Friday, September 30, 2011

MI UP Sunday continued.

Sorry to break up the posting, but hey, it was getting late (10:00), I was tired, been enjoying "cold symptoms" all week, and I don't know for sure how long of a post this thing will accept.  Or how many pics it will take.  "fairly long and quite a few" seems about right.

So, where were we, constant readers?  Yep, a Stephen King reference.  If only my fingers could type out my goofy thoughts as well as he does...but I digress.  Paradise, if I recall correctly, right?  Kind of an interesting joint there, a roadside diner/drive in combined with a storage facility.  Open today, the last day of their season.  On our way north, the place is packed!  We planned to stop there on the way back, still don't know how late the museum is open.  Just another 10 or 12 miles, zoooooooooom.  The road is dry now, after enjoying a good soaking we're happy to be drying off.  We get to the end of the road, and there it is:  the shipwreck museum.

I believe this is the first lighthouse in MI, commissioned by Abe Lincoln, one of my favorite presidents.  Probably because I never met him, probably would like him at all.  No matter!  Here's a linky.  The facility is a bit expensive, but worth the cost, in my opinion.  You don't have to pay to go there and walk around the grounds, you can go to the beach and flash yer boobies to whoever wants to watch, or round up some driftwood or dig up some rocks or just wander about taking pics of the bdlgs.  They have a B&B in one of the bdlgs, not well marked at all.  When we were on the deck overlooking the beach, a couple of people had been digging up rocks, and were hauling a sack of them out.  He was covered with big nasty looking black flies;  I'm glad he didn't stop to talk.  If you want the tour of the light keepers house or the movie or the other 2 bdlgs, you have to pay yer fee:  $13/adult (dollar off for AAA) or there was a family price, too.  They stamp your hand and have a guard posted at each bdlg watching. 

the Edmund Fitzgerald bell;  a diver went down to get it, and they placed a different bell down there;  I don't know why. 

large wooden rudder and me.  they hauled the rudder out of the water after quite a few years.  the water is so cold that it preserves things quite well.
 I think we spent a couple hours here, they close at 6, so we had plenty of time.  Seems like most of the shipwrecks occurred because the ships ran into one another.  They keep thinking that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank because they ran aground trying to avoid some waves...but then sank where the depth is more than 400'.  The ship did not have any sort of depth finder/gauge.  I don't know if AlGore had invented that yet or not.  Good museum, friendly helpful staff, worth the trip.  Check the linky that I posted earlier.

We went back the way we came, it's the only paved road!  Back to Paradise, stopped in for ice cream.  We were worried that they had closed while we were up nort, because there was no other customers there.  Not to worry, still open, and would stay open till 9.  Hand lettered sign said:  chocolate 50 cents off, no heath or butterfinger.  So!  what is a guy to do?  Ask for a vanilla blizzard with heath and butterfinger!  She got that look on her face and pointed to the sign saying:  look at this, you dumbass!  Val quickly assured her that I was indeed being a dumbass/smartass (often I can't tell the difference, but she can) and we each asked for a small chocolate cone.  What we got was a rather large chocolate cone, the ice cream was a good 5 inches above the cone.  I use my hand as a measure, (not that I was grabbing hold of the ice cream, ) not that other thing that fellers like to use as a measuring device.  If I used that one, I'd have had to say we had at least 22" of ice cream above the cone, and that just is not possible.  I worked at McDonalds, I tried to make a cone that big. 
Not a cloud in the sky now, is there.  I swear, UP weather is like mountain weather, changes early, changes often.  This is a very nice place to stop for ice cream...and they had a full menu as well.

Back onto 123 to Newberry, moose capitol of the world.  Nope, didn't see a live moose or deer or bear today, but I think I mentioned that once.  I suppose it's because our bikes are a little bit loud which might scare them away.  We pull into town, I see a logging museum that I think might be nice, but we're hungry, it's been a long day, so we go straight to supper.  Like I said, I'm a dumbass and don't take my camera in to dinner.  Big mistake.  This place is one of the highlights of our trip.  As we're looking thru the menu, I realize that I have not eaten the same entree'/protein for dinner twice.  I'd had fish, chicken, steak, and sausage, so as to not screw up this unplanned not too interesting observation, I order the hot turkey.  The menu is a joy to read, with all sorts of interesting terms, none of which I can remember.  Luckily, the menu is posted online!  Like I said, I got the hot turkey, not double meat, and with the traditional mashed potatoes.  It was so good...I didn't wave the salt and pepper shaker at it even one time.  All too often I want to really like the hot beef/hot pork/hot turkey, but the gravy is no good or the meat is overcooked or the taters are bland.  Not was perfect.  Val ordered a fish...and got 2 huge fillets nearly a foot long. 

A weird guy/customer (is in love with a waitress, in my opinion) brought in a box of "baklava" because he thought she'd like it, even though she only weighs 45#. know me...I hear baklava and spout off...not realizing that he'd given her a whole box full.  We had a different waitress, but when we were about done eating the gifty girl brought out the box and said:  "since you seem to like it so much, do you want some?"  "SURE!"  when I finished, I said to her: "don't let the stuff in the box deter you from trying real baklava: made right, it is quite good."  I want to go back just for dinner.  We did see a dead moose head, and quite a few other critters in the restaurant, but it's not the same as seeing them slinking around/running away from the road. 

Hotel is just a few miles up the road, so off we go to check in, unload, unpack, mix a drink, wait for the bikes to cool, etc.  This might be the place that we spent a few extra bucks and got an in room hot tub thingy.  I don't take pics of the hotels, don't really see the point.  This was a really good day, I hope you enjoyed it a little bit too.  If not, double your money back.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MI UP ride review, Sunday.

So Saturday night, we officially stayed in Harvey MI, at the hotel which used to be terrible, but now is ok.  It's not great/perfect, but it's ok.  We stay at a lot of "america's best value" because we have a discount card.  and a AAA card.  No AAAAARP for us, unless we drink our sodey pop too fast.  You're thinking:  where the hell is Harvey?  It's right near Marquette, which has a bunch of stuff we should go back and look at.  For example?  everything that we didn't see, which is everything there.  I invite you to go to Uncle Google, type in Harvey MI or Christmas MI, zoom out to 2 miles and follow along.  Switch back and forth to earth or whatever that other thing is to see what we see.

Sunday:  Yeah, ok, so the bed is like a rock again, we've figgered out that nearly every hotel bed has a hard bed, so it's no use complaining about it.  By now we're getting used to it and adjusting to it, getting some decent sleep.  It helps that we're exhausted when we get to bed each night.  Some days we actually get planned ahead enough that we don't have to take in all of our luggage, that saves a bit of time and effort.  Even though there's no rain in the forecast, we covered the bikes each night...meaning we had to go back out after the bikes had cooled off enough to cover them.....didn't want to melt the covers. 

You may remember that Val had just acquired this bike shortly before this trip, and I guess we should feel lucky that it did have some saddlebags installed on it, even though they were tiny.  We ordered some giant sized saddlebags, the order confirmation stated:  delivery in 21 to 56 days.  We still have not received them, but did get an email telling us that FedEx has them.  The two covers, a 1st aid kit and Val's sack for bungees totally filled the right side bag on her bike.  Her rain kit, extra gloves, and a few other bits of special necessary crap filled the other one.  I'm not going to list the contents of my saddle bags, they're large and voluminous.

I told you that story just so I could tell you this one:  once upon a time, in a land far far away, a little motel thought they'd serve breakfast to everyone that stayed there.  The memory of this makes me want to ask:  does anyone really like those waffle things?  I've made them, and I've eaten them, and I think that they're not bad, but they're not very good, either.  I've learned that I do better all day if I have some protein with my breakfast instead of all carbonhydrates.  Eating cereal is not really an option, either, since milk sometimes causes my stomach to rebel and has more sugars than proteins anyway.  So!  This is why we went to McDonalds most mornings.  Fairly cheap, sorta fast, plenty of napkins. 

couple pics snapped as we cruise thru

Off we go, easterly in direction.  As I look at the map showing the road we took, I see that we are quite near the lake.  Very near the lake.  But, I did not realize this until now, because there are so many trees that you can't see anything most of the time due to the thick stands of trees on both sides of the road. I'm not saying that they should be removed, I like trees.  I understand the importance of them, but...we're here to see the damn lake!  Must be time for a pic.  First 2 are just some things along the road as we're cruising thru town.  Yes, Virginia, there is a SantaClaus, but Mrs Claus lost her head and is not being featured here.  Santa is in Christmas, MI, of course. 

Seems like we gassed up in Munising and hit the Pictured Rocks road.  We saw a sign for Miner's Castle and went there, saw "pictured rock".  And now so shall you. 

One from my camera, and one from Val's.  I don't know why the bloggy software didn't turn this second pic like it did Santa and the other rock pic.  I'm glad we turned to take this side trip, it's about the only scenic thing we see until we get to Grand Marais.  H58 is a nice road, pleasantly twisty, in nice condition, lots of shade.  It even shows the lake for about half a mile!  At some point along the way, we stopped at a scenic overlook because I had drunk too much coffee.  I was very careful to avoid the poison ivy when I went along the trail to find a place to offload the used coffee.  No pics of that activity, I know you're happy about that.

sand dune

Yeah, imagine that...a sand dune along the highway.  It wasn't the only one either.  Ok, so we pull into Grand Marais and top off the gas tanks.  We had not really gone too far or too fast, so we still had a lot,'s better to be safe than to have to walk a long ways.  I ask the guy at the gas station where the best place for lunch is, and he indicates that we need to go across the we do.  They make beer there, 2 and brown.  I accept one, but I can't remember which one. It was pretty good. 

Pretty clever of them to use a barrel to hold up the table top.  You can see under the center glass there's slices of polished agate nestled in sand.  Grandpa used to polish rocks.  I don't remember what I ate for lunch, fish N chips, I think.  Val's burger was quite good.  The clock keeps ticking, the sun keeps setting...we've got a long ways to go yet.

very nice war memorial on the shore

yet another thing we should have stopped to see, but!  time waits for no man!

Off we go, east bound on H58.  As we leave town, there's a hand lettered sign stating:  H58 is not paved.  The sign was not correct.  H58 was paved. Grand Marais Truck Trail Co Rd 407 was not paved.  It was really not paved.  It was the worst gravel road that I've been on.  It was rutted, it was wash boardy, it had soft spots, it had wet spots, it had bare spots, it had deep loose gravel, it was not level, not banked, and not too shady.  It was awesome.  Knowing that most of the motorcyclists in the UP had not seen this area made it more special for us, in my opinion it had some of the best scenery on the trip because it was not so closed in by treees.  I predict that in a couple years it will be paved, and it will really add a lot of business to Grand Marais.
Not too many pics, the road was so rough that they would not have been good.  Val kept the speed up, she did good going about 35.  We did not really take note of the mileage before the gravel, but we're sure it was about 20 miles of gravel.  We did consult the maps, figgered it was going to be about a 70 mile detour, so that's why we went.  Yes, I know that pic shows that the road is shady.  Not nearly as shady as most of the other roads!  Seems like eternity, but finally we hit pavement; Val doesn't look back but hits the throttle, takes us up to 65.  Remember...rain is not in the forecast, so WTH is that huge cloud doing??  She kicked it up some more, and we got about 12 big fat drops, which was really nice with the reddish dust on our helmets and glasses and windshields. 

We finally hit Hwy 123, which goes thru Newberry state forest area.  Newberry is moose capital of MI.  We still have not seen a deer or a moose or a bear or an elk or a wild pig or a wolf or a coyote or a fox or a beaver, but we've seen lots of hairy crows and a few hawks.  Val saw a herd of deer in a field in Northern WI, so we were on the lookout.  Our destination is the shipwreck museum and some water falls, the name of which escapes me.  Starts with T.  Sounds like.................ah hell, I'll think of it sooner or later.

Did I mention anywhere at anytime that MI is experiencing near record heat?  We start the day with full leather, but by lunch we've taken off our coats and chaps, just wearing helmets and gloves, shirts, pants, and boots.  So!  those raindrops felt good. 

We do have our talky walky radios on, and we yack back and forth a bit.  Gotta pee!  Need lunch!  Gonna take a pic of that barrel thing, wait up!  So when it started to sprinkle...she says:  should we stop and put on some gear?  Nah, maybe if it rains we kept on.  We're going north to whitefish point, you've heard of whitefish bay, right?  "they'd have made whitefish bay if they'd put 15 more miles behind them"  Sprinkles stop, we keep going, not sure what time the museum closes, it's 330 or so...getting cold!  Stop for coats, carry on.  Few miles....RAIN!  These drops have sharp corners.  We didn't do chaps, so pants get wet, boots get wet.  yep, cold.  But we carry on, since we've got some place to be and no place to stop.  Sun comes out, steamy, weird weather!  Finally, it's been 20 miles or so of piney woods, and we see the falls that we're going to visit, we come across a little town, there's an ice cream shop open for it's last day of the season. We've reached Paradise. We'll stop there on the way back.  There's only one way in and out!  10/12 miles north to the point and to the museum, and BTW, we're in the cranberry capitol of MI. 
I'll finish Sunday another day....stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MI UP review, ramblings and whatever.

Still on Saturday, thought I'd maybe review everything, fill in what I've forgotten or maybe ramble on (waffle) about everything or nothing.

Holy crap, the UP has huge crows.  They seem to have furry legs.  We've seen crows like this on the Ice Road Trucker show.  Since the damn things would not pose for a pic while we were riding, if you want to see one, tune in to IRT.  Crows serve an important part of the ecology/food chain....but I can't figger out what purpose mosquitoes serve.  Well, other than food for bats and birds, which could find other things to eat, I'm quite sure of that.

There's a large wasp nest on the front of my garage, I discovered when I went up to change the halogen light this morning.  The temps were cool enough that they didn't seem to care that I was there...which is good, because I remember how Dad dealt with them...take a soup can with some gas in it, and splash a little in their eyes/nose/mouth/ears.  The sadistic fuckers drop like rocks and never move again.  I took out a 300 watt and put in a 500 watt, cleaned 15 years of dirt and paint off the glass...if I ever have to do anything in the driveway at'll be like daytime.

Step she did.  Maybe it was a base for a telescope?  ON top of that mountain, whatever it's name was.

sculpture on the beach where the wedding party was taking pics.
 Blah blah blah, back to the ride.  I don't know why the pics went above this text.  OH well, doesn't matter. 

perhaps what does matter is that I've forgotten where I stopped and where I started with this blog thingy.  This particular post has been going on and on for 9 days, time to post it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday UP part 2

Using a camera mounted on the bike is difficult at best, and dangerous at worst.  Since it is mounted, I don't worry about dropping the camera, but since I have it mounted on the left side of the windshield on the bars, I can really only shoot ahead or to the left.  And since the cam is waterproof, it does not have much zoom capability, which is probably good...since that would just magnify any shake or vibration.  Since the cam is small and my hand is large, I often can't see the screen when I shoot.  Often with my $50 gloves on, I can't feel the button well enuf to get the half click to focus every time.  All that said, you can imagine how happy I am when a pic turns out.  Very happy about that indian feller shot earlier in the day.

Like I said, back the way we came, got gas at the same BP station, Peggy didn't know about our boycott, so I grudgingly put 4 gallons in our bikes.  Get on the bikes and go...we only stopped long enough to put on our coats along the lake...then we got to Ishpeming and DaYooper Tourist Trap.  I'm not going to post all the pics we took there, but I will post some, and if you want to see the rest, if I ever get Photobucket figgered out....maybe I'll post the linky.

this is the back half of an Eagle, probably the best possible use for such a car.
 This place was closed when we got there, but we still walked around to see the outside stuff.  They have a tremendous amount of home made stuff, like a 4wd 56 chevy car with a plow on it.  I'm curious as to the inside of the place, so we'll have to go back.  It's getting dark, on to Marquette for dinner and bed.  Decent meal at a "Cajun" place, they brew beer, have their own RootyBeer too.  Had a whitefish special, pretty good...but not great.  Peggy and Buck escorted us to the hotel, which they wouldn't stay in...said it was beneath their standards.  We didn't have any problems with the place, except that I had not packed my swimsuit.  Decent place, really. 

more ruined bdlgs

here's that steel grate

pulling in to Marquette, quite near our dinner destination.

here's a good example of the trouble using a bar mounted camera.  It metered off the car, so the boat in the background is too dark.  If I knew how, I suppose I could edit the pic.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sept UP trip, day 2 or 3, Saturday.....our anniversary.

Should step back to Friday for a second and mention that at a restroom stop, some girl came along at the Holiday and commented about how we must really be saving gas by riding the motorcycles.  No one goes into motorcycling to save time or money, let me assure you of that.  Examples?  sure! I've already told you how the motorcycle has a gas range of about 160 miles.  That means, of course, that you MUST stop for gas about twice as often as in yer car.  Our car will go at least 400 miles per tank, the pickup can go 500 on a fill.  With the bike, we always wear our helmets, often we use radios and occasionally use mp3 players too.  Add coats, chaps, gloves, most of which will be removed before a trip to the restroom takes time.  A lot of time.  With the car, you can unclip your seat belt, skip into the rr and be back out straight away.  Usually.  :)  If you are motorcycling with friends, a gas stop can take 30 minutes, once you get to chatting, getting a drink, a snack, adjust wardrobe or gear, restrap yer crap, etc.

Save money?  HA.  refer back to the gear:  radios, chaps, coat, hat, gloves, glasses, boots, etc and so on.  Tires:  $200 each if you shop around and do yer homework.  Can be more like $300, and only go about 10,000 miles, occasionally more, but often less.   Save gas?  to go 160 miles, with 2 bikes, we put in about 6.5 gallons.  Ok, compared to the pickup, it is saving gas, but not compared to the car, it would have used less than 6 gallons.  The last set of tires we replaced had gone about 60,000 miles and cost about $500.  Have not put tires on the pickup since 2002.  (38,000 miles)  I've put 2 rear tires on my motorcycle this year and one front.

Saturday!  Happy anniversary, up to 17, now.  Under the advice of Debi and later Julie, I ordered some jewelry for a gift, knowing it would not arrive in time.  In fact, it arrived today, a week late.  She seems to like it; it matches her nightgown.  Breakfast at McDonalds again!  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  bite me.  We like it.

Wakefield MI, taken with my handlebar mounted camera
So we set off for Houghton, where we'll meet up with Peggy and Buck.  See that pic above?  I don't know how you missed it, with that blue sky and green grass, red fence and indian dude centered between the sign post and light pole.  Took that pic with my handlebar mounted camera, like the caption says...built that mount in my garage, and I could build one for you for about $2.  It's a pretty good little camera, waterproof, uses the same battery and charger as my poor dead Pentax, which was an awesome pocket camera...I'd carry it everywhere and take pics of menus, restroom doors, cars, signs, etc.  Sadly, it died in HI when I dropped it on Val.  On to Houghton...about 110 miles, I guess, got a time change coming up, better get moving.  BTW, the camera is prone to catching bugs, as it is about the same colour as a venus flytrap. 
on the road...

Houghton...a nice sized town.  Peggy says:  text me when you get there.  :(  I managed to get that done, and we go to WallyMart for gas and other supplies.  Val had lost an earring back, so she needed a spare.  Finally Peggy calls after nearly an hour, meets us at WallyMart, we set off for Copper Harbour, but first, lunch in Calumet, and gas for them at BP.  Not sure why they didn't get gas at WallyMart, maybe they boycott?  (more time lost!)  Lunch was at a pizza place that she used to frequent 30 years ago, pretty special for her.   I didn't take a camera in so I don't have pics of this, sadly.  A guy makes cut outs of the state of MI using license plates.  I think he fastens them to plywood and then cuts the shape of the state (which is quite goofy, btw).  Pretty neat.  Buck has never been to Copper Harbor, but he did look at a map that morning, so he led our excursion/expedition.  He did pretty well.  Must be time for more pics.
record snowfall indicator can see her face in the mirror

I think Peggy is singing, or maybe checking for bugs, not sure.  We're about to cross a lift bridge, which has a steel grate for the decking.  Glad it's not raining...I think it'd be really slippery when wet.  The thermometer?  North of Calumet, shows how much snow they got one year.  It also shows the record low snowfall of last year (about 1/3 the way up).  They get a lot of snow.

What's next?  North to Copper Harbor, pull into a grocery store to see what's up.  Turns out to be nothing.  On to Brockway Mt, which has a 4 mile long goatpath for a road.  Stop up there for pics and buy some postycards, take a 10 mile road down to some other place.  Eagle Harbor, I think.  Already we're starting to run out of time, so we don't go to the Gay bar or down the other side of the peninsula, we go back the way we came.  :(  here's some pics.

Kinda dry up on the mt.
We came across some fog and a wedding party.  We could see the fog from the mt, pretty neat to ride thru it.  Cool is a very appropriate word.

thru the clouds
Got some pics of a ruined copper refining place...not exactly like Mayan ruins, but close, I'm sure.  We've still got a long way to go today, stay tuned.  feel free to post a comment. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ride review, Michagon Upper Peninsula, day 2

Seems odd to give the ride that title, when we're not there yet.  Anyway, like I mentioned...finding the hotel was a challenge due to frontage roads and parking lots, darkness, tiredness, etc.  McDonalds was right next door for breakfast, so we did the sensible thing and rode over there to eat.  You didn't think we were going to walk, did you?

After eating and resting (there's  a euphamism), outside putting on chaps, making sure all gear is strapped down, a couple wearing matching brown shirts (cute, considering they were both 50+) commented on the weather, which was indeed perfect.  They said:  "first time we've been cooler than 90 since mother's day".  So, yeah, we blabbed with them for awhile, and although they did invite us to come to AR to ride, they didn't supply their address so we could stay with them.  Enough talking, let's ride!  North on I35w, merge w/I35, exit to go east to Taylor's Falls.  Tony leads a ride there each year, nice place.  We stopped to look at the river, and think we may return there to see the falls, if possible.  Continue east, then turn north on 63 in Turtle Lake.

One benefit of this new bike that Val has is that she can now go at least 160 miles per tank.  And so we did....almost every tank.  I think it saves some time...but have not conducted a scientific study.  For example...often I need to stop more often in the morning than in the afternoon.  I don't know why...but that is the way the bladder functions.  So.  We left Rochester Thursday night with a full tank of gas.  The hotel was approx 103 miles from home...thereby leaving us with about 60 miles to go before we would HAVE to stop for gas.  I figgered we'd hop on the bikes, ride 30-45 miles and need a restroom break, which we'd take at the gas station.  This is what we did pretty much every day, except for the night we stayed in Harvey; we had to fill up before leaving town.

I don't remember where we stopped for gas, but I do remember that we didn't stop for lunch until quite between 2 and 3.  We did pull into one little dump that had a sign on the window that they had premium gas, and the pump indicated that that is all they had, and it was $4.73/gallon.  We kept on going.  Lunch occured in Ashland WI, at a Mexican restaurant.  We stopped at a welcome center on the way into town, a lady said it was the best Mexican food she's ever eaten.  I feel sorry for her.

Lake Superior welcome center, Ashland WI

crappy pic of Prentice Park artesian well

Val enjoying a cold drink from the well

world's largest corkscrew, Hurley WI

Val had stepped onto the wood to the left of the pipe of the well, it was wet, it was mossy, it was slippery. Not a good combination for her, really.  After inserting the pics, my text is centered.  weird.  We clearly should have had lunch before going to the park, the story of trip to the park aside from what I've shared will remain a secret!  After we got the water and lunch and gas, (hey, we ate mexican!) we set out for Hurley, WI, which is right next door to Ironwood MI.  Hurley is home of the giant corkscrew.  The liquor store was kind enough to sell a bottle of whiskey to me, a bottle that treated me quite well.  It lasted all week, and gave me no headaches.

Ironwood is home to Hiawatha, the largest Indian in the world, so we went to see him.  Made of fiberglass, erected in the 60's, he's held up pretty well. 

close up so you can see how pretty he is

Hiawatha, Ironwood MI
Seems like I should be able to fit those pics side by side, doesn't it?  Oh well.
Kind of an early day, so we check in and lay around for a while.  Besides, we just had lunch a couple hours ago!  It's a decent hotel, has coupons for dinner 3 blocks away.  So we walk! The UP was enjoying near record heat the week that we were there, 80' not too hot.  Still, shorts would have been nice.  Pretty good dinner, fish on Friday is not just a MN thing.  We strolled back to the hotel via the gas station along the way to get an ice cream treat for dessert.  We plunked it on the ice bucket to keep it semisolid until we were ready for it.  I was using Val's totally flat diet Mt Dew as a mixer for the whisky that I bought.  I really don't recommend that. Some reading and some tv rounded out the night...we're done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ride Review:  Michigan Upper Peninsula

We had intended for this ride to be "Around Lake Superior in 5 days" but everyone else that had planned to go along had to stay home we just bummed around the UP instead.

Val planned and lead the entire ride, although, I did offer to lead, but she denied my assistance.  Ok, so we were about 4 blocks from home when I made the offer, but still!  We left on Thursday night, after work.  I think we finally got out of town about 6, and at 6:01 I realized that Val's tail light was burned out.  Since I was behind her they'd have to run over me to get to her...I figgered she was safe enough.  Our plan was to go to Theresa's in Lakeville, have some mexican food for supper then spend the night in Mound's View. 

Next door to the food place was a BP gas station with a repair facility, so I went there after we ate to get a bulb.  I walked in, said:  "I need a light bulb." "Oh, uh, what kind?"  "1157"  "Uh, ok.  come on back, I'm not really a light bulb expert."  So we head back, he opens a cabinet and there are about 40 bins of bulbs, each labeled.  (they clearly buy them in bulk, which makes them cheaper than buying them blister packed 2 per pack)  "Uh, like, which one?"  "1157."  He finds the correct bin, and asks "is this a headlight?"  "taillight/brakelight."  $4.27.   "Holy crap!"  "yeah, well, beats getting a ticket or run over"  "how much would it have been if I had said it was a turn signal?"  $2.95

These bulbs are $1.59 or 1.69 for 2 on a card in most any other gas station.

Obviously, I was charged the installed price and got no installation.  It was then that I decided to boycott BP.  I'll post the letter that I write to them.  We burned approx 64 gallons of gas this weekend.  4 of them did come from BP, our friend Peggy that joined us in Houton did not know of our boycott.

Ok, so dinner was good, the bulb got changed, we made it to the hotel, somewhat of an eventful journey....Val got confused and couldn't read her directions in the dark.  But she didn't get flustered to the point of not thinking, she was able to logic out which way to go with a little help from me.  And directions from some smokers in a parking lot.

Friday:  breakfast at McDonalds, head up the highway.