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Old 08-11-2013, 12:44 PM   #61
agplant
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still following along. Have a great ride home.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #62
cberry OP
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August 11th, Wolf Point MT to Grand Forks, ND

The weather at wake up was cold and foggy, nasty, windy and damp. It’s of my own doing, and, I enjoy it, damn it! It took a while to get going, mostly because I had to wear my rubber pants for warmth and wind protection. Putting them on takes pretty much a complete redress. For the top half I was wearing a dri-fit Tee, light weight fleece, and heated jacket under my Skid Suit jacket. After an hour of riding I stopped for breakfast at a dump which took 45 minutes to get my eggs and bacon out. I was number 12 in the que...Had I only known. It gave me time to remove the rubber pants while sitting at the table which provided some entertainment for the other customers.

As the day progressed the temps gradually warmed to the low 70’s and it became bright and sunny. Almost no traffic so maintaining a steady 78 mph was the plan. That got modified when I hit some rough gravel and a couple of other single file construction areas. This was the most boring day of the trip, so far. Four hundred and 30 odd miles in 6+ hours of moving time, but 9 hours of clock time. Services were closed because it was after hours on the Air Base at 6:30PM, their time, 5:50 my time. Somewhere along the way I lost an hour. No pictures at all today. still need time to post some from earlier days.

BTW, I learned from AGPLANT while staying with the family that when their lumber company replants an area that had been clear cut, they use seeds previously taken from the same area, not just any old seed lot. I think that's great!
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
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Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #63
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August 12th, Grand Forks ND to Duluth MN

That lost hour of time yesterday was reclaimed during early morning sleep today, which started me out behind schedule. On top of that, the main gate to the AFB was closed for maintenance so I couldn’t find my way off of the base without directions! Then, the repaired (?) windshield bracket had broken again, twice, once with JB Weld and then again with super glue. It had held together yesterday, but no such lock today. After a couple of fitful tries to just rely on air pressure I gave that idea up and poulled off of the highway to try super glue again. It has held for the rest of the day.

Temps were cool this morning but the sun was strong and the day turned out to be very pleasant. Crossing into Wisconsin the speed limit dropped to 65, which was like sitting still, but good therapy for the windshield bracket. My 400 mile day’s goal was quickly abandoned. Worse, there were a hundred small towns along the highway, Rt. 2, and each one has step-down speed limits of 30 mph.

As I approached Duluth the radar was showing some light and dark green returns, but nothing was reaching the ground. The winds had picked up and that made the noise level go way up, so I decided to quit. Hotwire got me a $69 room in a 1 star, inflated by them to 2 stars. That was also the walk-in rate. My wife raves about Hotwire, but I don’t share her enthusiasm.

By being in the motel by 5:30 I will have some time to edit and post pictures. This will help make the day.

At the top of the hill west of Duluth I stumbled upon this nice bit of history
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
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Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:11 PM   #64
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We are still here and following daily updates intently.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #65
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August 13th and 14th

All I’m doing now is working my way back home, trying to stay cool up North, and avoid the severe weather down South.

On the 13th I traveled from Duluth MN to St. Ignace MI along Rt. 2 for the most part. It’s a slow road without much change in scenery. Read: Lots of trees. I didn’t fully suit up for the cold weather and got quite cold soaked before adding more layers. (Dreaded Rubber Pants, again.)

Duluth from a nearby hill


Mackinaw Bridge


St. Ignace is a tourist town at the north end of the Mackinaw Bridge. Mostly one street parallel with the shoreline. When I saw it I recognized that I had been here several years ago while on a 9 month cruise around the eastern half of the US, which brought back some pleasant memories.

The pot metal windshield bracket is holding together by a thread, so I’ve ordered new ones mentioned on the BMW MOA forum made of better material. Very nice lady took my order and is shipping them next day air to another shipmate I plan to visit tomorrow near Flint MI.

August 14th was spent in transit from St. Ignace to London, ONT via Hal and Sandy's house near Flint MI.



We visited for a while and then Hal treated us to lunch at the local lunch counter and coached me on the route to Canada from his house. I also picked up my new windshield brackets! To be installed later, hopefully after I arrive home.
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

cberry screwed with this post 08-15-2013 at 07:13 PM Reason: Added photos
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:23 PM   #66
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August 15th, London to Bradford PA

The pressure to meet a schedule or be someplace specific has been lifted. Wonderful freedom! Today’s ride wound up being from London, Ontario, to Bradford, PA.

But, in our imperfect world a couple of things happened to dampen my spirits. First, at about 1:30 AM I awoke to the fact that the bedbugs were dining on me! I had 3 or more bites and was unable to sleep through it. I went to the front desk (Super 8, 1170 Wellington Rd, London, ON N6E 1M3) and complained, requesting a refund. The clerk said he did not have authority to issue a refund so I made him call his boss. After all, the bedbugs woke me, why shouldn’t I wake him? After a brief discussion I was issued a full refund and given another room, but it took a couple of hours of watching TV to be able to get back to sleep. So, I got a late start this morning.

The Genie in the Black Box had computed a route which I did not check carefully enough! I wound up motoring through downtown Hamilton during rush hour. It wasn’t all that bad, fun in fact, pretending to be a motorcycle messenger delivering important papers, weaving thru the traffic, and successfully avoiding death. Then, the US Customs officer was having a bad day and certainly was not in the “Welcome to the USA” mood.

US Rt. 219 thru western NY State is not a happy road. Lots of repairs have been done over the years, leaving the road a low frequency washboard. Then the Genie had me on the shortest route which turned out to be great. I followed a secondary road which started with a centerline stripe and side lines, which became centerline only, which then became no stripes plus potholes, which then became gravel. Through some beautiful rolling hills and forest.



I fueled up in Bradford and stayed at a brand new Holiday Inn Express. Wonderful, after last night. Got here early enough to do things not normally included in my day, like visit the Zippo Lighter museum.



US Flag decorated with lighters


After I post this I’m going to have to decide on a route home. The main criteria will be to make it a fun route. I can probably stay in the mountains (hills) until I get to North or South Carolina.
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #67
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August 16th, South through western PA

Nice rural PA ride today from Bradford to Johnstown PA. Had an excellent lunch at a storefront restaurant in Ebensburg PA. This little town has San Francisco sized hills! This picture does not capture the steepness of the grade.



Some attractive architecture of the public buildings, notably the courthouse.

Also came upon some massive wind turbines uses to generate electricity. Lots of them, not just the ones shown in the picture.



Short ride today, only 155 miles. Pacing myself so as to delay arrival in FL until the weather clears up a bit. Probably not much hope for the temps to cool off, but it sure would be nice to not have to suit up for rain. These shorter days are great!
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Chuck
'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:17 AM   #68
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August 17th, Johnstown to Harrisonburg VA

The day’s plan started out to be a short ride from Johnstown PA to Front Royal VA. That was because the weather was forecast to be good in this northern area for a couple of days while it was also forecast to be bad in FL and GA. Gassing up in Winchester VA I rechecked the forecast and noted that the probability of rain had increased in this area and there had been no change in the FL forecast. Since it was not raining now, I decided to continue the ride rather than waste the good weather. I wound up stoping in Harrisonburg VA after having ridden on the Skyline Drive for most of the afternoon.

The first stop on my day’s plan was the Flight 93 Memorial. It was only a few miles away, and the last time I was by the site it was fenced off and no decision had been made about what to do with the site. On the way to the Memorial I noticed what looked like lots of cars parked on a hillside. As I got closer I could see thousands of junk cars covering many acres of land. Incredible!



Flight 93 Memorial is a work in progress. Far from complete. Most recently, 12,000 trees have been planted on the site by volunteers, and the road meanders around them for 3+ miles. A nice curvy motorcycle road. The site includes an area for reflection, a long walkway to the wall with the names of those killed, and the marking of the actual excavation of the crash site. It was an emotional experience for me.











The secondary roads I traveled today were a joy. Hills, curves, and vistas. No picture would do them justice. On the way to Front Royal I went through Cumberland (the city) where the C&O Canal had its western terminus. While I was living in MD I was fortunate enough to be able to take two bicycling/camping trips on the canal towpath from Cumberland to downtown Washington, DC. I highly recommend to others.





Next on the ‘things done today’ list was the ride along the Skyline Drive. Always beautiful. And the highlight of the trip was meeting Bambi and his/her mom on the road.





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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:32 AM   #69
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Chuck
Great ride report as usual - makes me want to go to Yellowknife among the other places you described.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #70
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August 18th, Harrisonburg VA to Linville NC

Another night in a no star motel last night. This one was an Econolodge. No bedbugs, but the room was falling apart. Moderate to heavy rain overnight and into the morning made for a slow start. As the morning wore on the rain decreased and eventually stopped.
The Motel's Floor Lamp (rotate 90 clockwise)



I was traveling south on I 81 and feeling uncomfortable with all the traffic. I suddenly realized that the feeling was the result of not having to deal with any real traffic for the last month or so. How great that was! I was heading for a dear friend’s cabin in the mountains of NC and chose to get off of the interstates and get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway which ran near her cabin. This worked for a while, and was very pleasant with almost no traffic, in and out of wispy fog. An issue occurred when I went from light fog obscuring the bleached out road surface ahead into an area of heavy tree shading and fog over a recently resurfaced dark black road surface. This feeling of disorientation was similar to that which pilots sometime experience known as the ‘black hole effect’ when loosing visual reference. It happened a couple of times and was disconcerting each time.

When the fog thickened and slowed me to less than 25 mph I had to change the route again to get to a lower altitude and out of the fog. It was fun while it lasted.

I called Malinda from a location near her house and she came to meet me and lead me up the mountain to her home where I am a guest in her guest cottage. Heavy rain overnight. In the morning the mountaintops were obscured from here at 4200 ft, msl.
My New Home for the next 2 nights


Guest Cottage on the Left, Main House on the Right
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island

cberry screwed with this post 08-20-2013 at 05:20 PM Reason: Added photos
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:57 PM   #71
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August 19th and 20th

August 19th was a day of R&R with my host Malinda showing me around the towns around Boone NC. We also saw the new movie “The Butler”.

On August 20th it was back on the road again. I left Linville about 8AM with plans to stop at the BMW motorcycle dealership in Greenville SC for replacement of me broken windshield bracket but it was not to happen. They couldn’t fit me without a several hour delay. The bracket was holding up OK, there was rain developing over Greenville, and it was clear down I 26 toward Columbia, so I pressed on. It proved to be a good decision because lines of storms were developing and I wanted to get through the area before they got severe.

With the XM weather radar depiction of the rain I was able to pass ahead of one that was moving NE. between two that were ahead of me, and pass Columbia without getting wet at all. But, I had entered the hot air I had been avoiding for the last month. I was again feeling uncomfortable with the level of traffic and its speed so I chose a route that paralleled I26 from Orangeburg to I 95, roughly. It was fun again, and all the small cells of storm activity turned it into a game. I was trying to get as far south as I could without getting wet. Several course changes were required, and as I approached Walterboro the weather looked nasty, both visually and on the radar. End Game! Time to find a motel with a roof over the entrance. Today’s ride ended up being 300 miles long and a little over 5 hours moving with a lot of stopped time while analyzing the weather.
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:41 PM   #72
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August 21st, Walterboro SC to Home

It started out foggy again today, and the heat and humidity were like something I haven’t experienced since leaving Florida almost 2 months ago. In fact, I didn’t really feel the heat on the homebound trip until yesterday as I was passing Columbia. Once I got moving it felt OK.

I took a break around10:30 and after that noticed that there were thunderstorms forming over the entire area. At the time I was near Kingsland GA and it looked like the safest way to go was west of I 95 onto US 301. I started over there and then came back to I 95 because the route through the storms looked less severe on 95 than where I was going. Plus, the passage through would be much faster at Interstate speeds. This worked until I got south of Jacksonville.

I moved over to US Rt. 1 which paralleled I 95 and would give me more options, both for stopping and changing the route if necessary. It slowed me down a lot, especially through St. Augustine, and I got closer to some red rain than I wanted to, noting 2 cloud to ground lightening strikes in quick succession. Moving back to I 95 speeded things up and got me a little further from the active cells. Lunch was at High Jackers, an excellent restaurant at the Flagler County Airport.

After lunch I 95 looked mostly clear, so I went for it. Traffic in the fast lane moves at 75 plus along this stretch and I took advantage of it. Even in the worst rain it didn’t slow much below 65. I prefer the left lane in rain for a couple of reasons; first, my left side is protected from other cars by the median; second, the drivers are (generally) more alert; third, less 18 wheelers and their attendant road fog.

At each of my stops I evaluated the need for wearing my Goretex jacket liner. It’s a trade off: I get wet from the rain without it, and I get wet from sweltering with it. I chose not to wear it after lunch and that was OK, except that I did get really wet near Titusville in a particularly heavy cell. ( After I got home and was listening to the 6 o’clock local news I heard that a semi... had jack knifed in that area at about the time I went through, and that a guy who had been driving a mini-van had the van struck by lightening and it caught fire---caught “Live on Breaking news”.) I was lucky! If I hadn’t been so close to home I would have hole’d up back there in Kingsland.

The trip ended much as had started...avoiding thunderstorms in the “Sunshine State”.
The day’s ride was 383.2 miles, and the entire trip’s was 12,142.4 miles. I’ll work up some more details another day...
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'05 R1200RT, '09 G650GS
IBA 27506, National Parks Tour GOLD
MOA 94523
Indian Harbour Beach, FL
'06/'07....What a year it was! 49 States, 5 Provinces, AND New Zealand, North and South Island
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #73
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Glad you're back safe & sound. The wrecked semi and lightning-struck van on I-95 yesterday would definitely taken some fun out of the last leg had they happened ahead of your transit. As we used to say in one of my past careers, "Timing is everything."

Good ride and good report!
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:51 PM   #74
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Great ride & report! Thanks for taking us along!
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:54 PM   #75
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Welcome home!!
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