Saturday, June 16, 2012

We took a little ride. (Day 5 - Battle Creek to North Canton)

Once the BBQ was over, we'd officially been everywhere we had to be on our trip. For Sunday and Monday, we didn't have to be anywhere except home by the end of the day on Monday. That meant we didn't have to set an alarm for Sunday morning. Ah! The chance to sleep in a little...yay! I think we woke up around 7:30 and we took our time getting ready that morning. In fact, we didn't dress in our riding clothes. Instead, we each threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to head down to breakfast in the lobby. Like the Hampton Inn in Sudbury, this Hampton Inn's breakfast featured both hot and cold breakfast items, so we had a nice breakfast before packing up and hitting the road. I think we got on the road around 9:30 and pointed the bike east toward Ohio. We took lots of back farm roads to make our way over to US 223, including several "Mile Roads" - 12 Mile Road, 7 1/2 Mile Road, even 8 Mile Road...but we didn't see Eminem. 

This fountain and the swanky mansion/clubhouse was the headquarters of some  insurance association - your premiums at work!

Intersections along back roads in Michigan have these single lights hanging over them.
Just before we crossed into Ohio, we stopped at truck stop for a stretch break. Sunday was a warm day from the outset. Between the hotel and our first stop, we finally had the chance to test out the new water bladder in our tank bag. Well, check that. We'd been using at stops and Chris had used it a few times while we were riding, but Sunday morning was the first time I tried to drink while we were riding. It requires just a bit of acrobatics - Chris has to lean over just a little, we have to run the tube under his arm, and I have to crouch down - but I was successful in "taking a hit" from our water supply. It's a good thing because it would have been very easy to get dehydrated on Sunday as hot as it was.

Anyhoo...back to our stretch break at the truck stop. We managed to find a parking space in the shade. We took turns going inside to enjoy the air conditioning and while Chris noticed a stuffed moose for sale. As you know, we had the ST.N mascot, Chili, along for the ride. We also have Smooches the Adventure Moose who is permanently attached to the bike. But Chris has been looking for a stuffed moose about the same size as Chili that he/we can take on trips and photograph similar to the way we'd been photographing Chili. The moose inside the truck stop was the right size and a pretty good price, too (only $8.99). So, we picked up another passenger on the bike and promptly named him "Muskoka the Moose" after the lakes we'd seen in Ontario. Shortly after leaving the truck stop, we crossed into Ohio. It's round on both ends and  high in the middle!

This one's for you, Eric...Meemaw! :)

Lotta good that helmet's doing her sitting on the sissy bar. <facepalm>
We stopped for lunch at a Wendy's about 1:15. It was so hot that we wore all of our gear into the restaurant in an effort to get off the bike and into the air conditioning as quickly as possible. The good thing about taking our jackets and helmets into Wendy's with us was that they'd be nice and cool when it was time to get dressed again! I found us a table and Chris went to place our order. He upsized our drinks to the biggest ones possible so we could continue to hydrate. When we left, even though we'd parked in a somewhat shady parking spot, the indicated outdoor temperature was 99 degrees. Ugh.


I tried to catch our picture in the windows, but as I snapped the picture, the windows went from clear to painted. Fail.

Oh! US 250! Just a few hundred miles east and we'd be on my favorite road - US 250 between Staunton, VA and the intersection with WV 28. It's AWESOME!!!

Day 5 was a monumental day for us and the Concours; we turned 30,000 miles on the bike!

29,999 and counting...

...and there's 30,000!!!
You may recall that we turned 20,000 miles back in October on our way back from the Region 6 Fall Camping trip. Here we were, less than nine months later, and we'd added another 10,000 miles! Chris was very excited because we turned 30,000 miles more than a month shy of the Concours' 2nd birthday (July 17th). We stopped for petrol and a stretch break while we still had 30,000 on the odometer and did a little celebratory dance pump-side!

On our way out of town after the gas stop, we came upon a railroad crossing with the gates down and the lights flashing. I got all excited to take pictures of the train as it went by, but it turns out two local hoodlums had somehow triggered the crossing gates and buggered up traffic. We sat at the gate for a while until we realized this. Another local got out of his car, read the kids the riot act, and proceeded to direct traffic through the crossing. 

And here I thought I was going to get some good train shots...
We ended our fifth day in North Canton, Ohio at the Best Western Plus. After getting checked in, we decided to hit the pool and hot tub before we walked over to "The Strip" for dinner. We decided that from now on, we'd make it a point to see out hotels that have hot tubs because a good soak at the end of a long day on the bike is superb!!! After 15 minutes in the hot tub and another 20 or so in the pool, we headed up to our room to get ready for dinner. Showered and dressed, we played a little Frogger while trying to get across the street to "The Strip" - a large shopping center with plenty of restaurants. But once we saw Red Robin...well, our choice was made. Chris went with his traditional Red Royal Burger and I got the Banzai Burger, which has PINEAPPLE on it! Since it was the last night of our trip, we decided to splurge and have dessert. We got shakes and agreed that they may have been the best milkshakes we've ever had. Chris got the mint chocolate brownie shake and I got the seasonal salted caramel shake. Yum!!!

We ended our night with the latest episode of Jerseylicious and the premier of True Blood. I'll have to check with Chris on the miles for Day 5 (he's already in bed because he has to teach tomorrow), but I think our on-the-road time was about 5.5 hours. We really did stretch out our return trip Sunday and Monday. If we'd wanted to, we could have made it back home on Sunday, although that would have meant slabbing it home...ew, no thanks!

Muskoka and Chili get acquainted.

Stay tuned for Day 6 and some final thoughts...

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