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Old 02-06-2015, 08:20 AM   #1
Maky OP
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Back on 2 Wheels

Not quite sure where to start being the FNG on ADV. Been reading these entertaining RR for several years and figured it was time jump in with both feet.

Started riding 40 some years ago, mostly for cheap transportation. Actually it was one of those silly motor-up-front Solexes. (Don’t laugh too hard) It opened up a world where hitch-hiking and being picked up by queers was a thing of the past.
It wasn’t fast, although removing the muffler seemed to help some.

Trips to some not so local lakes to drown some worms was a possibility without having Dad drive me. Then a friend Chuck Saltsman also bought one. We must have logged thousands of miles on those things.

Fast forward to like 1980…

Another buddy (Mensch) asked me to go up to a local motorcycle shop to look at some used bikes. Well his credit sucked, but I ended up buying one. Didn’t see that one coming!

So here it is, a 1976 XS 500. Wish I still had pictures of it. That’s when the traveling really started. I still remember a trip for opening day of trout season. The opener here in Michigan falls on the last Saturday of April. Not bad down here in the Detroit area, but the ride 3 hours North in the wee hours was VERY cold, not to mention all the deer I dodged.

Had plenty of close ones on that bike, but never crashed. Probably should have been dead a few times.

Well one Easter Sunday it came up missing. Some ass clown stole the thing out of the Apartment parking lot. Actually I felt relieved when I cashed the insurance check.

The next 30 years were spent boating the Great Lakes, bought a cottage, chasin’ chicks, ect.

Got married, quit chasin’ tail, sold the cottage (I swear after a few years it was using me) and went out and got a bigger boat. That worked until fuel hit 3 bucks a gallon. At best the burn rate was 17 gallons an hour… Sold it for a song, but was glad to get that anchor from around my neck.

Alright, what’s all that have to do with ADV? Nothing really, just a turn of events that brought me here in the first place.

So in December of 2012 I had this brilliant idea of getting some kind of commuter scooter. My wife thought I was nuts! Went to our local Honda dealer and ended up with a PCX 150. I nice shiny red one.

Honestly, in retrospect I looked like one of those circus bears on a mini bike, especially when we rode 2-up…lol

We generally spend the Holidays in the Keys and little Red came along.

Sure felt good to be back on 2 wheels, even at a diminished capacity. OK, it did 70 with a tailwind, got a 100 mpg’s for a cheap date, but I could see out-growing Red rapidly.

The next morning I set out to do the 80 miles to Key West thing. I think the 7 Mile Bridge with that cross wind made me age about 5 years. The entire trip made me realize that I’d have to go back the same way! Yipes!!

Once down there Red felt at home, especially with all the designated “Scooter Only” parking.

Many things changed since riding back in the 80’s. I learned to appreciate the small things in life and always try to capture moments on film (Jpegs now days). There are things that are very vivid on a bike and totally missed in a cage.

I won’t bore you with a bunch of Key West photos, we’ve all been there!

Early March that year we had a few nice days. The salt was washed from the roads and one could actually feel the warmth of the sun. I looked at Red and I thought he looked back, much like Punxsutawney Phil only to be dragged out to see his shadow.

There’s a little Island (Harsen’s) in the middle of the St. Clair River just about 40 miles North of us. It requires a short Ferry ride and really is quite scenic that time of year. Most of the homes are only used during the Summer months.

I think Red liked it more than I did. It took me 2 days to thaw out.

Red went back in the Barn for hibernation purposes, only to be rudely awoken for a trip to the Mountains. He seemed ready and excited. Mountains? What’s that?

Guess what? Mountains at Easter!

I was really surprised to see how he climbed those hills. (Even 2-up). The higher elevations still had snow, but had to be conquered!

The valleys not so much and even showed hopes of Spring.

Then there’s that ONE encounter that really changes the way you travel. Here I’m riding (minding my own business) and I come across this Whiskey Buggy.
Did a 180 and stop to take a picture.

Here comes this guy wondering what circus I escaped from. None other than Michael Copas, the wood carver.

Man did we hit it off! He showed me all of his current work. Truly beyond artist!

Not sure how long I stayed shooting the breeze, but I was late for dinner. Now that showed me the true meaning of human decency. Open up to a complete stranger and become part of his life, even if just for an hour or 2.

That has duplicated itself countless times over the next 2 years of riding.

I spent the rest of the Summer with Red. We did go back to the Mountains one more time. 2-up became more numerous after my wife started to enjoy it more. He never did the Gap, but enjoyed the area.

That Fall I spent the weekend at our Summer Camp on Lake Erie. Might have had a few drinks (ok more than a few) and did some web surfing for a new bike.

Sure enough, there’s an 03 ST1300 right down the road. Lucky, I guess. And I mean right down the road! Spent all day Sunday reading reviews…

Couldn’t wait until Monday morning when they opened. Went to see it and pulled the trigger after a short credit app and a call to USAA.

That’s when it got a little hairy. My wife called and said that she just received an Email from USAA and some clown added another Honda to our policy. I had to confess that I was that Clown. Too late now, it followed me home

Red was sad (me too kinda), but we both knew that I had to move on. He just wasn’t designed for the kind of travel I had in my future. I promised to find him a good home in the Spring. He often looked at his big brother, especially the day Silver Bullet was loaded on the trailer for the Keys that Xmas. He knew where we were going without him.

Maky screwed with this post 02-08-2015 at 03:47 AM
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:25 AM   #2
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Back on 2 wheels

The Keys were a little different this time around. Silver Bullet asked for a diet of much more pavement than Red did. Who am I to argue?

Some year-end banking needed to done to satisfy my accountant. The closest Chase Branch was back on the Mainland. Got up before the sun and rode North.

Somehow decorating boats for the season does provide a certain ambiance.

Ended up at the bank way too early. Bullet says go West. It’s been years since I took Alligator Alley. Why Not! The route to the Alley it took me through many plantations, mostly the ornamental type and the sweet smell of blooming something made the flat ride something special.

Once on the Alley I noticed the speed of all the cars. I’m doing 60 and cages are flying by at 90+mph. Must not be any type of law enforcement on this part of it. Kept thinking Tribal Police much like the ones up by Lees Ferry, that would write their mother for 3 over.

Nope, let’s go! 85, 90, 95…. still glued to the pavement…. 100 and some and I chickened-out. What if one of those armadillos runs out, or even a panther? Did see a sign about that a few miles back. What power and seamless. A beast!

Oh wait, there’s that Post Office everyone posts about. I guess they send you there if you fuck up your urban route. Sort of like the Germans would send guys to the Russian Front.

Must be quite the existence working in there for 9 hours a day. And here we bitch about our jobs…

End of a road with the Everglades beyond.

There used to be some kind of Store there selling trinkets, but boarded up.

Next stop Chokoloskee

Pretty cool little Harbor town. It did have the smell of freshly printed 100’s.

Continued West and turned around just before Marco Island. Man, that thing eats miles.

Sure did warm up nice.

Almost forgot. The Bank!

Hit that and got all bungled up in the traffic on the Overseas Highway back to Islamorada.

Yup, late again! The whole family was worried. OMG, what if he got hit or eaten by a crocodile.

Funny how little errands turn into day trips.

The rest of the trip was spent eating more seafood than a killer whale and little side trips up and down. Sure beat the weather back home!

Took my wife down to KW one day and she just freaked at 7 Mile. Maybe she's scared of heights, but I assured her that Silver is up for the task.

Maybe I should have got her all liquored-up at the Sunset Grill

Like all good things.... Back to the frozen Tundra

And that it was. The Winter from Hell! Fucking snowed every other day and cold enough to make penguins hibernate.

I had an interesting turn of events at work when my partner in crime decided to quit back in October. He was becoming increasingly complacent anyway and frankly I was tired of asking him to push product and services.

I took the bull by the horns and came out of (semi) retirement. 20 hours a week turned back into 50 I was a One Man Band.

Man, the money was nice. Increased sales and saved about 30K in expenses. With this new-found injection it was decided to start doing mid-winter vacations to break up the monotony.

Had a discussion with my buddy, who had just bought a Road King and things just started to fall in place.

I load up both bikes and drive down with my wife, spend a week at St Pete's Beach, take her to the Airport and get him 15 minutes later for another week of riding.

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Old 02-09-2015, 05:48 AM   #3
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Please allow me to apologize for the fumbled double posts. I tried to edit the first one, lost it and post 2 turned into 1 and reposted when the management reinstated me.

The lesson, don't edit your first post!!!!!

March couldn’t come soon enough!

Must have plowed 5 days a week and ran out of room to put the stuff. Even my little hound went ape shit. We try to get out running rabbits at least once a week. Not last year. All of my haunts had 20” or more and drifts that would swallow a mule.

Departure Day!

As soon as we crossed into Kentucky the climate improved. A friend of mine who lives near Somerset always wondered why anyone lives North of Cincinnati. I think he was on to something.

Arrived at St Pete’s Beach only to realize Spring Break was in full swing.

Oh Boy, my eyes still have scars

Riding in those parts is much like the Keys, with the exception of the little towns and their unique personalities.

Early mornings were the key. Anything from noon on spelled congestion.

Anna Maria Island was nice with a huge beach. From what I gathered a good portion was reclaimed with sand suckers from the Gulf. It was a 13 million dollar Federal project.

One morning while heading toward Tarpon Springs I had my first close one. It’s early and this cat was doing the weave. 4 lanes of traffic and he had 2 1/2 of them. Sure enough he side-swipes a pick up with 2 bikes on a trailer. Shit flying all over the place and raining down on me.

Needless to say I was detained as a primary witness. According to the driver something rolled under his pedals and he tried to get it out. Smack!!!!
Come to find out the vehicle/trailer he hit was owned by a few guys less than 100 miles from my house. They were on their way to Daytona. Thankfully the bikes were undamaged. The running board ripped the wheel from the drive.

Spent the rest of the morning (what was left of it) just cruising Clearwater.

We had a cold front move in and “beaching-it” not in the cards. Told my wife to bundle up for a lunch ride up the coast.

Finally Tarpon Springs.

I just love that place. I’ve always enjoyed fishing the Anclote Keys and the Greek influence.

Here’s my biggest catch

Sponge Boats

I usually try to feast on seafood in and near the Ports, but in Tarpon Springs eat Greek!

And more Beach time

My wife’s time had drawn to a close. Time to hit Orlando for her return and send me money!
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:22 AM   #4
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Pat’s flight was right on time and we had reservations up in Titusville. The entire area was geared toward Bike Week. I was really surprised how many Europeans come to the Event.

We didn’t want to spend too much time in Daytona, since our main agenda was to see Old Florida.

We booked 2 nights.

By noon it was already going crazy

Got the shirt and patch. Time to ride!

Next stop Merritt Island

I’d been there before, but Pat hasn’t. Time to play with my friend.

For those of you that haven’t been, the last 2 parking sites to the North are “Clothing Optional”. Yes, in a National Park!

Pat being a LEO did notice some strange personalized license plates. One was from Delaware and it was NKD 4 LIFE

I sent him over the Dune first and he came running back. LMAO “Hey Man, they’re all nude”

Enough of that action!

The Haulover Canal up the road was filled with manatees

We spent the rest of the day looking for alligators, but the road that has the highest concentrations was closed for repairs. Never did see any…

We loaded up that night and went West to Crystal River the next morning.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:22 AM   #5
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We arrived at Crystal River mid-morning. Checked in at the Best Western, unloaded the bikes and took a short ride up the coast toward Yankeetown and Inglis.

We called it a day after visiting the local Honda and Harley dealerships. Pat wanted the chip and shirt and I had to sit on the FB6. That’s a pretty cool looking machine!

Almost forgot, while still on the East side we found Swampy, the world’s largest Alligator.

The entire thing is a store and some type of zoo.

It must have some popularity. As we’re about to saddle-up, 2 tour busses pulled in.

Back at Crystal…

We have some friends down toward Lakeland and it would have been a shame not to visit them at their “new to them” Home.

Not quite sure the route we took. Kinda East and South, which ever road looked more interesting.

Pat was starting to develop “goggle face”. On the porch of the Outpost they had some kind of Indian art statue. I told him I wanted a picture.

Without him knowing about his tan lines…. We now call this picture “Mom?”…..LOL

Another way to dress-up above ground tanks

Gotta love old Florida!

Heading South through some kind of National Forest road that was straighter than a wedding dick and boring we rode past a BBQ/smoke house Eat joint. It wasn’t until 2 miles down the road when we got hit by a stop light, I mentioned if Pat got a whiff of that Pig. Sure enough we back-tracked and had lunch.

The bikers out front should have been our first clue

The food was sensational! I will have to start taking pictures of the plate ADV style. Brisket with beans, potato salad and some kind of a reduced gravy. WOW!

Caught this guy doing what they do without telling why. Personally I would have been somewhat reluctant heading toward the restaurant. He just might end up in the smoker…

Shot the bull with our friends for a few hours and took 19 back to CR

Didn’t see any gators, but there were sharks

Caught the sunset on the Ozello Trail

Next ride, Cedar Key

Now that’s a cool little town! Bars, restaurants, shops and super clean.

This might be the place…. Drop the old man off, give him a hundred bucks and get his drunk ass in a couple of hours

Too much riding and acting a fool does have its downfall!

Silver and I started to bond.

Yeah, he’s top heavy at low speeds, but once rolling…. We only logged 1400 miles that trip, but there’s only so many places to visit and stay below the frost line.

A few more assorted pics…

It was Spring Break in Crystal as well. These gals came from Holland to snorkel with the manatee. Pat was the beer truck, since they came by bus and the closest Liquor Store over a mile up 19

We ran into some weather on the way back and had to spend the night in Sweetwater Tn. Kinda glad we did. It’s been a stop/destination ever since. Right off 75, close to Tellico, the Dragon and all without the madness of Gatlinburg.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:52 AM   #6
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Spring was slow to come back home. My Easter trip was cancelled do to lousy weather in the Mountains. I sold Red to an old timer in Toledo. He wanted something to commute with. Heard that before… I wonder what he owns now?

A cold ride up the St Clair River toward Port Huron

South is always warmer and Ohio close.

Here’s Catawba, on the shore of Lake Erie with Cedar Point in the background


And this one taken away from the insanity of Sandusky’s Bike Week

Then it happened…

I had Silver at work and I was in the back of the shop humping shoes. A customer comes in and I notice Silver sleeping. Some dickweed hit him in the side and knocked him over the side stand. Both side bags shot, fairing damage and a hit-n-run.

Fuck! I had just done a complete fluid change (brakes, clutch, final drive), new PR4’s, front brakes, ect

I carry broad collision, at least there won’t be any out of pocket expenses.

Silver was examined by the adjuster. 2300 in damage. I figured they’d order the parts, but no. Now the Dealer has to do their estimate and try to find a common ground between the two.

A week went by without a call. Screw it!

Started shopping for a Wing. I guess my biggest mistake was to have my wife sit on the back of one a year ago.

I probably should have read Popscycle’s “Bye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface” thread….lol

Too late, it followed me home!

Meet Smoke and Mirrors.

2013 Level 2

Smokey is about 200 pounds heavier, but seems to carry it better than the ST. I don’t get that top heavy feeling at slow speeds and the reverse is nice in the driveway.

Here we are at the local Winery

Popscycle calls it a Road Sofa and that it is! The hardest part is keeping fuel in it.

I owned both until yesterday. Silver is heading South to Greenville, SC. I know he'll like there and I get to see him a few times a year.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:58 AM   #7
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Pretty funny stuff when just 18 months prior I was riding a scooter.

I generally take the month of July and head somewhere. This time I started in Sweetwater, Tn.

One of my early morning rides

And up the Skyway toward Robbinsville

Fugitive Dam

And of course the Gap

Through Talassee and back to Sweetwater. Did that loop a few times.

I couldn’t believe how a bike of that weight handled the dragon. And only a few rockets begged to pass.

We quickly became friends!

There was a restoration project in its infancy. Perhaps the old Mill will become retail

Of course more BBQ

Ran across this place while on a sunset ride to Watts Bar Lake

The owner came out and started that rusty Rat Rod in the foreground.

We rode the Moonshiner 28 on our last day and came back on the Joe Brown Highway out of Murphy. That was a nice stretch of pavement with hardly any traffic.

Time to pack up and head South.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:37 AM   #8
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Welcome back and a very cool first Ride report !!!
Hopefully this Easter (right around the corner) my ST and I will make the trip from Detroit to Key West.
I noticed you are a local Michigan rider,a group of us have been doing local group Iron Butt rides.This June we are doing the Lake Huron 1000 and in August a Yooper Madness 1000.If you are interested I can send you links.You can PM (Private Message) me.
Keep up the interesting reports !!!
ST1300 - IRON BUTT # 23,716
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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Really enjoyed reading your RR - you have an easy way with words, felt like I was hearing you tell me a story rather than reading it. Don't know if that makes sense or not!
1985 XL600R "Tamworth"
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:55 AM   #10
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Thanks Guys!

I haven't tackled anything longer than 600 miles in day. I might by then!
Down through Alabama to Navarre Beach, Fl

Even the Causeway to our rental was special. 10mph speed limit, all do to the nesting of the Black Skimmers.

I was told the chicks like to abandon the nests and run across the roadway. There were 100’s of them. Pretty cool customers!

Spent a few days running between Gulf Shores, Al. and Pensacola.

Some more shit with teeth….lol

Even got to see the Blue Angels. At one point they were so close we could see the pilots. But the delay on these digitals….

Afternoons were generally spent in the pool. It was just too fucking hot!

I don’t know much about cold fronts in Florida, but up by us when we see shit like this we take cover!

Never rained a drop.

The next morning it had cooled down some. 6am and everyone is still sleeping, I might as well try to get to New Orleans.

Arrived in Mobile making great time.

Filled up somewhere between Mobile and Biloxi and while getting back on 10 I hear this scraping. WTF. I pull over and see a strand of a radial tire sticking out of my recovery tank. Shit!
I pull it out and Smokey had sprung a leak.

Got on the GPS and found a Honda Dealer just about 6 miles to the North. As hospitable as they were, I wasn’t about to spend a day in BFE waiting for Mother Honda to overnight one. They plugged it and filled him back up. 2 hour delay (most of it drying time) and 40 bucks lighter… Cool Beans

Too hot to make it to New Orleans now.

Back through Mobile and into Florida


That week went by way too quick. Time to get my wife home. Someone has to work….
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:27 PM   #11
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Got back to Michigan and ran into a dilemma. I wanted to ride the Blue Ridge, but the weather showed crap for the next 4 days. I still had a good portion of 2 weeks left.

What about the UP? Haven’t been to Copper Harbor since my Aunt passed away and my wife hates the UP. Too cold, too buggy, water’s too cold and on…

I’ve hunted it a few times since, but mostly around Drummond Island and the Soo

UP it is!

Packed up and rode the first lap with Pat. He had to get some new-fangled 9mm Glock in Lansing. I took the long way up 27 and headed West on 57. An old friend lives in Carson City and I haven’t seen him for quite a few years. Stopped there for a spell and visited another old timer at Henning Park in Newaygo. We used to be seasonals there.

Next stop up 37 to Baldwin

Another friend owns Ann’s Putman Lake Campground there. Nothing like showing up unannounced. To him all of us are Potlickers.

He acted like he hasn’t seen sane person in years. (probably true, even looking in the mirror) It had been 4 years.

Vickie, run into town and get a jug of “Clown” Royal, some beer, steaks, corn…..

Here comes the wood wagon.It’s gonna be a long night. Oh Boy!

The conversations grew increasingly deeper as the bottle emptied itself. Damn thieves! I swear, some nights that stuff just evaporates.

Don’t remember sleeping, but the birds woke me up. Time to hit the Bridge.

The Big Mac

In spent the night in St Ignace just above the Bridge and hit Copper Harbor the next day.

These were my neighbors. Another partying bunch! I think they were Hoosiers.

In the morning we parted ways. It was quite cool compared to last week on the Coast.

Took US 2 through Naubinway and went North on 117 to 28 West

In Munising there was a parade for fallen Soldiers. One just had to salute and stand at attention as they went by.

And sometimes you just have to stop and smell the flowers…. Because we can!

Munising is also the Port for the Pictured Rocks Tour Boats


And finally my room in Mohawk

Like mentioned above, I hadn’t been that way in over 20 years and Nothing had changed.

Met these fine-feathered guys at the Motel. They were up from Chicago. I gave them some info about the area.

All of my dad’s side of the Family are from the Keweenaw. One uncle was a carpenter, another a stone mason. My Great Grandfather owned the Shoe Repair in Calumet. Back during the mining days that was a happening area.

Here’s where they measure annual snow fall. Hard to tell by this picture, but last Winter was a hair over 28 feet and the all time record 390.4 inches back in 78/79

Eagle River Court House and Jail

Ah yes, the Jampot

Run by Monks and man do they make a mean Jam. We order it on-line and have it delivered. Not cheap, but there’s a ton of wild strawberries in every jar.

Went up the Brockway Mountain Drive from the Eagle Harbor side and it was in bad shape. Lots of pot holes, gravel and sand. Smokey was as sure-footed as a mule going down the Grand Canyon.

On the way down on the Copper Harbor side I ran into some Harley Guys from Ohio that had turned around.

Copper Harbor Light House

A nice roadside plunge pool

And the rugged Northern Shoreline

Here’s the Devil’s Washtub. It’s about 30’ deep and the size of full-size car. Very tame that day, but when the waves come ashore this thing is like a washing machine. Not sure which relative told me, but that’s where the devil tried to cleanse himself from his sins. Probably BS

Spent another night at Bob’s Inn. Bob came here from Australia and one can tell. Gotta love his accent!

The Quincy Mine on the way off the Peninsula

Once I got down the hill at Houghton Hancock I called another friend who had retired near Watersmeet a few years back. Sure come on over. He sends me his address and I plug it in. Ok less than 100 miles. Perfect! He failed to tell me that the last 12 miles are dirt. And it was just grated. Like riding on ice.

He also failed to tell me that they have no running water. What? No WTF!

That night after a few drinks we hit the sack. When I got the cook’s tour I noticed a bug tent over their bed. I guess they climb in, kill everything and go to sleep. Needless to say, mine didn’t have one. I looked like a pin cushion by morning.

For a shower he had his old lady fetch a few buckets of water from the dock and heat it up on the stove. Wow! He’s been staying there for the last 3 years. Even in the Winter

Couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there.

Yeah, Good Bye you fool!

I should have stayed since winds were clocked at a peak of 70mph. Logging trucks were throwing bark and toothpicks at me and the crosswinds that tried to blow me over.

Made it to the Bridge only to find it shut down.

Got home the next day.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:20 AM   #12
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I just want to thank ADV and the inmates for allowing to post my timeline. I always wanted to put it out there... somewhere.

Travel sites are OK, but basically family oriented and truthfully pictures of the Eiffel Tower are overrated.

I stumbled on ADV sometime early in 2013 and spent many of hours reading RR.

Some of these rides borderline insanity! It takes a very determined soul to even consider, much less act on. I think what intrigued me is the "off the beaten path" travel, not the monuments that the casual traveler seeks out.

I joined in June of last year. Ever since I had the urge to share some of my experiences. I always kept a picture log of all my trips. Fishing the Grand Canyon, the Glades, Arkansas Tailwaters, Alaska, cruising the Great Lakes and now trips on 2 wheels.

I doubt I'd ever embark on a trip to China or the East Block Nations, but reading about it, written by the wordsmiths on this site actually takes one along for the ride. Like a good book, you can't put it down!

There are many Motorcycle brand specific sites, but those are mostly geared toward wrenching on the beasts, not so much the intended use of them. The road (or trail for many of you)

Again I'd like to thank all the inmates for allowing me to post and generating countless hours of entertainment by sharing millions photos.

I sit here in the deep freeze dreaming of my next ride. Since that has to wait another week, I'll have to live vicariously through someone else's fortune.

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Old 02-11-2015, 06:36 AM   #13
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Returning home and opening the Shop was a true challenge. A month of no services rendered found the entire Town barefoot. Must have been something for the Upper Crust to wear a 2000 dollar suit and no shoes to go with it.

I was swamped! For a good portion of August it was 7 days a week. Not all day on weekends, but enough to say I was there. It got old quick.

The highlight of the day was taking Smokey to work. After closing up on Saturdays I’d head down to camp, throw some meat on the grill and join the Gang at the nightly fire.

We did a few RTE’s to the Irish Hills and to some of the Wineries along the way. Riding into Ohio and Michiana also became common for the short trips.

The Maumee Valley is a cool ride. The park system along the River does get one away from the congestion of the main arteries leading into Toledo.

Cool little towns that were unable to survive the onslaught of the Box Stores.

Kind of a shame and I have a theory on that.

OK, I’ll get on my soap box for a minute.

Hope not to bore you with my observations. It’s really not all about box stores, yet this Country allowed the loss of most Mom and Pop operations.
I’m not from the Inner City, but spent a few years in a “then” up-scale community with in the borders of Detroit. Back then each little community had their own butcher, bakery, tailor, hardware, pet shop and so on. For any kid wanting a little spending money they could get a gig sweeping the floor. Not just that, but quite a few had the opportunity to learn a trade.

Let’s just say those opportunities have been lost. The neighborhood businesses remaining within the Inner City have been reduced to Liquor Stores, Check cashing joints, Pawn Shops and cellular agents. Mostly all of them are owned by foreigners and they’ll only hire their own kind.

Enough of that shit. I have to move on…

A little tranquility after that hard pill of reality

One of the last standing remains of Toledo’s reclamation of the new Waterfront.

Just a block away, the New Waterfront! BTW, that has become one of our favorite Seafood places outside of the Coast.

Someone say broiled scallops in a wine sauce? YUM!

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Old 02-11-2015, 08:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Maky View Post
... went out and got a bigger boat. That worked until fuel hit 3 bucks a gallon. At best the burn rate was 17 gallons an hour…
Great story!

And as a boat owner just curious about the boat?
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:57 AM   #15
Maky OP
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Location: SE Michigan
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It was a Formula F26PC

Actually those burn numbers aren't really that high. Some of my friends still run twins and see numbers way North of 30 gph.

Funny how little errands turn into day trips.

Early September I took advantage of a beautiful weather day. Had to stop at the bank and mail a package. Well there aren’t any rules stating the location of these priorities.

Packed a lunch consisting of Jerky and string cheese, a few sports drinks and some ice. Stopped and filled Smokey and off we went. We were about 45 minutes ahead of rush hour and that means something around these parts!

Northbound on any road except the slab. Weaseled my way to Marlette for my first stop at the Bank. I pull into the Drive-Thru, get my deposit out of the top box and send it through the tube. She gave me a strange look once she realized that I’m over 60 miles from my local branch.

Here’s this garbled voice much like the Clown at the Golden Arches. “Kind of a long way to make a deposit”. “It’s a Bike thing”

Exchanged pleasantries and kept heading North. Found a post office in a little 1 horse town. Not sure what I sent, or to whom. I bet they wondered what the hell I was doing there looking at the postmark. Chores done…Freedom…. Hell, I was free the second I left my driveway!

Cass City

BTW, when did Michigan’s Thumb turn into a giant Wind Farm? It’s been a long time since I visited last. 2004, maybe 05

My God, they’re everywhere!


And the Pioneer Sugar Plant.

That’s about all the traffic I encountered. Trucks loaded with beets heading toward the plant. For about the next 30 minutes I could taste sugar. As you can see in the picture, the right hand side of the plant was covered in sugar dust.

My kind of place

Also the location of the World Famous Fish Sandwich Festival. Yeah, it draws a crowd. I asked what kind of fish it was… Mullet…. WTF, we use them for bait. Haven’t had one since!


Port Austin

Once quite the Fishing Port. Boats and trailers lined up to launch, but do to the decline of the salmon fishery the town looked abandoned.

Huron and Grindstone City

Always loved that Port! Low water levels in recent years have reduced it’s popularity as well. Dredging not much of an option since they’re down to rock.

These stones are quite abundant throughout the little village.

They were mined in a nearby quarry for over 100 years starting in the 1800’s. The largest ever mined was over 6000 pounds.

Point Au Barques Lighthouse

The Lighthouse and a buoy about a mile offshore warns boaters from certain doom, yet every year they run aground trying to short-cut the route.

Harbor Beach Marina

That was my home port for about 6 years. I still miss it. Well I miss the people, but most of them moved on as well.

The old Coast Guard Station

Harbor Beach Light

And the Port Sanilac Light.

I had to take the Inland route from there. I had just pissed away most of the day and rush hour was about to start. 330 Miles of fun!

Still beat my wife home…
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