Saturday, July 12, 2008

Days Seventy Two and Seventy Three....

......I eagerly await breaking through the time-zone barrier tomorrow on my Helix, thus placing me only two time zones away from my homeland.

Left Imlay City, Michigan (located in a region of Michigan called "The Thumb" where, if you look at a map of Michigan, it'll become obvious - hell, even a prison here is called "Thumb Correctional Facility") on Friday afternoon under veeerrry dodgy looking skies. I was NOT up for doing 273 miles in a pissing thunder and lightning storm. Turned out just to be cloudy the entire ride, and that was great by me. No sun at all.....no drenching rain......just perfect....

Made it up to Cheboygan, Michigan. Absolutely nothing unusual or of any interest whatsoever in Cheboygan....just walked into a bar (named "Club 27") that literally looked like it was straight out of 1948 outside and inside....looked like the place where your grandfather would take your grandmother for a thick steak and a double scotch on the rocks followed by a pack of unfiltered Pall Malls.

No grandfolks that evening.....I was thee only person in the entire bar at 8PM on a Friday Night, so I played a 1980's era pinball machine, and left after a pint. Felt bad for the bartender......he looked really bored.....

Despite displaying some charm and possissing geographic beauty (being on Lake Huron, right near where it meets up with the Northern part of Lake Michigan), the whole town possessed that dated, worn look.

Saw some interesting sights on the backroads of Northern Michigan, though -

- Some sort of motorcycle rally was going on all week around Rose City, Michigan. I swung by a bar/motel/bowling alley in the absolute middle of nowhere, and had a pint. Saw a big fenced off area outdoors where a bunch of motorcycle people had gathered and were playing a version of horseshoes.

The version they were playing did not involve steel shoes and a stake protruding out of the ground, however. Naw, what I saw were a bunch of Harley guys throwing used toilet seats towards toilet plungers protruding upwards out of the ground.

Errmm.......riiiiggghhht......

WAS gonna take a fotograff, but, for reasons of my personal safety, thought better of that idea.

- DID snap some picks of a couple interesting signs, though.....


































A place for the lady or gentleman who wishes to be impeccably groomed for their next gun battle.




































I really dunno about this one.....given the sign and the colour of the building......there's just something so wrong about this......

- Oh....my camera somehow decided, on it's own, to partition the SD memory card. So it created a new partition for files on it. Thus, I was wondering just WHERE the hell my pics went ('cause, I wasn't dancing on the tables that night I took the fotograff, so I DO remember taking that pic). Found the pic I mentioned as being lost in the last post of friends at Alternative Brews......

















Kimmer, Staranne and Darryl at Alternative Brews.


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Left Saturday Morning out of Cheboygan......

.....and had a mostly uneventful ride of 179 miles to Marquette Michigan. Had wanted to stay at some sort of mom-n-pop motel right on the southern shore of Lake Superior (as this would be the last time in a while where I can be near water), but given that it's the Upper Peninsula, along with that it's the middle of July on a Saturday......there was no room at the inn....so I settled for Marquette.

I really, really liked Marquette.....really cool historical downtown area, very friendly folk, and right on the south shore of Lake Superior. Winters there, though, are painful.....like, reeeaaalllly painful.....like, 30 degrees below zero painful. Considering how de-acclimated to extreme cold I've actually become......dunno if this place would ever be considered as an option.

Only interesting events on the ride from Cheboygan were -

- Having thee most beautiful, yet most dangerous ride yet on this trip! The Mackinac Bridge crossing. Sheeee-IT!! Crossing over five miles of water on a high suspension arch over two of the three largest bodies of water inside North America with parts of it on steel-grate decking (like the Steel Bridge in PDX) and winds that are just unreal, plus mild vertigo setting in.......it's no wonder that on the FAQ's of the Mackinac Bridge Authority web site, you'll find the following:

What if I am not comfortable about driving across the bridge?
Answer:
The Mackinac Bridge Authority has a "Drivers Assistance Program" that provides drivers for those uncomfortable with driving across the Mackinac Bridge. If you are traveling northbound, there is a phone at the south end of the bridge. Instructions for using the phone are posted in the phone box. If you are southbound, just ask a fare collector for assistance. There is no additional fee for this service.
Can you provide information about riding motorcycles across the Mackinac Bridge?
Answer:
Motorcycles are allowed to cross the Mackinac Bridge. The fare for a motorcycle is $2.50 per crossing. Extra axles and/or sidecars on motorcycles are $1.25 each. Motorcycle crossings for 1998 were 29,790 and 29,113 in 1999. Some motorcyclists are not comfortable about driving on the steel grating (inside lane) of the suspended portion of the bridge. If you are uncomfortable with driving your motorcycle across the bridge, arrangements can be made to have someone drive it for you.

I mean, people who ride Sheep-Lemming Ultra-glides and Road Kings and Honda Goldwings say this crossing is hell on a nice day! I mean, I'm on a 325 lb. skooter.......

......I made it across with no issues. Hadta stop at the rest area at the other side of the bridge to stop hyper-ventilating, though, after I crossed.

Shit.....and I thought that riding through snow in the Rockies of Colorado sucked......

Though I was unaware of the ride-my-bike-for-me service the Bridge Authority offers.......I still doubt that I woulda taken them up on the offer.

- The other interesting that I noticed is that throughout the Upper Peninsula, there are a huge amount of pasty shops all over the place. Now, when I think of pasties, I think of the times I'd killed multiple pints at various pubs in the U.K., where, afterward, friends would ask - "E, you fancy a pasty, then?" But apparently, there's a history of the delicacy here in the U.P., as Wikipedia explains below -

Parts of Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. In some of these areas, pasties are a significant tourist attraction, including an annual Pasty Fest in Calumet, Michigan in early July. Pasties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a particularly unusual history, as a small influx of Finnish immigrants followed the Cornish miners in 1864. These Finns (and many other ethnic groups) adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country copper mines. About 30 years later, a much larger flood of Finnish immigrants found their countrymen baking pasties, and assumed that it was a Finnish invention. As a result, the pasty has become strongly associated with Finnish culture in this area.[2]











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Ya know, ya gotta love it when......

.....the bank you have a Certificate of Deposit with has the F.D.I.C. kick down the doors and take over at 3PM on a Friday.....

.....fortunately, my CD is so minuscule, that it's fully insured.....or so they say.....

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Gonna try to make Duluth, Minnesota on Sunday evening, St. Cloud, Minnesota on Monday evening and Brookings, South Dakota on Tuesday Evening.....

More shortly.....

-E-

2 comments:

Buannan said...

As long as you don't have anything over $100K with IndyMac, you will be fine. They are the first to go so their customers will get paid. If you are with WaMu, Downey Savings, Wachovia or Chase...I'd get out.

You should have told me you invested with IndyMac. I knew they were going under over a year ago. It was obvious. The only reason the feds...erm...I mean BofA rescued CountryWide was because they were the #1 lender in the US (and almost singlehandedly responsible for this whole mess...talk about predatory lending practices and outright fraud)and the whole economy would have collapsed if they went under. WaMu is kinda iffy. I don't think they will fail. I don't think the country can afford for them to fail,however,they are not in a good place at all. I never did like them.

CN250 said...

Naw.....WISH I had 100G's!! I'm not worried....just bemused by the entire thing.

Had stock in WaMu back in 2001.....glad I dumped that shit! They are still a pleasant bank, customer-service-wise, to do business with!

Funny stuff, though.....how, as Froma Harrop wrote, the free-market Republican capitalists kept screaming about how there should be zero government intervention and how "....the Market will regulate itself and corrct itself....."

......now, these same wankshafts who were spewing that rubbish are bailing out Bear-Sterns, CountryWide, and a bunch of other financial corporations.

Too cute....

-E-