Thus far…

So…

I am 3,015.3 miles into the trip.

Until today, it’s been all about the destination. All about the visitation. Family. Friends. That’s how I started out. A Highway blast to Bentonville, AR. Another to the Baltimore area. Then again to Rochester, NY. And finally, cutting through Canada to the Detroit area. Blasting along interstates. 700+ miles in a day, at one point.

But today, after I crossed the Mackinaw (Mackinac? I forget at the moment) bridge on I-75 (holy hell – a big F-U to Michigan and the steel-deck bridge!), I finally left the super slabs. Today, the exploration has begun.

I darted north and ran along Lake Superior since I have run the lower route on the YUPE already. I’m not quite into “explorer” mode, however. I didn’t stop to take many pictures. I was too content with cruising along in wonderful weather. Such a nice change from the past few riding days.

Leaving Rochester on Monday, it rained for the first 4-5 hours of the ride… all the way to Hamilton, ONT, Canada. And then…

I noticed fluid pooled on the rim of the rear tire.

It was dumb, I know… but all I could think about was “Please let me make it to Michigan before all hell breaks loose.”

So I continued on.

And made it to my dear friend’s house outside of Detroit.

The first thing the next morning, I dropped the bike off at BMW of SE Michigan (http://www.bmwmcsem.com/). Diagnosis? The final drive bearing had blown and done a bit of damage inside the housing. 3 seals, 2 o-rings, 1 bearing, and 6 hours later, I had my bike back! Mike and the crew did an amazing job at getting me back on the road without missing a beat. I can’t recommend their shop enough!!

So tonight I sit in the L’Anse Motel in L’Anse, Michigan… Still more or less on schedule. Tomorrow I’ll camp somwhere in North Dakota. And all is right with the world.

(I’m having issues posting pictures with my iPhone and my iPad… the default pics are too damn big and WordPress won’t reduce their size automagically. I’ll figure it out before Alaska!!)

Today, I stopped when a cold front doused me in rain and dropped the tempreature from 82 to 46 in about 3 miles. Tomorrow I expect rain until about noon or so, and my target is Dry Lake Campground in North Dakota. We’ll see if I make it.

  

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2015: Wixom, MI

So far it’s been a connect-the-dots kind of trip, with each day on the bike more focused on the destination than on the journey. Right now I’m at friends in Wixom, MI after spending some time with friends/family in Arkansas, Maryland, and New York. After this last visit, however, the trip changes as I begin to explore my way to Alaska.

With the change will come some new pics I’ll put here that live over on my Google+ page.┬áSince I haven’t taken many photos yet, here’s one from 2013:

Beartooth Highway, Wyoming

This is another picture that Google automagically “styled,” and I kind of like the result so I include it here with no changes. The Beartooth is one of my favorite roads, and I’ll be hitting it again this summer on my way back from Alaska.

As always, you can track my progress through my SPOT page. The link brings up a map of where I’ve been for the last 7 days. It’s accessible in the right sidebar of the homepage of the site.

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Exploring Google Photos

Playing around with Google Photos. So far I’m impressed enough to keep playing around with it. Some of the more impressive features…

Automatically stitches together pictures taken in a single location to form a panorama picture. For landscapes, it seems to work really well, although there can often be humorous results if there are people in the picture (floating heads, disembodied legs, duplication of certain objects/people that are in multiple pictures). Not sure how useful this will be, however, as most cameras and phones these days have a panorama mode built in.

If shooting in burst mode, GP can automagically create a GIF for you, such as:

IMG_1513-ANIMATION

I’ll keep exploring and show off some of the capabilities as I discover them.

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More to come!

I ran out of time and didn’t get to post the rest of the itinerary… alas.

But stick around! I’ll be posting pics and other goodies from my 11+ weeks on the road. To tide you over, here’s the whole route…

final

 

Total Miles: 17,530
Estimated Saddle Time: 368 hours
Estimated Return Date: Aug 10

Departure is in approximately 7 hours. Stop #1 is Bentonville, AR. See you on the other side!

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