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Old 11-06-2010, 05:12 AM   #1
bongr OP
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Location: West Michigan
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David's Weekend Adventure


No one knows what the weather in Michigan will be like late in October. We were hoping for sunshine and warm temperatures as my son and I discussed taking a weekend trip to the northern Lower Peninsula. David is a student at Western Michigan University and has been working hard both in his studies and at Bravo, a local Kalamazoo restaurant. HE was able to get a weekend off and had only ridden on short day trips. This was to be his first motorcycle adventure and would give us an opportunity to spend some time together. When asked where he wanted to go and what he wanted to see, he said that he didn't care, but wanted to ride some roads with a few curves. After doing our inspections of the bikes, we loaded them and prepared for the journey to start. We left Grand Rapids on the 30th, David riding a BMW R1200R while I rode my BMW R1200GS Adventure.

Our first stop was to fuel up in Walker, as we started to get under way.

We rode up Fruit Ridge Ave., north to Bailey Road. We then took Kenowa Ave. north to Grant, where we picked up M-37 and continued north to the town of Baldwin. The air temperature was brisk, at about 40 degrees, and the wind was gaining strength. We stopped at Government Lake Lodge for breakfast and warmed up our hands.

Since David's gloves weren't keeping his hands very warm and the heated grips didn't help enough, we stopped to pick up some winter gloves before continuing north.

With new "Hot Paws" on his hands, David lead the way west on 4 Mile Road, past Sauble, Loon and Bass Lakes, then up to Freesoil Road to connect with U.S. 31 and north through Manistee to M-22.

We had been fighting strong westerly winds for several hours as we rode through Frankfort and Empire, enjoying the sights and scenery of the Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore. By the time we arrived in Glen Arbor, we needed something warm, so we stopped by Cherry Republic's World Headquarters for coffee. It's amazing to see all of the products that they have created from the different varieties of cherrys.

After thawing out our hands, we headed to Northport, to the Grand Traverse Bay Lighthouse, at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.

After spending some time at the lighthouse, we decided to push on to Petoskey for the night. As we travelled south on M-22, it was nice to have the cover of the peninsula protect us from the wind. As we continued though Traverse City and headed north on U.S. 31, all of that windbreak was now gone. Wind gusts of from 25 to 30 mph buffeted us as we continued north through Elk Rapids and Charlevoix. There were times that the gusts felt as though the wind was trying to twist our helmets off our heads. We were looking forward to being out of the weather for the night. Hampton Inn had a room and we took it.

We headed to Villa's Restorante Italiano, just a block from our hotel for dinner. Our food was delicious and it was plated with artistry. We would recommend Villa's to others looking for a unique place to eat in Petoskey.

After a good night's rest, listening to the wind howl outside of our window, we woke to a crisp overcast morning. Temperatures hovered in the mid to upper 30's, but the wind had subsided.

After fueling up north of town, we headed up M-119 through Harbor Springs, Good Hart and Cross Village. M-119 is also known as the "Tunnel of Trees."

North of Harbor Springs, M-119 is a very narrow and twisty road that runs through a dense forest of trees and follows the shoreline up to Wilderness State Park. We ran into some light snow and rain mix as we meandered north along Lake Michigan.

We headed east on E. Gill Road and connected with the Mackinaw Highway at Lake Paradise before heading north to Mackinaw City. We stopped at the Mackinaw City Lighthouse for some quick photos before turning south.

At Kalkaska, we headed over to M-66 and continued south to Lake City. We stopped at the Lake City Hometown Cafe for lunch and some warm beverages.

Following lunch, we continued south on M-66. At the junction with M-55, we headed back west though Cadillac before turning south on M-37 and back home. We had travelled 624 miles on our journey and we accomplished our goals for the weekend: to spend some quality father/son time together, ride some curving, lake shore roads, enjoy the fall season in Michigan and have an adventure. We did what we had set out to do.

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Old 11-06-2010, 06:11 AM   #2
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I'm cold just reading this! Great trip. Thanks for sharing!!! Looking forward to joining up with you guys in the summer.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:25 AM   #3
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Looks like you guys had a great ride. It's nice to get some fall riding in befor the snow flies. Glad you had a good trip. Thanks for sharring.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:25 AM   #4
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Beautiful ride!! Thanks for the report and Fall pics
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Sarasota, Fl
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Nice Ride! Brrrrrr

I can't wait for a few Father & Son rides when mine gets old enough.
Luckily, he can't either.
Glad you both had a safe trip! Do it again soon.
"If you can't be handsome, be handy": Red Green

Current Bike: 2002 BMW R1150GS
Ghosts of motorcycles past: Super Tenere, KLR 650, DRZ-400, KTM 200EXC
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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nice RR. I love the Michigan ones. :)
2009 Kawasaki KLX250S
2005 Yamaha TW200 (Wife's bike)
2005 Yamaha FZ6
2009 Honda Ruckus
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