Ted's Big Ride 2009---Day One

HOME to Sturgis, MI
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The Story
This all started in the Spring when I was looking for an adventure. The thought occurred to me to list the States that I have and have not been to. As it turns out, I only needed six to complete all 50. My major challenge was that ALASKA was in the to do list. After considering the options, and the distance, Claudia and I concluded that this trip provided a good opportunity to finally visit Alaska's Inland Passage. We have heard so much about it's beauty over the years, and have always wanted to see it for ourselves. So we'll meet in Juneau in early July.

I planned this year's motorcycle route with 'wilderness beauty' as the main theme, so rather than lots of quirky things I saw in 2006 by doing the sideroads and out-of-the-way places, I'll be sharing America's majesty - and maybe a few wacky things too.

A miserable rainy day...
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Riding time: 11 hours 33 minutes

Actual distance:
    Today = 555 miles,
    Total   = 555 miles
Average Miles/Gallon: 32.8
Average Price/Gallon: $2.96 (Premium Grade)
2009_06_17/IMG_1842-1.jpg 9:46 AM My leaving home picture. The weather was threatening, but only a slight sprinkle. I decided to start out without rain gear as a show of confinence. Later, about a 1/2 hour, as I traveled up I-270, I gave in to the weather and stopped and donned my rain pants and water resistant gloves.
2009_06_17/IMG_1845-1.jpg 3:59 PM Made it to the Pennsylvania/Ohio border. I did not stop at the Maryland/Pennsylvania border because: 1) It is so close to home and 2) It was raining too hard to stop for the photo op.
2009_06_17/IMG_1846-1.jpg 8:50 PM It was a long SLOG across Ohio. It rained...I got wet. It stopped raining...I started to dry out. REPEAT, oner and over again. I also experienced an extremely unfortunate loss in Ohio; at one of my gas/dry-out stops I realized that my diamond ear stud had vanished. I had gotten a new helmet for this trip and it fits more snuggly than my older helmut. The frequent stops during the rainy ride had me taking my helmet on/off many times, and the retainer must have pulled out in the liner. Real bummer as this was a stone that Claudia had gotten many years ago. That was a MAJOR disapointment to start the trip.
2009_06_17/IMG_1848-1.jpg 9:33 PM Finally made it to Michigan. Cross that one off the list. I traveled up the highway a bit and found a cheap motel for $45. I needed to dry out. Camping tonight was not an option.
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