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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All packed and ready to go on my latest adventure.

I'm heading out in the moringin on my Vstrom for a 5 to 6 week adventure, touring the US and some of Canada. I plan on updating along the way as much as possible. I'll be camping in mostly state parks so internet may be hard to come by. Hope to take some good pictures along the way. I'll be posting on a few sites to reach friends and family. :thumbup:
Guns
 

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Drop me a PM if you make it to Halifax NS. Always room for a tent in the yard and maybe even a hot shower if needed. Cold beer and coffee are always on tap as well.

Safe travels!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
12 July Day 1
Started the day off just before 8am. I always get a picture of the starting mileage just so I know for sure.


The weather was perfect for most of the day. I was expecting rain all day, but only hit rain for about a minute shortly before getting to the campground. There was no traffic at all, where did they all go? At 134 miles I hit finally got stopped at my third light all day. As you can tell I'm not taking any expressways. Ninety percent of my ride looked similar to this picture.


Crossed a lot of rivers today not sure which one this was but I liked the bridge, Ok timing off again (only day one I'm rusty).


I forgot I was going through a time zone today. Check in was no earlier than 3pm. When I finally realized that I tried to slow down so I didn't arrive too early. Finally got to the first night's campground, Blackwater State park near Milton, Florida. Ended the day riding 368 miles. I planned the trip to average 350 miles a day so I could take my time and enjoy the sites.


Nice site except its all gravel, but I already knew that ahead of time.


Went down to the river to check it out and soak my feet. Saw this sign and though yeah right I never see one when they have a sign.


I got around the corner and sure enough there was a little alligator, you know momma is around somewhere..... Got a bonus with the alligator and the turtle in one shot (sorry it's not a close up but this is my travel camera and it was zoomed in as much as it will go)


Turned out to be a nice day for riding, but it got real hot about time to put up the tent. Tomorrow expecting severe heat and probably rain.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Drop me a PM if you make it to Halifax NS. Always room for a tent in the yard and maybe even a hot shower if needed. Cold beer and coffee are always on tap as well.

Safe travels!
Thanks for the offer, I planned on going there but I'm now dropping down into Maine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
13 July Day 2 Blackwater State Park Florida to Hugh White State Park Mississippi.

Woke up early so packed up just as it was starting to get warm. I went out the back way from the park, since I was heading northwest. The roads were beautiful there was even a slight elevation change so the roads were wavy (that’s a Florida elevation change from about 40’ to I seen my altitude at 303’ remember this is Florida!). The first 25 – 30 miles in Florida were great. There were so many streams running through the area. Stopped on this river because I liked the wood bridge.



Uneventful all the way to the Alabama line.


I tried to upload my pictures from the first day at a McDonalds but had no luck for some reason. My camera is attached to my handle bar with a Ram mount. I learned today that if the camera doesn’t point enough to the right the camera focuses on the windscreen…. Needless to say I had a lot of blurry pictures today. I got this one because I turned the camera to the right, don’t know what river it was but it looked nice.


Planned on stopping at the Mississippi boarder, but the road side was very narrow and the slope on the grass was to step so took a rolling shot (blurry).


Went under the Natchez Trace Parkway, if you have never been down it go in the fall!


I looked for internet service all day today, but by bypassing all the big cities I guess that’s what I get. Well not all big cities, I went through Meridian Mississippi, what a mistake.

The road to my campground was closed due to water over the road. Once I found another way I stopped right before going to the campground. I never heard of Grenada Lake but it was pretty big.



Finally hit my home for the night, Hugh White State Park Mississippi. Today was 356 miles.


Just as I got my tent up the sky opened up. I rushed to put everything inside. It only rained for about a half hour then stopped for a little over an hour.


I walked around and took a couple pictures of the spillway.



It rained steady until sometime early in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
14 July 2011 Hugh White State Park Mississippi to Buffalo Point National Park Arkansas.

Loaded up my stuff, everything was still wet when I put it away. Had a nice day with mostly farmland for the first 3/4 of the ride.



I’ve been craving Waffle House so was hoping to see one. Found another McDonalds so thought I’d give the free internet another shot. Worked like a charm so uploaded day one and put the pictures for day 2 on photobucket. Sure enough not more than a mile down the street was a Waffle House….arhgggg

Crossed over the Mississippi into Arkansas and once again couldn’t stop because the sign was on the bridge and I has someone behind me.


Kept going over the White River. Either there were multiple forks on this river or it just snaked back and forth and I couldn’t see it.


It actually cooled down as the day went on, the sky is the giveaway. I hit rain but not for long. I didn’t even bother to stop and put on rain gear.


After the rain the sky cleared up and the temperature started to slowly come up. Of course had to take a picture of another river.


The last 20 miles coming to my campground was awesome, ARK 27! It reminded me of US 28 just before getting to the Dragon. Had too much fun to take pictures. Finally got to my home, Buffalo Point Arkansas. Went 325 miles today.


I have a large lot with plenty of shade today. Camping next to people with horses. All my stuff was still wet so set up and aired everything out.


My campsite is right across the street for the Buffalo River, very nice.


Had to get in the water and also walked around and took more pictures.




I guess I should have titled this ride the water ride. I guess from all my pictures I like water. I think most of the places I plan on staying are on water, including Niagara Falls.

Its early and I’m getting hungry so I’m off to hunt for food..

I thought I would have to ride about 20 miles for food. On the way in I seen a sign for a park restaurant so I figured I might as well check it out. Bonus!


A view from my table. The food was good too!


Glad I decided to drive around the park some, found this.


What a great day, and to think I get to do it all again tomorrow and the next day and …..

Until tomorrow Adios.

Guns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
15 July 2011 Buffalo Point Arkansas to Pomona State Park Kansas.

The first half of today was great, Oklahoma and Kansas not as great, ended up going about 390 miles. On the map it looked like the shortest day, but ended up a very long day (well worth it because of the first half). Yesterday I thought I was on 27 but somehow it was 14??? That was a great road and never seen had a single car in front of me all the way to the boarder (70 miles).


Lots of curves


Thought the fun was over but the roads in south west Missouri were great too. Boarder Sign…


Oh yeah


Had to put in at least one lake. Passed more but spared you today, Table Rock Lake.


The road was plastered with these signs, which is good on a motorcycle.


One place the road went under the rock, it was cool.


Then came Oklahoma and the fun stopped. It was the north eastern corner and it was flat and boring! Boarder sign was a must.


I’ve learned something on this trip. Internet or Free Wi-Fi is sure hard to come by in small towns. The other thing I learned is that if a town has at least 50 people it has one of these! 75 and they get 2 of them...


Sorry if I offend but glad to be out of that part of Oklahoma. On to Kansas.


Nothing exciting so no pictures until I got to my destination, Pomona State Park Kansas. There was one weird thing... A round-a-bout in the middle of no where on a main highway.... Unbelievable.


Got a decent campsite and the first where I’m actually on grass. Had to find the best shade, because it was 104 degrees and I probably lost 10 pounds today.


Went looking around because it was too hot to stay at my site. Found the Pomona Dam.


And the Pomona Spillway on the other side.


Doing laundry as I write this. The sun is almost all the way down so the temperature has dropped quite a bit. I think it’s time to find some food and then back to camp. Sure hope I can find Internet tomorrow. See ya.
Guns
 

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Very much enjoying your text.... and beautifull pics!!!!!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. Have good internet tonight wish I had todays ready. If pictures turned out I'll have a lot of the floods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
16 July Pomona Kansas to Fremont Nebraska.

Today was going to be my longest day I was going into Iowa and was going to ride in the hills before looping around the north side of Omaha. Then I ran into this.


There was no other info just, “you can’t go this way!” I found out my maps are not very good, but with my GPS I can figure another way around. Well this was a small glimpse of what was to come all day.


I knew the area was flooded and this might happen, but I tried three different bridges and they were all closed, one was a major highway. I finally found a way across, a toll road.


Iowa here I come! This was an old bridge and there was no sign welcoming me to Iowa.


What I seen was why all the other roads were closed. This is the Missouri River spilling over its sides.


This one really shows how bad.


This use to be a farm in Iowa, now it’s a lake.


All you could see was water everywhere.


The road I wanted to go on had a detour so I followed it for about 9 miles. After that, the road ended and you had to go back the same 9 miles you just came.


Kept going and was going to try another way. Seen some kind of race track completely under water, all you could see was part of the bleachers and they had little gazebos at each turn.


I was scared to try any other way because it was getting late. I made a decision to just head back across the way I came and just before I got there seen this, a semi and a pickup truck crashed and were in the ditch. The police were swarming the scene so just snapped a picture after I passed.


This was another farm with the barn halfway under water.


The trailer looks like he made it, but there is a house behind the trees that didn’t do so well.


This was crossing the toll bridge again. The water is almost up to the train track trusses.


Back to good ole Nebraska, right where I was a long time ago…


This was a shot of the James river.


Those giant bags are sand bags. I’ve never seen such large sand bags. There were doing their job, because the water was real high and probably would have been on the road.


A different view of the James river, no it’s not suppose to be this wide.


After rerouting around the east side of Omaha I finally made it to my home for the night, Fremont State Park, Nebraska.


Went for a swim then went to Fremont looking for Internet and food. My GPS showed a Starbucks what luck. Well it was inside a grocery store, Hyvee. There was only one table and someone was sitting there. I was disappointed and went back to my bike. I then realized there was a restaurant inside the store too. So I killed two birds with one stone and uploaded two days worth of ride reports while I ate. I was too tired to try for a third.


Enough water for one day, see you next time.
Guns
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
17 July Fremont Nebraska to Pickerel South Dakota.

They really know how to grow corn in Nebraska. One thing I noticed is it shouldn’t be the cornhusker state, it should be the gnat state. They are the most aggressive gnats I’ve ever seen. Even with a stiff breeze the gnats went crazy on me last night. Good bye Nebraska.


Hello South Dakota!


Guess what? They have their share of water overflow here too.


And over on this side too.


I was going down this road and the water started getting real close to the road.


Then it turned to dirt with no warning. I had my cruise on set to about 70, so I squeezed the brake to disengage the cruise then just grabbed on. It wasn’t too bad it was hard packed and gravel. There were a few long patches like this so I just stood up and kept going (love this bike). Well this is officially an Adventure ride now!


Made it to my home Pickerel Lake State Recreation Area.


What I found out is there are two campgrounds. The west one has nice shade and a beach. The one I was at was huge, but there was no beach to be seen. I was bored so hay what’s that over there? Where does that go? Well after going through the trees, up and down a few hills I came to a beautiful area up above the lake. Just my luck my camera battery was dead. Oh well I kept going and to my surprise not quite a mile down the trail was a beach so I went for a swim.


Back to camp. I have this whole place practically to myself, but boy it was hot, 99 degrees.


Had to move my tent to the black top, there were ants all over my stuff that was outside the tent. I had looked for ants before choosing a site but they don’t’ have normal ant hills, oh well. Finally cooled off enough to write up reports for yesterday and today, just in case I find Internet tomorrow. That’s it for today good night.
Guns
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
18 July Pickerel South Dakota to Pattison State Park Wisconsin. 380 miles.

Got on the road and it was a little cool, loved it. Had a few nice views, nothing spectacular.


Hit North Dakota fairly fast.


Same for Minnesota. They call Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes, well I had to go around about 5,000 of them. (Yes I had pictures but not putting any in this time).


Most of my day was in Minnesota and the last 90 miles or so in Wisconsin.


There had to of been at least 2 different tornadoes through this area. For at least 20 miles there were downed trees all over the place.


The water was high here too and on the bank was more downed trees.


In some areas the trees have been down for a while, like here, but other places it was still across the side roads or on buildings.


Got to my home for the night and was not really happy. The park is great but lesson learned, don’t stay in state parks (not your state) for a trip like this. Case in point, I paid 32 dollars over the Internet to reserve this place (camping fee, booking fee, and nonresident fee). Then they charged me 10 more dollars for a park fee, most have been 4 dollars if any but 10 was too steep for just spending the night. I’ll complain more when you see what I paid in Canada. . . . . oh yeah and I have 10 more nights reserved than I’m just winging it along the east coast and blue ridge.


The park was nice and I had a huge campsite, everything in the picture is my site. Did some much needed maintenance on the bike with no one bothering me. There is supposed to be a water fall around here. I’m going looking later.


Doing laundry right now then looking for a restaurant it’s either steak or seafood night. Put steak in the GPS and ended up in Duluth Minnesota (Timberlake or something like that) why not nothing else to do. The restaurant was right next to the water on lake Superior. I lived in Michigan for 17 years and never seen Lake Superior so it was nice to explore the area. Found some little park that showed the city in the background.


That bridge leads to an island between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the road lifts straight up to let boats under.


Tomorrow I was riding all along Lake Superior but didn’t want to miss a chance for a picture just in case nothing shows up tomorrow. Not a great picture but it’s going in.


Drove all over Wisconsin and never seen a statue with a guy with a big hunk of cheese on his head???? Went to Minnesota for dinner and they have a Viking??? What’s up with that cheese heads?


This would have been a good picture if it had been an hour earlier. It was getting pretty dark and had to use night mode to get anything.


Drove around for about 60 miles then got back to camp in time to go straight to sleep.

See you tomorrow.

Guns
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
19 July Pattison State Park Wisconsin to Newberry KOA upper Michigan. 378 Miles.

Now that’s one big Wisconsin fish.


It was real foggy today took some pictures but none were worth posting. It was in the 60’s and sure wish I had put my liner in my coat, I’ll take heat over cold any day. On that note welcome to Michigan or as most call it the U.P.


Some places visibility was at ¼ mile at best, but it was a nice day to be on a motorcycle. Finally not a state park and Internet. . . Boy I’m easy to please. KOA Newberry Michigan.


Nothing else exciting went into town ate dinner then back to camp.

Guns out.
 

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Welcome back to Meeshigan....don't forget to try some Pasties and smoked fish!
 

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Where abouts in Canada are you planning to visit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll be crossing in Port Huron going north along the coast then heading to Rideau River provincial park. Day three I'm heading to Parc Du Mont-Oxford p. p. I'll be exiting Route 173 to US-201 in Maine. I'm coming around in the states and entering at Niagra Falls, but that's another story for later.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
21 July 2011 Muskegon Michigan to Hartland Michigan. 180 miles. Day 10

I noticed my GPS had me going on a few roads that turn to Highways so I change it to avoid those roads. What a great idea it was. It actually started out on a dirt road.


I actually traveled quite a while on dirt but these were all in great shape.


Another thing that was nice was there were a lot of trees, which were great since I was heading east into the sun.


The whole area was real nice with lots of twisties.


I had been hungry for a while then I came across this place, Rosie’s Diner on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. Wow they had award winning French Toast and it was the best I’ve ever had. If within 100 miles I’d do it again.


Had one detour but who cares the roads were nice and this was my shortest day yet.


The second half I had a lot of turns kind of stair stepped my way to Hartland and this is a view of my home for the next few days.


This is my actually place to sleep, but I’ll be spending a lot of time on the water.


Staying here for a little to visit friends and family. Had to pay respect to my Mother too, they planted this tree in her honor.


27 July finally getting ready to hit the road again. Did a lot of riding in the area, but it’s time to go again and the next stop is Canada. I’m leaving early in the morning and crossing at Port Huron sure hope it doesn’t take too long at the boarder! Not sure how Internet is going to be but I’ll update as often as I can.

Guns
 

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Nice report Guns. Welcome to Canada:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice report Guns. Welcome to Canada:thumbup:
Looking forward to it. Haven't been in the area in a long time. My mother and a lot of family are from Peterborough. Having a family reunion at rice lake early next month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
28 July Day 1 of second leg of trip. 305 miles took 9 and a half hours.

Woke up early and it was thundering and raining hard so I went back to sleep. I had everything packed last night so just put on my rain gear and hit the road in the rain (not hard rain). Took a bunch of back roads and was very happy with the curves. The rain finally stopped 20 miles before the Canadian border. However, as I got closer sure enough there was a detour. I was really questioning where it was taking me, but figured they wouldn’t leave me hanging!


Finally made it, none of my pictures turned out that good so good thing I had one of the bridge.


And there is Canada.


Traffic getting to the bridge was real slow but the line wasn’t all that big and I got through without getting searched. . . I thought for sure from what I was told that they would search everything on my bike. NOT!


This is one of the reasons the traffic was so bad. There were four trucks with two escorts each carrying those giant windmill blades. I’ve never been so close to realize just how big they are.


There was no sign that I seen so this Ontario sign is my border sign!


I was getting hungry but had to hold out for Grand Bend. I’ve been there once when I was a teenager. The real reason I wanted to go there is that is where my mother and father met over 60 years ago.


Found this little place, School House restaurant. The food was great but the service was terrible, felt like I spent the day there.


My route in Canada was along the water on 21 and 26, but I only seen the water once for a second. This is what I seen a lot of TRAFFIC. They were repairing all the small bridges and they were down to one lane.


You know you are in Canada when they have a “Curling Club”.


The roads were somewhat boring and the sky was getting dark.


Came over a hill and there was a nice city down in the valley, the picture didn’t do it justice.


Finally starting to get into a few real hills.


It never did rain so that was nice. When I got to my campsite I found out I was a day early. I felt like kicking myself. Had to take a site by the road because my site by the water was already occupied for the night. Guess I’m going to check out the area tomorrow. DDDAAAA


I found out there is a Starbucks in town so hopefully I can post this tonight. See ya! Aye! (practicing for my Canadian family reunion next weekend).
 
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