Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Yamaha TW200s around the Great Lakes {Part #2}

With the quick fix to Kurt's TW, we would roll out of his Auburn Ranch on Monday{July 27} at about 9am....

The goal was to reach Ludington by 5pm or so, grab a motel and meal, and rest up for the ride across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the docking site located some miles south of Green Bay. 

Not your typical TW Riding was in store....we needed to cover nearly 300 miles, most of it on Michigan 66, through the rural areas of central and west lower Michigan, and then shoot west on US 10 to the port city of Ludington....a couple of things happened on the way, which would prove a pain in the ass, but nothing of major proportions.

First off my $40 wrap around goggles, which had been on the top of my Helmet for a few hundred miles over the past couple weeks, would fly off somewhere near Kurt's place, never to be seen again....then at our first fuel stop, some 80 miles in, I would leave my sunglasses at a Marathon Station...figured out, no sunglasses, no goggles, meant bugs in eyes or worse, so I headed back the 3 miles, and the damn glasses were already gone..."O' Well", the nearby Shell Station had a nice selection so I picked up a pair for $17 bucks and they proved better for riding than my others, so small price to pay, and we were on our way north again.

It was not a route I had planned or wanted, on pavement and somewhat busy highways, but in retrospect it was what we would do much of the trip, with breaks for better off road and back roads, at times.  We weaved our way through small towns and larger ones too{Battle Creek}, without further incidents, and arrived at Ludington at about 5pm, found a nice "Mom and Pop" motel about a mile or so from the docks, plunked down $100 for a three bed room, and immediately headed out to a Mexican Restaurant.  After a good meal, we stopped at the local Wal Mart, I grabbed a six pack, Kurt needed a leather belt{he left his at home}, and we called it a night.

The SS Badger

Our departure time was set for 8:45am, and we had been told to be there an hour before the boat was to leave....we got there about 90 minutes before hand....I had already taken a ginger root capsule and a Dramamine just in case of rough seas would make my motion sickness kick in....I needed not to worry!

The Ship is a converted 1953 built coal boat and was loaded with passengers, semi trucks, cars, and 8 of us on Motorcycles...without really knowing, I would say a couple hundred passengers were on this trip...sunshine, little wind, and lite seas greeted us.  Nick and Kurt ate breakfast, I settled for a small coffee, not really being hungry, and not wanting to chance the motion sickness bug, even with the small waves...

I spent most of the first half of the trip across on the 3rd deck smoking area...no I didn't smoke, but the air was pretty good, and I spent a couple hours taking with a couple of guys on Harleys that were heading for the HD Museum in Milwaukee, then on to the big rally at Sturgis, South Dakota....this would be one guys 9th trip, the other was making his maiden showing at Sturgis.

 I finally worked my way down to the sundeck where Kurt and Nick were parked...and spent the next 90 minutes or so until we drifted into Manitowoc Harbor....

A quick unload and we were off towards the Wisconsin Northwoods....

that will be continue next.....{probably Thursday, due to being with the Grandsons tomorrow}

Photos-Top:  The SS Badger as it awaits our TWs and other vehicles for the 4 hour tour across Lake Michigan (2) One of the rare rural spots on our first full riding day...a park and area Kurt knew near Mongo, Indiana{3}Our first Motel Night at the Mom and Pop at Ludington{4} A "Selfie" with the new sunglasses in all their glory {5} Leaving Ludington {6} The Sun Deck of the Badger, where many of the passengers would spend the trip {6} and finally we pull into Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as the fisherman watched us arrive.

1 comment:

Ginamarie Austin said...

It looks like you guys had a great ride...sorry that I missed it.