Wow. When I disappear from the blog, I really disappear, eh? I just have to plead "busy". When I haven't been working or slaving over essay questions, I've been... well.... digging holes in my yard. Photos will follow. In the meantime, I've finally finished another project, related to this. I was elected/selected/volunteered ---probably due to the fact that I had the biggest, bulkiest camera--- to gather up all of the photos the gang took of our little jaunt, burn them all to CD, and redistribute them. I did that, going through well over a thousand pictures, and had a grand old time doing it. *So* much fun, in fact, that I went ahead and created a little video from the best photos for the two members of the gang who don't have computers (can you believe it? There are people in this day and age who aren't wired up???). The hardest part was learning to burn a DVD playable on a television. My incredible and extensive computer skills didn't prepare me for the amount of cussing needed to make DVD's that work on *all* players. For some reason, my DVD's will not play on my fancy machine in the living room, but work just great on the $5 garage sale machine in the bedroom. Go figure. The full video on DVD is about a half hour long, but here is just a short selection. Hope you enjoy.
I'm still, two days later, trying to get my right wrist to once again straighten out completely! Too much time on the throttle combined with early arthritis, I suppose. Good thing I am so severely left-handed, lol. My best pictures are up on the flickr site, and pics from my cohorts in this little jaunt are trickling in slowly; I'll post them as well when I get them. It was a wonderful trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. As I wrote to a friend yesterday:
"3234 miles in 10 days. I am sunburnt and tired and exhilarated and glad to be home even though it was a wonderful wonderful trip of a lifetime.
I got to put my feet in the Atlantic again.
I spent a night in a house built by Rudy Vallee and frequented by old-time Hollywood types from the '30's.
I ate lobster and clams 'til even *I* was tired of them.
I stayed one night across the street from the 1980 Olympics complex and marveled at all the healthy-looking Olympic types running around. I stood underneath, and looked up at, Niagara Falls.
I rode across Ontario. I saw a moose (and learned that while deer look big when seen from the seat of a motorcycle, moose are approximately the size of a semi). I roasted in the sunshine in Acadia National Park and got hailed on in Flint, Michigan. I saw the gradual progression of spring across half our continent. I smelled lilacs and cow manure. I saw some of the most incredible houses in the country. I saw sailboats. I saw every one of the Great Lakes, as well as the ocean. It was a fantastic trip, just fantastic."
So. What do you do to top a trip like this one?
Next year, you go west. Waaaaay west. We're tossing around the idea of another of my dream trips.... across the northern tier of states to British Colombia. I need to go wading in the Pacific again, after all.
This is what early autumn in northern 'sconsin looked like from my saddle today.
Trust me, getting that shot wasn't as easy as it looks. Note the buggy windshield--it was spotlessly clean about a half hour before I took this. (And yes, I *was* poking along at 40, for a change.)
This is a little bit better look at the colors of the Flambeau River state forest. It was so pretty, and the newsy-types are saying that peak colors are still over a week away.
It's here--the biggest event of the year for this little town, rivaled only by our great Independence Day celebrations. It's the 26th Annual Fall Ride, both a celebration of the end of summer and a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The ride raised nearly $150,000 dollars last year! Last year's event also brought about 45,000 riders to the area, so yes, the low rumble is considerable. We're just not used to this!! So what do we do at this little event?
- Well, we got yer street dances and bonfires.
We got yer Poker runs.
We got yer Harley Plant tours and stunt motorcycle shows.
We got yer Harley Demo rides--I plan to go drool on the Fat Bob. Saw one in Marquette last week and promptly fell in love. That flat paintjob and low chrome look gets me every time. And those tires, wow!!
We got the Harley Traveling Museum, which is going to be replaced shortly by this.
We got yer Thunder Parade.
We got all the vendors you can imagine, selling everything from leather to tshirts to chrome goodies.
We got Sammy Kershaw tonight and 38 Special tomorrow night at Bubba's Big Party.
We got yer raffle bikes, a 2007 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide. Second place is a 2007 Harley-Davidson 883 Custom. (By the way, the Ultra? I already have the winning ticket. Just FYI.)
And we have more gorgeous custom motorcycles to see in town than anywhere else in the Midwest.
What a trip!! We had a great time--my poor repeatedly sun-and-wind-burned nose may never recover. Day One was great. It was my first time riding long-distance in a large group, so I was a little nervous. I didn't want to fall back and miss a stoplight, nor did I want to run up anybody's tailpipe. The crew put me in the middle to keep an eye on me, and once I got used to our staggered formation, I had a great time. The weather was warm, there was little or no road construction, I didn't have to worry about routes or map-reading, so I could just kick back and enjoy the ride. We did about 400 miles that day, over to Lake Michigan, up the western coast from Marinette, across to Escanaba and Manistique, then on up through a beautifully new-paved road past Tahquanemon Falls to a little town called Paradise. (Yes, there were many jokes about "how long til we reached Paradise". Sigh.) The motley crew in Paradise, minus one taking the picture and one who was wandering around someplace:
As I said, the riding was great on Day One, as was the beer-drinking around the campfire, listening to Lake Superior a few yards away. In fact, we had so much fun that the motel owner had to come out and tell us to pipe down our raucous laughter. Ooops.
Such a rebel biker gang we are, eh?
The riding may have been great on Day One, but Day Two was another story.
Yes, Precious (the soggy blue Harley submarine in the foreground) got a bath. As did the other five bikes and all of their passengers. Repeatedly. We figured we got completely soaked and dried at least three different times that day. You will hopefully not ever see photos of me in my el cheapo rainsuit-- not only because it's *white* and makes me look like the Michelin Man but also because I absolutely refused to let anyone within camera range. Not to mention, it didn't work too well keeping me dry, lol.
There's just something... refreshing ... about ice water running down gas tanks at 60mph to puddle in the area where the posterior meets the leather.
We only managed a couple hundred miles that day due to the many stops under whatever awnings we could find. We did manage to go out to Whitefish Point to check out the lighthouse and shipwreck museum. We saw this there, and yes-- the museum played that song. I didn't even get my camera out of its little waterproof bag, since everything at the lighthouse and museum was hidden by the low clouds and downpour, so sorry no pics there.
At any rate, the hot shower at the end of the day made all the sogginess worthwhile, although I think my boots might dry out sometime in 2009. Maybe.
Day Three, although it dawned cold (and early, due to my room's previous occupant resetting the clock to TWO HOURS EARLIER than the correct time), was another great riding day. Thankfully, all my clothes which hung over the heater all night had dried enough to keep me warm through the morning. We left Marquette and took the slow scenic route back home.
I need to have more fun like this. But after waking up at FOUR AM, first I'm going to go take a nap.