Thursday, August 16, 2007

Interlochen - Day 1

Sudbury Ontario to Interlochen Michigan

The contractors were hard at work this morning as we loaded the bike and trailer for the annual pilgrimage to the Michigan VROC gathering at Interlochen. I hate leaving while the work is still going on, but the gathering of the clan is a call we can't ignore.

We got on the road about 9:30, running into a stiff headwind from the west. The only thing of note between Sudbury and the Soo (188 miles) was one idiot in a Honda CRV with Connecticut plates who, when trailing a line of slow traffic led by a tandem dump truck, pulled out in a passing lane and failed to accelerate. Driving etiquette says this shouldn't happen. I was obnoxious enough in his mirror that he pulled back over and, accelerating to WARP 9, I managed to get by the truck before the passing lane ran out.

The bridge traffic over to Soo Michogan was backed way up onto the bridge again, an increasingly common occurrence. When we finally got into a line for a booth, it was very slow. It seems the Border Guard was a young lady with an eastern European accent who was very friendly but also very chatty. When I declared my one package of cigarettes, she even wanted to know when I was planning to quit:-)

Finally through Customs, we road the 50 miles south to the Mackinac Bridge, where we were surprised by another long line of vehicles waiting to pay the bridge toll. This was a new one on us. The bridge was under high wind warnings, but they were only medium high based on our past experience and we were not shuffled into the steel grate lane so it was a good crossing.

As we were on the last part of the bridge, I was passing a truck when I saw a bike with a black batwing fairing moving up on me. Once past the truck, I cleared the lane. As he pulled up even with us, I was surprised to see the infamous Wisconsin VROCer, Furhead, also Interlochen bound. We pulled off at the first exit to say hello. My plan had been to head down I-75 to Gaylord and then cut over, but Furhead was planning on US 31 through Petoskey so we decided to take his route with him. It was a good choice because the traffic was lighter than usual and it was an enjoyable ride.

Two things we noticed on the ride. First, the water in the big lakes were a strange shade of blue-green. Aqua or teal or something an interior decorator could identify. Second, some of the maples and poplars were already starting to change colour. Tomcat said he thought that was because they were drought stressed, but I'm thinking an early fall might be on the way.

We got to Cycle-Moore Campground in Interlochen about 6:00 PM. There were already a number of familiar faces in residence and a few new ones, too. We wandered down to Grandma's Restaurant at the corner for supper. Afterwards, everyone gathered at the campground and, as the sun went down, we lit the bonfire and sat around visiting. Sandy called it quits before I did, and I finally turned in about 2:00 AM.

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