Upper Peninsula Michigan and Upper Mississippi River Motorcycle Tour Ė 2006.

Planning and Preparations

After much internal trepidation over planning such a trip, and after talking out loud to friends about such a trip, I finally decided to commit to it and plan the trip for July, 2006.  My initial route would take us north along the Lake Huron shores in eastern Michigan then into Canada and to Thunder Bay, Ontario, down the Mississippi to La Crosse, WI and over to Milwaukee WI for ABCís touring pictures.  I called Connie and Rob for insights into traveling in Michigan and he recommended riding through western Michigan and the Lake Michigan shoreline because he felt it was prettier.  He also felt that the upper peninsula of Michigan was just as interesting as Canada without any border crossing hassles.  He put me in touch with his friend Bruce who has traveled extensively in the UP and I got a much better idea on what to do and what could be done with this trip.  Rob also extended overnight lodging at their home for the group should we decide to travel through Grand Rapids. I personally extended an invitation to the Spiveys, the Kerrs, Whiskey, and Jeff Clifton, the group with which we enjoyed riding the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2005.  Regrettably, only Mike and Dianna were available to join us.  So the planning was done, the preparations took about a week, and then, it was time to leave.

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view our route 

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July 7     Friday            276 mi    Indy to Grand Rapids, MI

July 8     Saturday        306 mi    Grand Rapids, MI to Pellston, MI

July 9     Sunday           111 mi    Pellston, MI to Manistique, MI

July 10   Monday         323 mi    Manistique to Copper Harbor to Houghton, MI 

July 11   Tuesday         260 mi    Houghton, MI to Duluth, MN

July 12   Wednesday    205 mi    Duluth, MN to Red Wing, MN

July 13   Thursday       236 mi    Red Wing, MN to Dubuque, IA

July 14   Friday            198 mi    Dubuque, IA to Havana, IL

July 15   Saturday        223 mi    Havana, IL to Indy

We decided last night to try to beat the heat and get started an hour earlier than normal so we on the way at about 8am local time, 9am Indiana time.  There was nothing on the road east for about 40 miles until we entered McLean IL where we had breakfast at a Subway restaurant.  We continued east, heading for home, mostly comfortable until stopping in Rantoul, IL for gas.  Then it seemed to turn hot right away.  Getting through Danville was too hot and took entirely too long.  It seemed we were trapped in town with the highway deliberately winding back and forth through the city.  It was too hot for stopping at all the lights in town.  We stopped along the road for some shade in Covington, IN and then again at the gas station just east of Veedersburg.  From there we headed home deciding not to have lunch.  Mike wanted to take IN39 home but it was blocked for construction just south of Lizton, IN and he had to use IN267 in Brownsburg to get home.  Thatís where we parted ways.  Tamera and I got home and unpacked and showered to get comfortable.  We went to the Raceway Pub to meet friends there and then to dinner at the Boathouse where we hoped to meet the Churches but they didnít show.

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