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The long way around

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For those who weren't here 

last time, allow me to add a link 

to my original pages. The links will be up soon. try clicking on the bike and see what happens

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If the above link worked then so should the rest. Hopefully they will all open into new windows so that you can browse at your convenience.

My first trip started during the summer of 2000. Many people seemed to enjoy the stories I told so I try to keep up the tradition. Find all the emails from years past you didn't get or forgot about here, then here.

A page or two, or three here that I can't fit in elsewhere.

Some pictures from the first trip are found here and here.

My second trip was out East to visit my younger brother and sister. I also wanted to make it to Florida but got side tracked in Myrtle Beach.

Several pages here, here, and here.

The next trip was what I call the Big Circle. I went from Chicago to San Diego, up the coast to Canada, then East to New Hampshire for my sister's wedding. It was a long trip.

Along the way I also stopped to volunteer on the AidsRide, from Minnesota back to Chicago.

finally last year I tried to rest a bit and stayed home most of the summer. Near the end of the summer I went to Sturgis with some friends. That story is here. With some more pictures here.

These are some more opening pages I have used for my various trips. They will add to the story and also repeat some links inside. 2003 Sturgis, California 2002.

 

Three I hope that gets everyone up to date. Come back every couple of days to keep up, or just wait until the end for the final edit. If you would like to be added to the email list let me know I'll try to put you on it. I bought a new lap top with WiFi so hopefully I should be able to stop at most Starbucks or something like that and get a fast internet connection. This should allow me to keep the web page more current and cleaner. Yeah right.

 

Brendan


Finally, if you like to hear a good story guaranteed to have a happy ending try this

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Well I finally made it and have some time to write here. Interestingly enough everyone seems to be asking if I'm going to Laconia. At least they were. Then they would ask how long I have been on the road and where I come from. I just tell them Chicago, but I came the long way around from Canada. 

 

Now for the story.

 

Hello again all,

 

Why is it that as soon as I leave town everyone starts sending email to me. I must have had a half dozen pictures and a movie sitting in my in box when I finally found an internet connection. This new internet connection is pretty cool, except it is almost impossible to find. And of course calling t mobile to find a place takes about 10 minutes. And half the time the first 3 people I talk to have no idea what the heck I'm talking about. Well enough ranting for now.

 

The trip started off pretty good. I mean it was just a short scoot to Milwaukee to catch a ferry. So I had t make it interesting. It wasn't until I was almost at the ferry that I realized I didn't have a helmet. Michigan has a helmet law, so I had to quick find a motorcycle store in town and race over there to get a helmet. No problem, except they didn't have the cheap helmet in my size, so $150 and an hour later I was back at the ferry with my new helmet. Of course by the time I got back there were a half dozen bikers there and one guy offer to give me his extra helmet.

 

The ferry ride was pretty cool. Nothing like two 2,000 horse power diesel engines to help speed you across the lake. Other than talking to the other motorcyclists the ride was pretty uneventful, boring even, just a simple boat ride across the lake with absolutely nothing to see but water. We were moving at about 40 knots, so the wind was blowing, but not much else.

 

We didnít see anything until we got over to Muskegon, then where were a few people waving, a submarine, and a retired Coast Guard cutter. Finally, we pulled into Muskegon and I took the first Eastward road.

 

The interesting thing about Michigan is that the roads go pretty straight, but every once in a while they just stop and become dirt roads. At first I was really confused, then I realized that the roads arenít really ending, I guess the paving crews didnít feel the need to pave certain sections of road.

 

The next day I found the Canadian border at Port Huron. I know Iíve only been averaging 200 to 300 miles a day. I guess our relations with the Canadians has really been deteriorating fast. After a few minutes of grilling they decided that I should have to go inside to see the immigration officer. Like Iím going to move to Canada! Anyway they decided that I had been arrested almost 20 year before and I really shouldnít be allowed to enter the country, but seeing as they were such nice people they would allow it this time. What Iím really pissed at is the fact that everything that happened 20 years ago should have been sealed under juvenile records. This doesnít look good as far as personal freedoms are concerned.

 

Anyway, Canada was nice, again. The ride to Toronto was pretty uneventful, actually Toronto was pretty boring, but I suppose I shouldnít judge a place after I spent most of the night lying in bed trying to get rid of a headache. The next day though it seems I couldnít stop stopping. 

 

First I stopped at a RCAF museum. It wasn't very big, but they had some cool stuff. A Sopwith Camel prop, you know the one Snoopy flew and a spitfire. They had a bunch of planes out back, some prop engines, some jets, a few helicopters, and even two planes without engines at all. Then in the back room they were rebuilding a Halifax bomber that crashed after a bombing run. It was pretty cool they let me wander around the place while they were refurbishing the bomber. 

I stopped in the 1000 island area. I wanted to see where they made the salad dressing, but I couldnít find the factory. I did find the train station and the visitorsí center. At the visitorsí center I found a bunch of boat tours. I figured why not, I can spend an hour wasting time. No such luck, it seems I was too late for any of the tours, but I did find a Catholic Church they named after me. I thought it was pretty cool, so I spent some time wandering around the stations of the cross and stuff.

 

All this sight seeing made me curious so I stopped at the giant tower over looking the 1000 islands area and the St. Lawrence Seaway. I found the house of 7 gables, which seems to me was from a book or something. I paid the toll to cross the bridge and basically just wasted time. Finally, I rode another 30 klicks, thatís Canadian for half miles, (just like they have money that is only about 70% of U.S. dollars they also have distances that are 60% U.S.) to Cromwell and crossed back to the U.S. Those stupid border guards almost didnít want me to cross again. Eventually though, they had to let me come back. Usually on one side or the other, almost always the non-U.S. side,  of a border crossing they have a currency exchange. Not so here. I didnít see a single one until I passed a pawn shop a few miles away. He gave me a horrible rate of exchange, but what was I suppose to do, hang on to $80 Canadian until I finally went back 20 years later?

I spent the next night at Big Falls campground. Not much to see there but a waterfall, and it wasn't that big really.

 

I followed the U.S. Canadian border for a while until eventually heading south through Vermont and New Hampshire. I wasnít going to stop at Laconia with bike week going on and al, but I couldnít help myself. As I was riding towards town I went right past the Crawford place. Then I saw a sign for free food and I had to stop. Amazingly enough in the little church parking lot my phone started worked. I decided to call up my brother in law and see if anyone was at the Crawford place. I still wasnít sure if I wanted to stay, but I asked anyway. It turns out that no one was home, but if I wanted to stay I could camp out in the front yard. I did better than that I camped out in the screened in front porch.

With a free place to stay who wouldnít visit the oldest bike rally in the United States? I think Laconia doesnít actually exist. I followed signs and more signs and more signs, but they just lead me in a circle around LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE. Of course all the bikes were parked on Weirs Beach so thatís where I finally ended up. It was interesting to see the house we stayed at during my sisterís wedding turned into a snack shop. Iíve been thinking about getting a new jacket for a while so I wandered around until I found one I liked. $320 dollars for a jacket and then another $80 for gloves and Iím really beginning to get worried about myself. I guess a dirty leather and old gardening gloves just isnít good enough for me anymore.

 

The next morning was cold and wet so my new jacket got a workout right away. Iím pleased to note that it worked wonderfully. It is water proof and pretty warm and it has a great little flap that zippers on and off, it covers the lower face and neck. That is so much better than tying a bandana over my face, plus it stays dry so I donít have trouble breathing, finally it letís my breath out so my glasses donít get all fogged up. Itís just about perfect.

 

Well enough for now.