picture of. The lowlight was stopping for bad coffee at McDonalds and then passing a Starbucks sign at the next exit. Eff.
Onto US12. Why is there so much traffic? Nobody coming the other way... Is it rush hour? Is it the Exodus? Oh, Michigan Speedway is up ahead. Nascar? Yep. Nascar. Thats fine, I got by the speedway and the highway was mine heading west and what a highway it was. Beautiful scenery, and passing through so many fantastic little towns along the way, each like a little trip through history. Small towns in Canada...aren't quite like this somehow. Anyway enough romanticizing, I didn't manage to capture the feeling in pictures so I guess it wasn't real.
Crossing into Indiana, I was close to the end of my first day on the road.
Now, the directions Mark (R.Markus) gave me seemed pretty clear. On paper. Hmm. In retrospect, I was kind of drunk when I copied them down, and I was being distracted by a pretty girl. Obviously Mark gave me creative directions as some sort of ADVRider test, couldn't have been my fault.
"Huh, I heard a thumper go by a while ago, figured it was you but it must have been someone else."
"Uh...yeah...must have been..."
So we rolled the DR into the garage, nestled in with the Uly and the orange erotica, and head inside to play with the dogs until Mark's wife Tina came home. For dinner we headed down to the Tree House Cafe, which is a really neat little place near Michigan City with a bunch of outdoor tables. We all ordered the italian beef. Apparently Mark is a picky eater, no cheese on his. Tina and I made fun of him for a bit. We sat around chatting about riding, my plans for the rest of the trip, stuff. After dinner we headed down to the waterfront to go for a bit of walk, observed some amusing locals, but it was kind of chilly by this point, even for this Canadian and about time for bed so we headed back and called it a night.
Now I could go on and on really, but Mark and Tina were just so incredibly nice, and made me feel so welcome. I'll never forget you guys and I wish I could have stayed longer just to hang out. Onward as it was though, so after delicious breakfast of pancakes/eggs , and some amusing sausages we parted company.
To be continued...
Across the country on the kindness of strangers and the strangeness of friends (and a DR650).
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Garak screwed with this post 04-06-2010 at 07:37 PM
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