Flagstaff to Bowling Green

Just a few snapshots on the trail from Flagstaff, Arizona to Bowling Green, Kentucky.


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Flagstaff, Arizona

Huck a 37 foot 165 lb telephone pole
At the Arizona Highland Celtic Festival in Flagstaff – Caber Toss: Huck a 19 foot 165 lb telephone pole

Amarillo, Texas

World famous Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo
World famous Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo. Eat the 72 oz rib eye in 60 minutes and it’s free.
Dinosaur in cowboy boots at Big Texas steak house.
Dinosaur in cowboy boots at Big Texan steak house.
Horns on cars
Yep, horns on cars, really a thing

Joplin, Missouri

Grand Falls in Joplin Missouri
Grand Falls in Joplin Missouri
Tortoise on the road in Joplin MO
Tortoise on the road in Joplin MO

St. Louis, Missouri

Construction and renovations in the park surrounding Gateway Arch
The park around the Gateway Arch is undergoing extensive renovation and construction.
Downtown St. Louis from the top of the Gateway Arch
Downtown St. Louis from the top of the Gateway Arch

Elkhart, Indiana

Elkhart is the RV capital of the world. I was here to look at new captains chairs and a new couch, but the delivery and installation times didn’t work on this trip. Went to the RV Hall of Fame and a Thor factory tour.

An early motorhome at the RV/MH Hall of Fame museum, Elkhart, Indiana.
An early motorhome at the RV/MH Hall of Fame museum, Elkhart, Indiana.
Mae West's "House Car"
Mae West’s “House Car”

St. Joseph, Michigan

A beach stop on beautiful Lake Michigan.

Not the ocean. Silver Beach in St. Joseph on Lake Michigan.
Not the ocean. Silver Beach in St. Joseph on Lake Michigan. Miles of soft sand and crystal clear water. No ice this time of year.

Bluffton, Indiana

Wabash River, downtown Bluffton, Indiana
Wabash River, downtown Bluffton, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

The Kentucky Derby Museum, Whiskey Distillery Tour and a day at the races at Churchill Downs and some crazy underground ziplines.

Entering the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs
Entering the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs
Kentucky Derby Museum - Secretariat in the Winner's Circle
Kentucky Derby Museum – Secretariat in the Winner’s Circle
The main gate at Churchill Downs
The main gate at Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs - Race 4 - On the Turf
Churchill Downs – Race 4 – On the Turf
Mint Julep - had to try one. I'll pass next time, bourbon doesn't need sugar and water.
Mint Julep – had to try one. I’ll pass next time, bourbon doesn’t need sugar and water.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

At the National Corvette Museum, now recovered from the sinkhole that swallowed 8 cars in February 2014.

National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
The outline of the sinkhole and cave that opened up in February 2014 is marked off in tape in the hall of fame / spire room at the National Corvette Museum.
The outline of the sinkhole and cave that opened up in February 2014 is marked off in tape in the hall of fame / spire room at the National Corvette Museum.
These cars were damaged beyond repair in the sinkhole collapse of 2014.  They are on display right were they were before the collapse.
These cars were damaged beyond repair in the sinkhole collapse of 2014. They are on display right were they were before the collapse.
Wrecked Corvettes on display.  These were recovered from the sink hole disaster and were beyond repair.  They are on display right where they were before the disaster.
Wrecked Corvettes on display. These were recovered from the sink hole disaster and were beyond repair. They are on display right where they were before the disaster.
Lost River Cave entrance, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Lost River Cave entrance, Bowling Green, Kentucky
On a boat tour in Lost River Cave, Bowling Green, Kentucky
On a boat tour in Lost River Cave, Bowling Green, Kentucky

On the Border

I spent a couple of days in Port Huron, Michigan, which is, well, a city. I didn’t find anything particularly notable here. Port Huron borders the Canadian city of Sarnia, Ontario. Since I’m going to be in Canada for a few weeks I thought I’d just pop over and buy a prepaid cell phone in case of emergency.

So I went across the Blue Water Bridge and bought a prepaid cell phone, including $50 air time (about 2 hours) for under $100 (CAD). On the way back I came across a Tim Horton’s. This isn’t hard to do – I’m pretty sure there’s one Tim Horton’s for every 20 Canadians. It’s such an iconic Canadian institution I had to stop.

Tim Horton's in Sarnia, Ontario
Tim Horton’s in Sarnia, Ontario
Crammed a Timbit into a strawberry vanilla and had a Priestley.
I just had to do it … crammed a Timbit into a strawberry vanilla and had a Priestley.

Steven Page: It was tragic. I mean to this day, you ask any Canadian where they were when Robin Sparkles lost it, not only can they tell you which Tim Hortons they were in – but what donut they were eating. Me? Wawa, Ontario. Blueberry fritter.
Geddy Lee: Halifax, Nova Scotia. Walnut Crunch
Luc Robitaille: Victoriaville, Quebec. Sour cream plain.
Alex Trebek: Sudbury, Ontario. Honey dip.
k.d. lang: Red Deer, Alberta. Chocolate glaze.
Jason Priestley: Squamish, British Columbia. Crammed a Timbit into a strawberry vanilla and invented the Priestley. Should have been the best day of my life.
HIMYM 8×15, P.S. I Love You

So, I had a Priestley and a cup of coffee and headed back to camp.

Not a Thing

So it turns out “just popping across the border” is not actually a thing. On the way into Canada the customs officer questioned me intensely for a good five minutes before searching the bike and letting me pass. On the way back to the USA, the line of cars stretched 3/4 of the way across the bridge and it took an hour and a half just to get up to the US customs window. They did not search the bike for the Timbits and phone I said I was bringing back.

Pure Michigan

When I thought of Michigan, I tended to think of deteriorating industrial cities like Detroit and Flint. A place to pass through. When I stopped in South Haven, I decided to stay a while longer. It really is just like the Pure Michigan ad.

The main road in town is Phoenix Street which goes through downtown, past the marina, to the lighthouse and onto the beach. There’s a couple of miles of soft sand beaches on Lake Michigan.

Take a Break

I mentioned the rough road through Illinois and how I was surprised anything worked after that. I spoke too soon. After getting settled in I found the satellite receiver’s SIM card was knocked out, the microwave was rattling, the shower door hinge had popped, the dog’s Treat ‘n Train is turning on and off randomly, two florescent bulbs were knocked loose (and then I dropped one of them opening the fixture cover), well you get the picture. After fixing the stuff that wasn’t working I spent a few hours with the electric screwdriver tightening up ever screw I could find.

A couple of days later I dropped my phone. Couldn’t fix that one.
DeadPhone

Blue Water

I’m spending a few days in Port Huron then I’ll be taking the Blue Water Bridge into Canada and heading to Niagara Falls, Ontario.

For Whom the Toll Blows

There were a few options to travel from Wisconsin to Michigan. I could go north through the UP, across the Macinaw Bridge. I could take a ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan. I could go south through Chicago.

The campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula were booked for essentially all of July. The ferry (SS Badger) looked fun, but would cost $366 (one way) and Keira would be locked in her kennel for over 5 hours, alone (you have no access to the vehicle aboard). So, I went south.

It Takes a Toll

I-90I-90 is a toll road. Now I like toll roads – the people using it pay for it, and they are usually well maintained. Well I-90 was under construction. I don’t mean a few cones for a few miles. I’m talking driving on bone rattling crumbling shoulder, 10′ lanes, 35-45 mph, for 61 miles, interrupted only by toll plazas which collected $59 for my trip.

If they are collecting a toll, they need to provide a road. It took 2 hours 40 minutes to go 61 miles and I’m surprised anything on board was not shaken to pieces. I know for whom the toll road blows, it blows for me.