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Bullett and I Ride to the UN, and Home Again... (lots of pics)


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Parts of the tale have been told:


The Pied Piper Run


Pics from our dSLR.


More has been promised.


So here what we have are the shots off of the little point and shoot camera. Mostly taken by Sharon, while riding and hanging with folks, though I get a hold of it sometimes too. And with those shots the other dimensions of the tale, the people and the places.


Somehow we lost the shots of our time here in SLC with the hopz's, Bob and Susie. A few pics show up in the Pied Piper link above. Bob and Suz had us all over for brunch on Saturday at the magnificent Casa Hopz, up in the mountains. Then they brought a bunch of good stuff down to our place for the cookout Saturday night. I wish I had the pics. It was a fun time, and anytime the hopz's say they are cooking, you are just in for a treat. Incredible generosity and help as we were getting ready for the road. Nuff said.


Sunday morning August 2, we set out for Jackson. Jamie and Les 2-up on the Maynrianrod the Frankenbeast Chimera, or whatever they call it, Michael on the red 05' RT, Bullett and I on our '07 RT's (blue and bronze, respectively). We were met on the road by the hopz's 2-up on their silver '05 RT. The pictures start there.


We meet at an overlook above Jordanelle Reservoir:






Mama Hoon (Les) and Mrs. hopz (Suz).


The hopz rode with us over the Mirror Lake Scenic By-Way, UT/WY-150 to Evanston, where we had lunch at THE don Pedros. We didn't stop for the moose, 'cause we had said we weren't stopping. I forgot about the moose exception codicil that had been written into the by-laws. Les was disappointed.


Oh, the don Pedros, well it turns out there were two, within 1/4 mile of each other. Sharon and I know one, Jamie's gps knows the other. Once we get over the confusion, the gps wins. It turns out to be the original location, and nicer than the one we know. gps 1, humans 0. I think some pics were posted in the Pied Piper thread of lunch. Was good. We said goodbye to Bob and Suz, and lit out for Jackson. Next stop was a bit north of Pinedale:




Here. The bikes were just hatin' it, I tell you. Then on to Jackson...




It's definitely a bmwst ride, I think you'd have to say. :clap: Poor Jamie, we all get on just fine, but his APPLE was just making the Treo look good.


We had a great dinner downtown, and a bit of a walk around the square before bed.


In the morning we set out for the parks and the Beartooth, to Red Lodge. It was the play day, and we were each to make our own way. Michael started out with Sharon and I. Our plan was to roll through the parks, and then spend time up on the Beartooth and the Chief Joseph.


But we were foiled by construction:






The road was slick, muddy, somewhat rutted in places, a few loose spots, and the pilot car went way too slow, about 8 mph. We had 30 miles of this, and it cost us about 2 hours. We were lucky though. We were headed north. The southbound lane was full of dirt piles where a dump truck had apparently dropped at random. These were like a foot and a half high and 5 to 10 feet long. I don't know how the southbound bikes managed. Even the SUVs were having a bit of an issue with it.


We ended up with an unscheduled stop at Lake for lunch, and to recover our nerves. Michael rode on. Lake is one of the nicer stops in the park as far as the villages go, always a bit laid back.




The veranda will do wonders for anybody.




The view from there isn't too bad at all. No not at all.


We rode on, still hoping to have time for both the Beartooth and the Chief Joseph, and made pretty good time. Somehow we managed an unobstructed run down Mt. Washburn.




Near Tower junction we caught up to these folks on scooters, and soon realized they must be rentals, as started seeing more of them. Cool! BTW, this is almost exactly the spot where we saw a bear last year with Jean and David (the Hansons) on the way to the UNRally in John Day.


We had never been out the northeast gate, and enjoyed the sweeping ride along the Lamar River and Soda Creek.






We were seeing more and more HD's, Sturgis being just around the corner, and underway.




We hit more construction leaving the park, and into Cooke City, but delays were not excessive.




Then finally we rolled out of town and onto the lower Beartooth.


We rolled onto the Chief Joseph, and proceeded south into an increasingly blackening sky. A storm was surely ahead of us, but we were really enjoying the ride. We rode 18 miles down the Chief Joseph, until we started feeling hard gusts, and a big temperature drop, at the very edge of the storm. Then swung around and raced the thing back to the Beartooth, and over the top of the world. Now that's the way to ride the Chief Joseph, I must say. So scenic on the way south, so much lean angle on the northern run! We'd have to save the rest of the of the Chief Joseph for another time though.


The Beartooth is also very scenic, but we didn't dare stop until we were over the pass. Not to mention that there was road construction up there too, just little patches though.




Quite likely this scene says why much better than I could ever explain. But, I was pining to take a few shots of the flowers.




Finally it seemed like it was all downhill from here, and we stopped for 20 minutes. Sharon bagged the Custer NF for her ride contest, and I bagged the tundra flower shots in the thread linked above.


We had a brilliant descent into Red Lodge, and then found our hotel. Michael was there, soldering iron at the ready, working on his radio. The HDs were pouring in by the dozen, and using the hose labeled "Bike Wash", and the stack of rags we given at check-in. I walked to town and picked up a couple of bottles of wine. Jamie and Les pulled in eventually, having ridden through the storm we had just missed, a couple of inches of hail on the road, and I guess some falling on them too. I think the wine was appreciated!



To be continued.

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I swear each and every one of those HD boys washed their chrome when they pulled in, but in the morning they were at it again, and we woke to the sound of thunder, as they pulled their steeds into position at the bike wash hose. Here you just see the big wet spot as we gear up for our departure from Red Lodge.




It was to be our long day, 720 miles, all slab, and we hit the road early. The nice HD guy, the one whose bike Larry, a visiting dog, had peed on the night before, offered to take Sharon's picture as we set out. We're pretty sure no one had told him about Larry, though.




It looked like this.




In the early going we might have found a few curves, but we wouldn't be writing home about them, no.




After a while, it still looked like this.




Eventually we became concerned about this thunderstorm that was looking to cut us off, but we were pretty sure we could make it.




The storm proved to be fast moving, and whenever we thought we should have been by it, there it was, ever closer. Jamie was leading and picked up the pace. We were going pretty fast, and still it was touch and go.




Finally, after a hundred miles, it seemed we could see daylight, just as we caught a few outer bands of rain.




We pushed on through and soon the storm was chasing us. We didn't stop for another hundred miles, I'd say, and still it was there, bearing down quickly. We gassed up and flew down the road, ASAP.




People put interesting things on the roadside.




We were passing through the nation's breadbasket. A trucker at the gas stop regaled us with the list of crops he hauled, and their seasons. We saw this crop duster at work.


Finally, as we neared our hotel in Detroit Lakes, MN, a strange voice appeared in our radio chatter.




Jean and David were waiting up for us!




The next morning we lit out on the short run though the pretty lake country to Duluth. David was leading, and took us on the back roads. Jean got a bit testy when the pavement disappeared. It was an epic battle of dueling gps's. Soon, Jamie had dubbed David "Magellan" (gosh, I think all the gps's were really Garmins). No matter, shortly we were there:




Well we were somewhere, I suppose. gps's -10, humans 0




David was ready to hit the road.




Jean liked to stay right with David.




We rode.




Duluth proved to be a bit a hilly, a nice surprise after the plains, well except to the extent that the parking lot at the hotel was too steep for motorcycles.




In any event, soon, we were really there!




The Road Nazi's seemed to like being there!




A little wine and some good food didn't hurt.




Rich (Mr. Zoom, right) joined the ride at Duluth. Jeff (Fightingpiper, left center) came up from the twin cities to join us for dinner. We had a great time.




Jean and David ordered desert.






The waitress brought a pile of plates and everyone was pretty impressed.




I ordered a tiramisu:




It wasn't quite so big.




But the insides were to die for. Now it was time to walk around the waterfront.




We puzzled over this place across the street from the restaurant for a bit, until we realized it was a maternity shop.


Sharon took some photos of the street scenes while we waited for everyone to gather up.




...and the people...




Rich was very, very pleased to make it out of there,




But soon we had him settled down.




Something must have been in the wine.


Finally everyone was there except Jean and David. A search was mounted. Eventually I called them on David's cell.




They were over there. On their way back from the water. We took in the sights:




There were instructional t-shirts. Sharon was thinking Les should pick this one up for Kayla.




Some of us were thinking we ought to get this one for Phil.




We weren't quite sure who this was for.




Jean and David are always all about bears!




Les was still on about missing the moose in UT...




... and had to try out this one.




Tom (azkaisr), my man, we thought of you, we thought of you.






Phil (1bmwfan) we thought of you too. Sharon says she took this pic because at first she thought it said "Crabby Phil's".






I don't think I'd want to ride over that bridge when it's wet.






This shot is up for caption contest!


To be continued.








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The Road Nazi's seemed to like being there!



"Road Nazis" -- AKA "How to move 7 bikes over 720 miles with an 8 AM start, avoid a BIG thunderstorm and arrive before dinner time." :-)

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"Look!....my hand is fine.You ride pillion the rest of the way."





Now that there's funny!








































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The next morning, Thursday, dawned fine in Duluth. For our west coast riders it was day 6, or so of the journey. Ken and Donna were enroute from Edmonton, and we were to meet this evening in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.


Rich took the lead as we set out into Wisconsin and Michigan, through the Upper Peninsula:




Sharon was riding sweep, so you can make out all six bikes in this pic, if you count her windshield!




Of course it is bit easier when we are all stopped for construction.


Lunch consisted of local items, pasties and cudighi, I think Les has already posted somewhere about them.


Jean rode with us last winter at the Big Bend Bash, and we had a high, icy wind. The first thing she asked me about our ride by Lake Superior was if it was gonna be windy. I told her nothing but rows of trees on both sides of the road. You can see for yourself in hte pics above, Michigan is one great big wind block.


Sharon and I broke off and went into the Pictured Rocks.




Can you see the snorklers between the trees and the water, out on the point? Little black squiggles of wet suit.


The hotel was ok, a bar right next store was fine for dinner, but we didn't get any pics of that affair. The local specialty was putine, french fries with gravy and cheese. I think Jamie's post will have some pics.


Now at 7 bikes, the next morning we rode first, and stopped for breakfast on the road. The tradition of the new riders leading now set, Ken and Donna took the reins.




To bring us here, where we were treated to Butter Tarts and Peabacon. Yum.




Everywhere we went they just kept teasing Les about that moose!


Now to understand the day's ride there are certain things you must realize: Seven bikes is not an issue, 5 gps's is. Paul (rocer), our host for the night, had put together a nice route for us to follow and communicated it by google maps. For map users this is a perfectly straightforward and completely adequate approach. For gps folks matters are entirely different. To add to matters, we were warned not to use a default gps route as it would take us on dirt, and road names and addresses had recently been updated, and were incorrect in most gps systems.


Now the fun starts!


Michael and Ken each set up the route on their gps's independently. Michael's routes were disseminated to Sharon and David. But Michael set up two routes for the day and did not recall which was which, and neither of them seemed to match Ken's route. Worse, the various gps units were on different map release dates and had to recalculate the routes which had been sent out. Jamie, meanwhile, had simply programmed in the coordinates and let the unit pick a route. (If I have these details wrong, please feel free to correct me.) In the end we just told Ken to lead, as he at least had something that was supposed to be based on what Paul had sent. Ken was doing fine until he says, the "The gps says to get off here, but I don't like it", or some such.


In the end, we got there, yes. I have no idea how, or the extent to which we were on the intended route, but it was pretty enough, running through the lakes streams of Ontario.


My mistake, I realized, was that having thought the gps folks had things worked out, I hadn't done my usual thing and figured out the map version for myself. That won't be happening again! My other mistake was leaving my radio on..... :eek: But oh well, in the end it was gps's -100, humans - 7. No one was ahead, that's for sure. (ok, these are lie tales, it was pretty funny for all of that).


All the tension evaporated immediately as we pulled into Paul and Kath's place:




Kath had printed up signs to greet us.




The party started right off!




Paul (white hat, face obscured, sorry) had one of those "Green Egg" things going, and a propane boiler for corn. Kath (right rear) had made pulled pork!




HandyAndy was there waiting for us, yeah I know, not the best pic, but it's what we got, right. Me and Ken chatting with Andy while Kath is working hard.




Another not so great pic, but Jim (jimfastcar) was there waiting (and helping, you can see him in the pic with Paul above manning the corn kettle) too! I think most of us had met Andy before, I know I had at John Day, but it was the first time most of had met Jim, Paul and Kath. It was great to see how the BMWST community comes together like this. Amazing hospitality, all around, and a prettier setting could not have been found.




Let's see if I get this right, Jean didn't want to ride back on the dirt driveway, so Ken (who was interested in the F-bike) rode her bike and David followed, to drop it at the overflow hotel. David and Ken were expected back on David's Triumph Tiger. When we heard a Triumph we all turned to get a pic of Ken riding bitch.




This wasn't what we expecting. IIRC it was Kath' brother and sister-in-law. They were a lot of fun, and tourers in their own right.




The Tiger showed up promptly.


We all ate the great food, and slept like rocks. Hopefully someone will post a few food pics and a bit more of the setting. Some better pics of Paul and Kath too.


In the morning Kath and Paul fed us all French toast and maple syrup from their own yard. Then Paul led us all on a spirited ride through the twisty lake and stream country. Jim and Andy were along too, so we were 10 bikes strong. We stopped in Peterborough to watch the lift lock.














Then, shortly thereafter, we all started our separate ways, and the Pied Piper headed back for the States.




Customs was a breeze.




We regrouped and folks so inclined got their radar detectors out.




Some great views of the thousand islands.


An hour's run brought us onto, why yes, you guessed it, Moose River Road. Soon we were passed by a black K-Bike and a red RT, our hosts out to meet us! They had conceived a plan...


But before we get to that, there are few more things you need to know.


First and foremost, there are certain BMWST traditions that transcend all other loyalties, oaths and even fear of retribution. I have it first hand from Ed that posting the good picture is one of these.


Second, Jean has a way of being "The Good Picture":


Eventally, Jan found a pull out for us to stop at for a break. Some of us needed it more than others. Seems there wasn't a restroom to be found for many miles & Jean, well, she REALLY needed to go. And NOW!!!



"Wait, you can go over there behind that bush....nevermind.




She didn't seem too bothered by it, must be a Lewsianna thang.


Third, well, as you must all know, these are lie tales, right! <>


Ok, then on with the story. Tonight was to be Jean's night. It all started with Steve (BarNone, our host) and Bob's (endobobdds) plan, which Jean set out to foil in no uncertain terms:




Yes, a group pic in front of the Pied Piper!




Eventually we got everyone all straightened out!


Then on to the Barone's for another great feast! Fasterpill pulled in too. I don't guess we got a pic of him at the Barone's.




Michael and the radio.




Route planning in the back yard.






Mama Hoon makes sure Jamie has a non-stop route all set up for tomorrow!




We had plenty of help on hand.




Things were getting pretty serious with the radio deal, that's Steve Barone in the background.


The Barone's served up an array of goods: Ribs and chicken, Kelly's signature baked beans, and more.


Jean, she was just on a roll. The baked beans were pretty good, maybe more than pretty good, I have to admit:




If it was a "Lewsianna thang" David didn't seem to agree.




Donna was mortified




Though Ken seemed oblivious, as yet.




Jamie said he had to go find better wireless.




I decided that an icy cold bath was in order.




and Les decided that moose was the better part of valor!


The real story, the real story you say, no more of these lies! The real story is that leaving Sharon loose with a camera in a group is pretty dangerous business. Letting me get a hold of the pictures afterward is even worse! I have no idea what was going on in those shots. But you gotta admit, they all fit together pretty well.


To be continued.

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Can't take the girl anywhere, I am so embarrassed.


Couple more pics.




Ken & Donna in front, Michael (sagerider), Jan (twisties), & Sharon (bullet).

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It's amazing how useful bad pictures are! :Cool:


I think that was the night you were really tired. The beans were really good though.

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Everything was really good at our host homes. Paul and Kathy in Minden and Steve and Kelly in Old Forge rock!


Thanks again for your hospitality. :thumbsup:

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It was very nice to meet you all, and very glad you had a good time and safe return home. Full of regret I was unable to get to the UnRally, but look forward to the day we can share a toast again

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To be continued! Not if I get a flight to Salt Lake any time soon.....


Okay that was funny I don't care who you are!!



Nice going, Jan!!! :grin:

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It was very nice to meet you all, and very glad you had a good time and safe return home. Full of regret I was unable to get to the UnRally, but look forward to the day we can share a toast again




Indeed, indeed.

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We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone who ventured into our corner of the world. Special thanks to Ken and Donna who seeded the idea of a Pied Piper North run. Glad everyone had such a good time at the UNrally (thanks for all the pics and stories) - sorry we couldn't attend this year but we were delighted to be enroute. We're looking forward to spending more time with all of you down the road.


Paul and Kath

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We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone who ventured into our corner of the world. Special thanks to Ken and Donna who seeded the idea of a Pied Piper North run. Glad everyone had such a good time at the UNrally (thanks for all the pics and stories) - sorry we couldn't attend this year but we were delighted to be enroute. We're looking forward to spending more time with all of you down the road.


Paul and Kath

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Oh, there are 94 more photos uploading to smugmug now. :eek:


Must be a few more installments left to write then.


We left off as we closed the evening out at the Barone's. I haven't mentioned the lovely neighbor who came over to help. The Barone's daughter, a sophomore in college, and her friends that helped make us feel welcome, or the way Kelly made sure everyone had what they needed. As has been said, both host homes, Paul and Kath's and Steve and Kelly's were just over the top.


But the morning dawned and it was a special day. Our last ride of the pied piper run. Today we would reach Lancaster and the UnRally.


The morning dawned soggy and overcast. The bikes were wet, and rain was forecast. A short run for breakfast proved wet, but things cleared as we ate. Breakfast staff was a bit overwhelmed, and we got a slow start. Then we had to stop for gas. By now it had been decided that we had too many bikes to try to keep all together, so we broke into two groups. Sharon says we numbered fourteen bikes. Jamie took charge of the fast group, and Ken the slow group. Most of that story has been told over in the check in thread, so I won't repeat it, but suffice it to say that nothing went as planned.




Things looked like this in the fast group at first,




But soon it was more like this.




Then it became more like this.


I'm not entirely sure, but we eventually got on a road or two that allowed for some fun, but mostly I found it very frustrating, as I usually do riding in the east. As Jamie put it, one has to adjust ones expectations of distance and speed.




Eventually we got there and found our room. We set up with all the necessities right off the bat: Wine, Stainless wine glasses, computer, laundry soap and soft drinks. Well ok, I guess the Pepsi was going a little over the top.




In the evening, Roger had a nice fire going down by the barn. Paul (Samsar) had the fridge (a commercial three door unit) full of beverages, and ran for pizza. We all chipped into a box he set out. Paul kept this up the whole time! Wow!




In the morning we finally met Kathy R.




Of course the ladies immediately turned their attention to important experiments. Yes, a perfect fit!




I think it was Monday morning still. Roger, Kathy, Les, EB, Ron.




Some bikes were beginning to show up. That looks like MikeRC over on the left rear.






The fog in the morning Monday was such that we couldn't see the barn. Once it lifted enough to begin to see the terrain, Sharon and I considered the matter of riding. It was like 2 miles to town, and we thought we could make that! We checked out eating establishments on the way, and pretty much figured that we needed to bring something back for dinner, or ride to eat.


In the parking lot of the supermarket we saw Ron, Kathy and EB's machines. Some folks were chatting us up, when the miscreants themselves appeared with some beverages. In the course of discussion we mentioned that we were bringing something to grill, as their must be a grill at the place. It was Kathy, who is brilliant by the way, who suggested the great grill in the barn. I was hesitant: Unsure if we could use it, not sure if it was gas or charcoal fired, etc. I wanted to run over and check things out. However, our resident genius had a better plan. Kathy just punches in the number she has programmed for the campground into her cell, and soon we are all set to go with charcoal, lighter fluid, a few sides and something to grill. We 5 are grilling. We don't know what anyone else is doing, but we will invite folks to get something to throw on and bring a side to share.


I pull in first at the barn with 30 lbs of charcoal strapped to my pillion seat. Poor Paul wants to know why I'm driving to the back of his barn. I didn't do a very good job of filling him in, helmet and headphones still on, and all. What bbq he wants to know. Soon we had him all on board though. He relaxed visibly when I told him Kathy had called the campground and we were told we were welcome to use the big grill. We recruited Paul and a few others to chip in plates and plastic ware, and the last pieces fell into place.




BMWPhreak and Mrs. BMWPhreak, MikeRC and Mrs MikeRC (Linda), oh yeah and someone's backside.


All afternoon the word spread, and has been told, by evening pretty much everyone was IN.




Riders continued to arrive. Kathy was the first to greet Paul (Mihalka).


I made some pictures of the bbq with Whip's camera, but he has those files. I guess Sharon didn't shoot any. Several others have posted of that night anyway, so I'll just say it was a great time! Everyone just made it that way, and it was a tribute to the UN concept. For me, the best time of the whole thing, I think. I really enjoyed that everyone just brought what was needed and pulled it off. Classic.


Tuesday Sharon and I rode up to Rangely.




through idyllic countryside.




Another bad pic that's good.




This covered bridge had a disappointing white plasticoated steel roof.




But inside the authentic timbers were still in place.






With traditional timber frame joinery.




We toured it in a downpour, and kept our gear on. A quick stop.




After about an hour of heavy rain we stopped to pull off our rain gear. This creek was swollen with muddy runoff as it joined the river.


Edit: And while Jan was trying to keep his bike from falling over due to a sinking side stand, I was trying to get him to look at the bald eagle that was flying over us, along the river. Sorry, no pics. Bullett




You could ride the bridge at Stark.




Much has been made already of the clam bake and official speeches at the organized dinner Tuesday night. But I just wanted to make it clear while Mitch was taking pictures of Shawn's imaculately groomed ear, Sharon was taking pictures of Michael's hand!




Armando and Fasterpill (Phil) look on.




Jean and Mrs. Whip (Louise), with Mrs. Samsar (Suzanne) on the far left.




Me, don't ask, I have no idea.




Foreground Louise. Background RevRay, Phil, and Woodie.




Evidently not everything I had to say was all that popular. Me, Richard (Benicia_RT_GT), Kieth (Oopezoo).




Larry (Whip) was mortified. Jacqueline had to turn away.


In the morning we would leave. I had thoughts of riding with the group to Bar Harbor and then turning north to the Bay of Fundy before going home. Sharon had wavered on how much time we had, and eventually decided we need to start straight back.




But she got some pics of the Bar Harbor ride forming up.


Whip and Mrs. Whip up front. Kathy behind them. Michael (Sagerider) behind her. Not sure who else.








We pulled out shortly after they did.


To be continued.



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OMG, how did I miss this thread? AWESOME pics and story, Jan!


I'm back at work trying to keep my head above water, but I hope to crop and post some of my crappy pics that may fill in a gap or two, but these really give everyone a great sense of the trip!



"Road Nazis"? Oooooh, that hurts! "Put zat kamera avay ve have MILES to ride noch! Schnell!! Schnell!!" :rofl:

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OMG, how did I miss this thread? AWESOME pics and story, Jan!


I'm back at work trying to keep my head above water, but I hope to crop and post some of my crappy pics that may fill in a gap or two, but these really give everyone a great sense of the trip!



"Road Nazis"? Oooooh, that hurts! "Put zat kamera avay ve have MILES to ride noch! Schnell!! Schnell!!" :rofl:




Well, I only said it once...

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We pulled out from Lancaster on leisurely schedule and headed west. Sharon had the Zumo set a route for Ottawa to start, and it took us through town on River Road, through another covered bridge and back onto US-2, the very way we had arrived. It's a beautiful road and would be fine riding but for the congestion. We made 70 miles the first two hours and were getting frustrated. Eventually, in northern Vermont, we began to make better time. Lunch in a little wayside deli with picnic tables out amongst the hemlocks in back. Then




After all the local places on the way out it was ironic that we stopped here




on the way back through Ontario, but we were on major highways, having agreed to make time the first few days. I think this was on 417. We made Pembrooke the first night, essentially shaving a day off our Pied Piper schedule.


Thursday things worked out a bit better for us. A nice coffee break here:




In a nice riverside establishment, with butter tarts!




Sharon worked on her ride contest some.


We stopped in a nice town, Bruce Mines I believe, not too far from Sault Ste Marie and walked a bit, to the northern shore of Lake Huron.




There was an amazing amount of dog shit.




We felt that their mistake was making it a by-law. It needed a law law.




We were surprised that these folks used the boat ramp to get in and out of the lake.




The other signs were so effective that they decided they needed more.




and more...




Soon we were rolling again.






But we lost 45 minutes at customs. I wanted to make it halfway across the U.P, but time was slipping away. On the way out all the GPS's and Google maps had wanted us down on US-2. I had mapped us going the direct route straight along the south shore of Lake Superior. On the way back, Sharon's GPS was yet again asserting that the fastest way was by US-2, even though it added 60 - 70 miles to the trip. So we made our way south across the UP to US-2.




H-40 was a nice route, straight but with turns around the section lines, and a few nice Sandhill Cranes roadside. It was getting too dark to photograph them though.





I wanted to stop in Manistique, but Sharon was fading fast, and we were worried about finding dinner as it was getting late. We made Gould City and pulled into some quaint cabins, McGuires. Quaint turned out to be too nice a word. Really it was strange. The cabins looked great on first impression. They had some really nice furniture, were spacious, some beautiful fabrics placed here and there. But then as you settled in you came to realize that the cleaning had only been done below eye level. The ceiling was hanging with webs and other things. The bathroom. The bathroom. The bathroom. The bathroom was truly beyond words. The fixtures may not have been cleaned in years, really.


But I get ahead of myself. We got our key and took off across the street where we had been told it was Pizza Night until 9. We made it at 8:45, but they were out of pizza and had no food. Finally, realizing that we were not going to buy drinks on an empty stomachs, they told about the other bar... with Digiorno's frozen pizza. We got there, paled around with the locals, and had a beer or too while the pizza baked. It was surprisingly good, and the bar was fun. Then we went to the room and found the mess. yuk.


We were now a day and a half ahead of the Pied Piper schedule, which was good, because we had one day less to get home in than we had on the way out, and we were hoping to get some sight seeing done. But our schedule was soon to be challenged. Waking up Friday morning we proceeded west on US-2 through overcast skies.






Lake Michigan


The going was slow, very slow. Then we had a downpour, 2" of rain in an hour someone told us. But a nice fellow told us that radar showed we were almost through. We got through the rain but the going through the iron mining country proved very congested and slow. We lost several hours. Finally,






We continued west, and stopped for the night Grand Rapids, though I had hoped to make at least Bemidji. The GPS ran us in circles looking for non-existent hotels, until finally we pulled into a mom and pop that welcomed bikers and Canadians. Well I had never felt unwelcome on my bike, and I certainly hope that no Canadians have ever felt the need for special welcome either, so it was a touch strange. The place proved comfortable and we were able to eat next door. I could see into the kitchen from my seat, but wisely kept my mouth shut about the conditions. We didn't get sick. It wasn't a cheap place, but sometimes beauty is only skin deep.


In the morning we pushed on.




and on.




We made Watford City, ND, pulling in a bit late again. An oil boom was underway and we barely got a room. Restaraunts had not made the adjustment to the numbers of roughnecks in town, and the nice place next door had closed at 8, just as we pulled in, yeah, on Saturday night. The burger and cones shop on the other side did not appeal, but said they were open until 9, so we had time to look around a bit. Nothing else within walking distance. Back to the burger and cones place at 8:30. Kitchen closed, cones only. Gee, now why did I just ask you at 8:15 how late you were open. Thanks a lot. Fortunately the hotel had, you guessed it, frozen pizzas. They heated one up for us and we ate in the room. Oh, the room. Well when you get the last and most undesirable room around it comes with a jacuzzi bath, everything new, and some other nice stuff. I guess roughnecks don't like baths.


In the morning we set out for our first planned play day of the ride home.




This was hanging around.




Then the ride started to get better.


To be continued.

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Ok, the last installment.




The grasslands weren't much to drive through, mostly wheat fields along the roads. We saw access roads, and some nice views of distant badlands, but we were making for




Skies were overcast, and threatening rain, but we made a few pics as shown in the dSLR thread, and a few with the P&S.








Sharon took a few shots as I started up the road through the bison herd, but didn't get any of the really dramatic moments when the old bull stepped out in front of me and blocked my way.






After about 3 hours in the park, we made for Red Lodge, catching a bit of rain on the way in, following more GPS hijinks.


In the morning, now Monday I think, we set out over the Beartooth at about 10 am, allowing for the frost to melt.
















There was road construction.




Waiting for the pilot car, the hot view is just over that rise, but we can't get to it.












Lunch stop in Cooke City. The town is under construction, and there is no tap water. Bottled water is served.






Then through Yellowstone and construction h***.




But the bison were wallowing.


We made it home Tuesday night, after a fun ride down the teton back and along Bear Lake, into Logan. Crumb Bros was closed so we couldn't pick up any bagels, but the farm markets between Brigham City and Fruit Heights were in full swing, so all was well.


A great trip, fantastic meeting the north east crowd, some of our Canadian friends, and seeing a few fine places.


Thanks everyone for making it possible.

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Must be afraid people will fill in the lake :grin:




Nah, they just didn't want you to get all washed up :rofl:


No, no. It scares the Americans on the other side.

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Must be afraid people will fill in the lake :grin:




Nah, they just didn't want you to get all washed up :rofl:


No, no. It scares the Americans on the other side.



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Thanks for all the pics and travel dialogue Jan. Your posts have let us ride along at least vicariously. Google suggests about 8 hrs. travel time between Lancaster and Pembroke. I'm curious what your actual time might have been. We get quite a chuckle out of the distances you folks ride in a day. For Kath and I Pembroke is an overnighter :).


It's been fascinating reading the various comments on gps navigation and all the glitches encountered. When we ride north east from here (now that you know where here is) towards Pembroke our gps shows us hovering in midair as the back roads we ride most all day aren't plotted yet.


We're glad you re-entered Canada on your return trip and hope your route was enjoyable considering your mission to cover a lot of ground. I don't recognize where the Entering Ontario sign is and wonder where your border crossing was. If you traveled any Quebec roads I'd be interested in any comments you might have.


We're glad you're both home safe and sound.


Best regards

Paul and Kath

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I-89 North of St Albans onto Q-133, through Montreal onto 17/417 through Ottawa.


8 hours might not be too far off, since we didn't leave until about 9:30, stopped for lunch and again at that US fast food restaurant place, and got in about 8:00....


The Quebec roads were fine. The road up from the border to Montreal was a bit slow, straight, but well maintained and no traffic except in towns. The superhighways through Montreal and Ottawa were superhighways, just like in the US. No problems. A ten minute delay for road construction at one point is all. Otherwise, smooth sailing.


I'm pretty much done with gps's now. What a PITA!


Was great to meet you two! Stop in anytime!

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