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.