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Old 10-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
jkdwings OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 120
The Somewhere Between: Part 1 - Fly and Ride

I’m still trying to figure out how to begin this story, so I suppose I’ll just get into it. I think I’ll save the bulk of the background for a later time, and start off with saying that I wanted a bike. Not just any bike, but the bike. I know, I know, we’re all on the hunt, but I wasn’t in a rush to get it, so I waited for the right lady to introduce herself. Stepping back further, actually, I had decided I was getting a KLR, with the ultimate plan being South America starting September 2014. That is still the plan. There are many amazing machines out there that would be able to accomplish this goal, but for my reasons the KLR was the one.

After scouring Kijiji (local classifieds, similar to Craigs List) and various bike forums for a year or so, the fateful day came - the 21st of September, 2012. Over on the .NET classifieds I found her. Just outside Buffalo, NY, the girl I had to have was waiting for me. This is probably a good time to say that I’m not close to Buffalo – in fact, I’m not even from the States. I’m from a Canadian prairie city of a quarter million people called Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Buffalo was 1850 miles away. But I had to try. I immediately got in touch with John to test the waters and find out more. Well, the more I learned, the more I lusted after her.

I should also take this time to say that I was a 22 year-old mechanical engineering student, and would be in school for the next seven months or so. I asked John if he would be willing to take a deposit and hold the bike until the spring, however, due to a great probability of moving over the winter, he preferred her to find a new home soon. Balls. I mentioned this to my riding buddy who was, I’m sure, overly sick of hearing about my search, but when I said Buffalo he perked up. “I’ve got a cousin that lives around Buffalo with her husband. And they’re riders. They’d probably help you out”. Sweet.

Well, over the next couple months I worked with Rob and Brianna and the seller, John, to work out the logistics of making this happen. On December 1st, 2012, I got the email from Brianna I had been waiting impatiently for.

Hi Jason,

Bike is picked up and on its way. Everything and a little extra was included, John was very nice and upfront about everything. All of the paperwork went smoothly. Very cool bike.
I had sent money to my new-found friends and they went and purchased the bike from John for me. They graciously picked it up and stored it for me until I could make it out at the end of April after uni exams. It was all I could do to focus a bit of my attention on my upcoming exams, and then another whole semester while my girl was waiting for me. It didn’t help that Brianna sent me pictures and updates over the winter as they took care of her. Everyone, meet Mitzi:

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Old 10-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 120
Jumping a bit ahead now to the end of February, 2013 or so, I got my final exam schedule; last exam in April was on the 25th, so I booked a flight to Buffalo for the 26th. I couldn’t wait. I’m going to pull a bit from my journal entries now:

“Last Flight to Buffalo”
26 Apr 13

As usual, packing was put off in favour of having a few beverages with friends. I’d much rather have a gin and tonic than be in a good “remember to pack everything” mindset. Some call it stupid, some lazy; I call it adventure. I mean, where would I be if I remembered to bring my helmet or my boots? But so far on this trip I seem to have remembered everything. We’ll see if that continues over the next several days.
My flight was scheduled to leave Saskatoon at 0550 on the 26th, and as alluded to in the above journal entry, I went out for some drinks with friends the night before. I don’t think I’ve ever been smart and packed fully ahead of time for a trip; it works for me. My dad was nice enough to get up early and take me to the airport in the morning, almost missing my flight due to some last minute packing and a strangely long line to go through security. I ended up skipping ahead of a bunch of people when they called for me over the intercom. Yeah…I was that guy.

Being a student and a fan of minimalist travel, I had booked the cheapest available flight. The route was to depart Saskatoon at 0550, Toronto, Detroit, then land in Buffalo at 1647. I had to go through customs in Toronto, and can’t say I enjoyed my time on the American side of Pearson. I liked Detroit, though!

Detroit is huge, and the people seem real nice. Although I will say, Café Americano tastes better on non-American soil. Don’t ask me why, it just does.
I grabbed a bite to eat at a Wendy’s in the airport and I’ve got to say, I was disgusted by the size of soft drinks. I got a combo with my meal and the drink they gave me, a size medium, was easily the size of an XL back home. Sick.

Rob was kind enough to pick me up at the airport in Buffalo and drive me back to their place just outside of the town of Boston, NY. Of course we didn’t go straight to their house, but met Brianna and her folks at a local bar called Mamosser’s for beers and wings. Oh, those wings. I still dream of them occasionally.

After some suds and good conversation, we retired to their place just outside of town. They have two amazing dogs, Copper and Rossi, and an absolutely beautiful property. Hung outside for a while flying RC planes, playing with the dogs, and just enjoying the gorgeous night. Just behind their house there is a down-slope heading to a pond and then forest to the right.

This is Rossi! Young pooch with lots of energy.

And this is Copper. A bit older and more patient than Rossi.

After 7 months of anticipation, it was finally time to meet my girl; I was giddy with excitement when Rob led me to the garage. A soft caress of her 6.6 gallon IMS tank, and there was an instant connection. I knew we would get along. As much as I wanted to go for a ride RIGHT NOW, I figured I’d wait till the next morning. Fired her up, listened to her purr, and said good night.

Just before I went to sleep, I snapped this quick selfie. Yeah, I was a bit excited to be here…and looking a bit homeless.

I like when people include costs in ride reports, so I’ll throw in what I can. I kept a decent record of my daily expenses, so we’ll start with today.

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Old 10-15-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
jkdwings OP
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 120
This trip was a fair amount of time in the works for me, so you might think I had a plan as to a route home. Not the case. The only plan I had was to take between one and two weeks to get from Buffalo back home to Saskatoon, and to avoid interstates in favour of back roads, gravel, dirt, and trails as much as possible. 1850 miles was the quickest route home, but I did not intend to take it. I was hoping to turn it into more like three or four thousand miles.

I got into Buffalo on Friday, April 26th, and was planning to begin the journey home on Monday the 29th. Although the bike was in phenomenal shape and ready to go, I wanted to tear her apart a bit, change the fluids, and just have a general go-through. One day would have been fine for this, however, the DMV wouldn’t be open till Monday morning to get a temporary transit permit.

I spent a great two days hanging at Rob and Brianna’s, using their garage and stereo to get to know Mitzi (should be noted that she wasn’t named as of yet). Against Me! was my go to garage music for the weekend.

I had a bunch of extra parts for the bike that I just wasn’t going to be able to take home reasonably, and ended up giving them to a local KLR rider I got in touch with on .NET. Can’t remember exactly what I gave him, but it included the stock tank, bars, some extra Bark Busters, oil filters, and…well, not sure. I was happy to give them to someone who would use them for no cost; however, Ken tossed a few bucks my way for gas! Riders are great!

From my journal:

27 Apr 13

Rob and Brianna are such awesome people who have opened their home to me. I hope to some day be able to repay them; until then I’ll try to pay if forward as best I can. This was a day of motorcycle maintenance, good tunes, and relaxation. It was really nice to be able to relax for the evening without much responsibility. I imagine the next couple weeks of nights will be similar – sitting by a fire under the starlight, perhaps overlooking a small lake. Tranquility. I’m trying to figure out what my goals are for this trip. I’m really excited about the freedom, for sure, but what do I want to accomplish? Sleep for now, accomplishments later, I suppose.
Didn’t take much for pictures this weekend, just a couple of the bike (almost) ready to go:

And yeah, I managed to get the bike a bit dirty already. There were some quad trails on their land that I had to go play on.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
jkdwings OP
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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28 Apr 13
In a short few hours the real journey begins. I’m hoping things get off to a smooth start, however I do expect things to go awry at some point along the way. I suppose it could happen tomorrow, but I feel it won’t. I feel good. Rain tomorrow? No worries, I’ve got gear for it. Offbeat, upbeat, with the beat I shall go. Follow the rhythm of the road. Up and down, sun shining, road twisting, love is in the air.

Well, we’ll see, I suppose. I wonder where I’ll sleep tomorrow night? I really haven’t thought ahead at all. Maybe my thoughts on this will change after a few days, but I think I’m going to really enjoy the uncertainty. Overall this is really going to be a test of my taste for, and I hate the term, adventure motorcycling. Well, I hate* what some people relate to the term, anyway. To the more minimalist types though, I suppose they think the same about me.

Ice cream today was delicious. I want to be pretty frugal on this trip, but I may have to stop at some small town joints along the way to try the local favourites.

Last sleep in a bed for a while? I expect so.
*Reading this journal entry now, roughly 6 months later, I really don’t like or agree with what past me said. Firstly, I’m sad that I used the word “hate”. Regarding “Adventure Motorcycling” I was referring to large, heavy, overly loaded bikes that I thought were too luxurious and had little-to-no offroad abilities. Reading this now, I see that I was being an ignorant twat. In my mind, there was a definition of what Adventure riding was, but I now realize that was just my definition, and what I wanted it to be. Whether you’re on a CT70, a WR250, a KLR650, a 1200GS, or a GL1800, it makes no difference. If you’re out exploring new lands at the mercy of the elements, you’re doing it right. Set your goals, and ride the bike that best suits what you want. No one else matters.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
C-Stain is wise.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #6
jkdwings OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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29 Apr 13

The NY DMV can lick my hairy balls.
Rob and Brianna left for work early in the morning, so I had said my goodbyes and thanks the night before. They graciously left me a car that I could use to get to the DMV in the morning, so I took off early enough to arrive shortly after they would open. Things seemed to be going well, and the gentleman I was dealing with was nice enough, until we hit a SNAFU.

I can’t say I was expecting it to go smoothly, but I was cautiously optimistic. Apparently the insurance I had purchased back home wouldn’t work for the temporary transit permit I needed for my bike. The insurance I had, which was all I could get from my insurance broker, was for me as a driver for a week; vehicle didn’t matter, it was for me as a driver of any vehicle. According to the DMV, that meant I wasn’t covered? Silly. I contacted my broker back home, but they don’t offer temporary insurance for a specific vehicle; driver insurance is all they have for temporary use.

Well, off to some local brokers to see what they could do for me. I met a really nice lady at an Allstate Insurance and she was determined to help me get home. She must have spent an hour or so trying to get me covered, however her computer system kept declining it at various stages due to no local address and then no NY driver’s license. After nothing would work from her end, she called my broker back home. Funny how they would listen to her explain my situation and needs, but wouldn’t hear a word I said when I called. I owe a good amount to that lovely broker, as she gave me a lot of time for no benefit to her business. About a month later when I was home, I sent her flowers saying thanks from the bike rider she helped get home. I hope it brightened her Monday.

Insurance was now sorted so I made my way back to the house to finish packing and leave. I had hoped to be on the road by noon today, but it ended up being 1540 before I got out. As I was just about to leave Rob and Brianna pulled into the drive, so I got to see them one last time, which was nice. A quick goodbye and I was on my way.

My general route was to head west from here and hug Lake Erie for a while, but I figured I should go see Niagara Falls while I’m this close to it. Rather than finding a route to the falls, I figured if I just made my way in that direction I couldn’t possibly miss them. Right? Well, after hugging the river moving in a northern direction I found myself north of the city and up near Niagara on the Lake. What the heck? Oh well. It was getting pretty dark now so I figured I should find camp for the night. Wait, my sunnies are still on. In the tank bag they go and I realize I’ve still got a couple hours of daylight left. Rather than try to make my way back through Buffalo and find a site to the west, I elected to stay at the Fourmile Campground that I stumbled upon.

The office was closed and there were many open spots, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Made a quick run to a small town close by to find some food and ended up coming back with some spinach and feta chicken, croissants, and beer. While at the grocery I also met a cool gentleman checking out my bike. We chatted for a while about bikes and the Appalachian Trail, which he had hiked a few years previous. Back at the campground I set up camp as far from all the RVs as possible, which conveniently put me right by the lake, cooked my chicken on my little alcohol stove, and enjoyed the beers by the fire.

Did I cook this chicken enough? Whatever, just wash it down with malt liquor like a champ. I got to the site after the office was closed, and plan to leave before they open. This first one will be a trial run to see how it goes. If well, then I imagine I’ll do it every night, and pay as little for accommodations as possible. The early morning can then be spent sitting in a coffee shop for a buck fifty rather than in my tent for $19.

So far everything is good. Even the DMV bullshit from this morning disappeared as soon as the wind struck my face. Awesome.
Groceries & Beer…...17.12

PS. Following days should start to have more photos :)
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
jkdwings OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 120
I managed to wake as early as I had planned this morning, packed up, and was out of the campground by 0700, beating the office by an hour. Riding was absolutely gorgeous this morning; I took the scenic Niagara Historic Route all the way south heading towards the falls. No way I was going to miss them this time, haha. I ended up stopping in a parking lot along the river so I could stretch the legs with a quick hike. I went down a steep, winding trail consisting of many stairs and switchbacks to get down to the water.

On the hike back up I found a nice ledge to hang on for a while.

After that nice unwind, I continued making my way towards the falls. Unlike yesterday, I managed to find them, haha. Still not sure how I missed them before. I rode around a bit looking for somewhere to park hoping to avoid the $10 fees for most lots; it was a bit futile, so I said fuck it and pulled into one. I chatted with the cute attendant for a bit and she gave me a wink as she gave me the go ahead without paying. It’s amazing how people offer help when you approach life with a smile on your face.

With the bike parked and myself stripped down a bit, I grabbed my camera and made my way down the path towards the falls. This little guy seemed pretty comfortable with me getting close.

People. So many people checking out the falls. I tried to find a quiet place to sit and soak it in for a bit, but was largely unsuccessful. I grabbed some pictures – none of which I’m very happy with – and didn’t kick around too long. This was my first time seeing Niagara, and I only checked them out from the American side, so I didn’t get much of a view of the Horseshoe Falls.

Just upstream of the falls you can really see how much water is moving. The volume is hard to comprehend, really.

I won’t say I was disappointed by the falls, because that’s just not true, but I will say that I wasn’t blown away at all. I suppose I’ve been spoiled in the past through my years of hiking and seen many amazing, significantly less crowded volumes of water dumping over a cliff. I’m definitely glad I got to see this wonder, and look forward to seeing the Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side in the near future.

After departing the falls I made my way to a McD’s to grab some coffee, breakfast, and much needed Wifi. I say much needed because I still had to sort out my border crossing. I was also able to plug in my phone, which was necessary as I didn’t have an outlet on my bike at all. Like I mentioned earlier, the whole plan for this trip was to not have much of a plan, however I needed to decide on a border crossing as papers had to be sent to them at least 72 hours in advance for export and import. Without going into too much detail, I chose the Portal crossing from North Dakota into Saskatchewan, gave them a call to confirm what they needed, and then faxed them my paperwork from a shop down the road.

Done! Nothing to worry about now except making it back, and possibly insurance; but that won’t come for a bit now, it’s just enjoying the days.
It was now finally time to leave Buffalo. I had an awesome time riding along the shore of Lake Erie; it almost felt like the coast, the water was so big.

I was starting to think about finding a camp for the night when off the side of the highway I spotted a little dirt trail into the trees towards the lake. I figured what the hell, I’ll ride down it and see what happens. It took me right to the shore and an old, overgrown, concrete bridge not connected to anything. Weird. But it looked like a perfect place to camp for the night, so I rode back up the trail and into the next town for some grocery. The town of Ashtabula was just a few miles west. Wait, I’m in Ohio? I didn’t even realize I had passed through Pennsylvania and into Ohio today. Cool.

Stocked up on some beer and eggs if I recall, and headed back to the trail east of town and set up camp. As I was trying to park my bike on the narrow trail without it sinking in and falling over, a couple gents came down the trail to catch minnows in the little still water behind my bridge. I said hi, but they kept mostly to themselves. Once they left I started a small fire on the beach and enjoyed my beers while writing in my journal. Oh, I snapped a few pictures of the sunset too. It was rather beautiful.

And one with the bike just because.

In my journal entries I made some brief notes on people I met along the way, roads that I enjoyed, and towns that struck me the right way. These notes are more for my memory than anything.

-Edwin in McD’s parking lot on a Goldwing
-Inspired kid at Subway

Highway 20/5 along shore of Erie, 35-55mph

Ashtabula, OH – Sweet shipping town, draw bridge, old feeling

Fax Service………………7.00
Groceries & Beer…...12.25

jkdwings screwed with this post 01-18-2014 at 01:17 PM Reason: Math sucked...
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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This feels like it’s been a long day. I think it’s the heat. Had a nice leisurely morning at my camp down the trail, with a breakfast of eggs, croissant, and cheese.
I took some pictures of last night’s camp this morning as the light was much better for it. Here is the old bridge that I spoke of; I figured it was a good place to set my tent with a view over the lake.

Five feet lower was the shore which was covered in shells and many a dead fish. This place had a very unique smell to it.

And here is the trail on which I rode down and parked my bike on.

And it appears I wanted a self-portrait with breakfast this morning, so I’ll throw that in here as well.

After enjoying the early part of this beautiful day on the lake, I made my way back up the trail to continue the journey west. I rode through Ashtabula again and decided that I would head south for a while and see where I end up. I think I was mostly on 60mph roads, however, my memory and journal entry is a bit foggy here.

I ended up in a place called Ravenna, OH around noon thirty, and made a McD’s my recharge stop for a while. I found the frequency of my McDonald’s stops a bit unnerving on this journey. Back home the only time I even think about going there is on a drunken stumble home from the bar. I haven’t enjoyed any of their burgers for a long time, but don’t mind the chicken usually. Well, lucky me, they had a special on the new Spicy McChicken. I think it was two of them, fries, and a drink for 4 bucks. I also don’t drink much pop, but they had blue Powerade in the fountain machine! Half Powerade, half water was just about perfect for me. A few of those, maybe a coffee, wifi, and power. I’d say it’s pretty safe to assume that anytime I mention stopping at McD’s, this is what I had.

So now that I was a few days into the trip I figured I should decide roughly which way I was going to go. I thought about heading further west to visit my aunt and uncle in Iowa, which is why I broke away from Lake Erie this morning in the first place. I decided to talk with the folks who would know this part of the country best, so I posted this thread over in the Central forum asking for recommendations.

I ended up deciding I would go up through Michigan, into Wisconsin, across Minnesota, North Dakota, and across the border into Saskatchewan. Well, that’s the rough plan anyway, we’ll see what actually happens.

So, from my comfortable little booth at the McD’s in Ravenna, I bumped down to the 76 to cover some miles westward. It was a gorgeous day, had tunes cranking, and actually enjoyed a bit of interstate travel.

It gets a little fuzzy from here in terms of the path I took, however, I do recall some details that give me some points. I got off the interstates at some point to head north on secondary highways. Cruising lovely back roads at 60mph, this was nice. I stopped in a small town when I saw a road side ice cream shop. Looking through their menu painted on the side, I couldn’t say no to a peanut butter and jam flavoured malt. Laying down in some shade, I enjoyed the treat while scribbling down that morning’s happenings.

Next I did something I’ve never done before. I had seen countless riders not wearing helmets, and although I think it’s absolutely foolish, I had to see what it was like. Figured if I was going to lose the lid, I may as well lose the other gear too. Shorts, a tee, and the breeze in my face, I continued north, all the while sipping my malt through a straw. What a feeling. As much as I enjoyed it, I just couldn’t shake the thoughts in the back of my head: “What if a car turns in front of me?”; “What if a deer runs out?”, and so on. I finished the malt, then pulled over and geared back up.

Seeing some signs for the Seneca Caverns, I thought it’d be cool to stop and see. It was only a 5 mile detour, or so, so I went. Bummer, they weren’t open for the season yet. I met an interesting mechanical engineer that was doing some work there, though, so not a loss at all. His name was Steve and he worked for a company developing copper-beryllium components. Very cool.

Still heading north to get back up to the lake, I couldn’t resist popping down a quad trail into what turned out to be an old quarry. Rode that loaded KLR hard through the trails, water, mud, and jumping sharp rock steps all over. It would have been a perfect place to set up camp for the night had it not been early in the day still. I think this place was close to Bellevue.

North I continued until I got into Sandusky, where I cruised around for a bit. I made my way out to the Cedar Point amusement park on the peninsula there but there wasn’t much going on and the entrance attendant wouldn’t let me take a short ride through to check it out. Oh well, start heading west again, I suppose.

The sun was starting to get low, so I cruised Highway 2, which matched the shore, looking for a place to camp. I detoured down many side roads looking for a place to set up, but it was a lot of acreages out there. I eventually turned into a campground and was going to head in, but it was nothing but RVs everywhere and no trees. Lame. Just a mile back, however, I found a quad trail going between rows of trees and water, and hunkered down for the night.

The trail I came down:

Camp mostly set up:

And the sunset:

Ended up down a quad trail between canals adjacent to a campground. No better place to stealth camp than right under their noses. Made some tea, had a beer, and enjoying the night. I’ll be out of here bright and early tomorrow. That’s the key to stealth camping – arrive late, leave early, and leave no trace.
- Steve the mechanical engineer

- Old quarry trails by Bellevue. Coupe miles west of HWY 4, just north-east of caverns

Fuel and Air….……....12.82
American Spirit……….10.00
PB+J Malt…………..….…4.10
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Lookin like you had a pretty fine shake down ride.
all around good guy
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
jkdwings OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 120
Every rustle
Death, you have cometh for me
Paranoid, am I
Oh, where to begin – it’s been a good long day Got up bright and early again to get off whoever’s land I was occupying and move along to Toledo, as it was close by. Was particularly tired this morn, so I was really looking forward to a coffee and a rest, however, along the way I stumbled upon Maumee Bay State Park and went for a looksie.
I rode around in the park a bit and found a small trailhead lot, so I pulled in and stripped my gear. I ended up hiking the 2 mile boardwalk trail through the bog/marshland. It was a bit of a wildlife refuge, and I saw lots of deer, birds, and some other little critters.

Thanks to the Ohio Civilian Conservation Corps for the great hike!

By the time I got back to my bike it was 0830. What a refreshing, productive morning!

I decided to take this opportunity to wash up a bit, so I wandered over to the main building. It was much too fancy of a place for the likes of me, and I got some pretty judgemental looks while I was washing in the bathroom sink. Tossed those looks in the trash with the crumpled up paper towel. Clean pits, clean teeth, I was feeling great and ready to take on the world!

I bumped the 10 miles or so over to Toledo to look for - you guessed it - a McD’s.

Didn’t like Toledo. Nothing about it moved me other than an absolutely massive concrete bridge, which I [regretfully] didn’t even bother grabbing my camera for. Couldn’t find a McD’s to save my life and was getting close to the edge of town when I [finally] saw one. Some breckie, coffee, and wifis later, I decided I was going north through Michigan and into the north-east corner of Wisconsin. I’m told there are gravel roads in Michigan!
I left Toledo on a roughly north-west heading with the goal of riding to Muskegon, MI. I managed to ride mostly gravel this afternoon which was a really nice change of pace. I don’t think anything too notable happened; it was just a really enjoyable day. I did come across some construction at one point that cars were backed up for. I was able to just bust down into the ditch and detour around it, which was awesome. I wonder how long they were stuck there for.

Under the advisement of some folks in the Central forum thread I had posted, I planned on riding the ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee. The following day was to be the first day of operation for the season, and bikes ride free! I figured I’d get to Muskegon this evening and find a place to stay close to the ferry terminal. Well, I got there and it looked like they were booked completely full for the first couple days. Damn, that would have been a cool trip across Lake Michigan.

With that thrown in, I had to make a new plan. All the way north through Michigan it is, and I’ll cross the Mackinac bridge to the Upper Peninsula. It looked like I had only 2 hours until it would be completely dark, so I started north to cover a bit more ground. After riding for an hour or so, I turned off the interstate towards the lake to find somewhere to set up for the night.

The light was now rather dim and I hadn’t had any luck finding a place to pitch so far. I kept trying different gravel roads hoping to find somewhere without a house right by. Eventually I ended up down a gravel road in some pretty dense forest. The houses ended, the road turned to sand, and it was getting tough to see much in my headlight now. The forest all around me would be a perfect place, except for the signs every 20 feet saying “No Wheeled Vehicles, Hunting Boundary Open”. Well, it was too late to go anywhere else so I rode a fair ways off the road to try to hide my red pig of a bike and set up a minimal camp.

See my bike hidden under some branches?

I crawled into my bright yellow tent just before it started pouring (which I wasn’t expecting) and hunkered down to do some writing. I’m not sure what it was this day, but my mind was all over the place and I was unusually paranoid about where I was. I think after 4 days on the road by myself I was starting to get a bit lonely. All day I’m in my helmet with nothing but my own thoughts, and the only human interaction I had was the odd brief chat with someone at McD’s or a gas bar. It seemed to be getting to me a bit, which is something I haven’t experienced much before. I have done a bunch of solo hiking in the past, but this night felt different.

Not sure what it is, but I seem to be a bit more paranoid that usual about this camping while knowingly breaking the law. I just have this strange feeling that I’ll wake up to a tree falling on me (real windy), a bear eating me, or being shot. Or not waking up, just ceasing to exist. The one can of beer I still had didn’t take the edge completely.
This is where the haiku at the beginning of this post came in. It was scribbled in my little notepad journal. And no, I’m not much of a writer or poet, but I feel it’s part of the story, so I’m including it.

McD’s (x2)…...…….…11.00
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #11
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Location: Montreal
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In, looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
So it goes...
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Location: Amongst the has beens & the addicts (Verona, WI)
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Originally Posted by hitgwin View Post
In, looking forward to the next installment.
Me too!

We rode the UP earlier this year and had a great time. Looking forward to hearing what it was like for you, as well as the rest of your adventure.
2010 BMW F800GS (For Sale) & 2008 Yamaha WR250R
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list."
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:20 AM   #13
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Location: Sandia Mountains New Mexico
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As a 12 year old (ish) kid, I visited my sister in the summers in Sandusky. Cedar Point was fun, riding a bicycle all over Sandusky was liberating for me.

Great report, 'boo-ray' camping.

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Old 12-05-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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Location: Lone Pine Ontario (or travelling)
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First KLR and you got it figured out. Camping free, eating cheap on the road and cruising the backroads. It's not everyone's style, but then neither is a KLR ......
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #15
jkdwings OP
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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Originally Posted by InTheMuck View Post
Me too!

We rode the UP earlier this year and had a great time. Looking forward to hearing what it was like for you, as well as the rest of your adventure.
I'll get to it in the next installment, but I'll say it was great riding and camping in the UP. Beautiful scenery and curvy roads.
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