Another Day – Another Adventure

It doesn’t seem possible that 22 years ago, my son Spencer and I loaded up my 1941 Chevy hot rod and headed out with a bunch of other crazies on Americruise. It was to be a hot rod tour through lower Michigan, the Upper Peninsula (UP), and Wisconsin. It was to end up in Madison Wisconsin before turning us loose to find our way home. It wasn’t a massively long trip for sure but it was going to be a great opportunity to spend real quality time with my son before he left our nest. When he suggested that we take a motorcycle trip that covered a similar route, I was ready to roll.

My old Chevy was a beautiful dark blue. Hmmmm. I just got home on the big red bike and the smaller blue bike was just sitting there. Another reminder of our trip – all it needed was some storage space. It will never have as much as that old Chevy but I think it is now adequately equipped for 1,500 miles of father-son travel time. It is apparent that I replace Spencer with luggage so he’s going to have to ride his own bike.

I guess it runs in the family.
Can you hear me now?

Spencer took on the task of putting the plan together for this trip. I enjoy his trip planning which includes some really off-beat sightseeing. (You don’t just stumble on to the “Mike the Headless Chicken” festival.) I see this as part of “passing the rambling torch” although I think he caught the bug a long time ago. Truth of the matter is that the weather forecast looks so awful, we almost cancelled the whole thing. I’m glad we didn’t.

The first day took us 150 miles or so due north to Niles, Michigan but you can’t start the day on an empty stomach. We headed to one of the local places that we have enjoyed before and it just happened to be on our route. Rachel’s Hi-Way Cafe has good food and we took full advantage of it.

It was time to fill up the bikes and hit the road for real. That task was taken care of and we were cruising – father and son, living large. I was already starting to get in the “zone” when we hit US-31 north. That road is an almost interstate-like road, 4 lane divided (which is not the favorite of either of us). I am not sure why the majority of people are in such a hurry today. We were running slightly over the posted limit but were holding up traffic. One impatient truck driver went around us. He had just pulled back into the right lane in front of us when one of the rear tires on his trailer blew out and disintegrated in front of us. Two things went through my mind – warn Spencer and appreciate having clean underwear in the saddlebag. We made it through all of the tire shrapnel OK even though Spencer took one small piece off of his helmet. (We’ll check for videos when we get a chance.)

As we approached South Bend, Spencer suggested a stop at the Studebaker museum. I thought that was a great idea. I have been there many, many years ago and much has changed.

There were a lot of great looking cars there. If you really enjoy seeing the deveopment of a car company, you should stop by this well designed museum. I’ve only included pictures of one car which has the biggest taillights I’ve ever seen.

From the museum, it was only 10 miles or so to our hotel in Niles, Michigan. We had checked into the motel and within half an hour the rain was pouring down. Niles is currently under a tornado watch situation. Our timing was good. As a result, we decided to use a delivery service for dinner. I have a new appreciation for Door Dash.

So far, the only thing about this trip that is similar to the original Americruise trip is that I’m with Spencer and loving our time together.

Total miles for the day – 155.

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