Thursday, September 20, 2007

Alma Michigan to Sudbury Ontario

The last trip of the season......

I woke up this morning to the realization that this would be the last day of the last trip of the season. Oh sure, there will be day rides as long as the weather holds but the traveling days were done for another year. This is the fourth year Sandy and I have been on the road steady in the summer and this day is always a sad one.

At least today's weather was staying on our side. It was 52F (compared to the high 30's last week when we dragged Sherm up this same road) and the radar was clear although there was a little bit of fog rising.

Today I'm trying the shock pre-load up on 12 and it did just fine on the smooth Michigan interstate. I don't know why I am playing with this, though, since the 10 setting did fine all summer until the seal blew. I think I'm probably overanalyzing this.

We headed north on I-75 and I watched the temperature gauge fluctuate between 14C and 15C (57 to 59F). There were a few more trees changing than a week ago, but many were still green. North of the Big Mac (where the crossing was even easier than last week's record easy passage), I pulled a Sherm and started taking some photos from the bike. This was a hit or miss proposition since the infernal CCD display wasn't working. I really do need a new camera.

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There was a long stretch between St. Ignace and the Soo where traffic was down to one lane. I don't know why since there was no work being done in the other lane. Maybe they are trying to save wear and tear on the pavement.

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Here is the famous Stella who has been our guide the last few months. You can see, with all the orange barrels out front, that I am doing 59 MPH, just below the reduced speed limit. The guy in my mirror wasn't at all pleased about this.

I do want to get back to the Upper Peninsula for a few days next year. Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, the Shipwreck Museum, the Mystery Spot and more deserve exploring but have been ignored by us for years because they are so close.

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Here are some of the orange trees over an orange barrel.

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More trees starting to change.

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And the view from my 'office'. You can see that we are out of the construction zone, the speed has picked up and the cruise is set. The cruise has to be set because my throttle hand is holding the camera with no safety strap. Look closely and you can see that the odometer says 128,415 km's or just a fraction under 80K miles. At this point, we are purring along without a care in the world.

The International Bridge crossing back into Canada was easy. We had a line-up of about four cars ahead of us but, as usual, the US bound traffic was lined up over half the bridge. A few quick questions and we were back in the True North Strong and Free.

The three hours from the Soo back to Sudbury were uneventful. Little traffic, few police. I did catch up to two Nomads near Spanish. When they stopped at Vance's, I pulled in for a couple of minutes to chat. They were from Blind River and were just out for a short ride.

As we approached Sudbury, I had to decide whether to fight rush hour traffic or, hoping that they had made progress in the last four weeks, take the by-pass and go through the RR 55 construction zone. I figured that, in a month and with fall underway, they would have had to pave the loose gravel, so we took the by-pass. As usual, I overestimated their capabilities. The loose gravel and state of work done had not changed since August. Go figure, my tax dollars at work.

We got home and unpacked quickly. Stella gave me a few quick stats since we headed out for Cyclefest. The key ones were 9,448.3 km's (5,871 miles) at an average moving speed of 89.1 KPH (55.4 MPH). Not bad for a whole trip when you factor in the sightseeing and wandering we did.

Jan will be having her triple by-pass surgery tomorrow morning, first thing, so Sandy and Harry went up to see her tonight.

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