Saturday, July 4, 2015

San Diego to Michigan for free beer (July 31-August 11): The Plan

Get your motor running…head out on the highway!

My buddy Chuck and I will be departing early on Friday morning to visit a friend in Michigan. It’s a classic road trip by anyone’s definition. Somewhere between Easy Rider and Dumb & Dumber.

We’re trying to average 500 miles a day; that would shake out to 5 days there, 5 days back and a couple of days in between. Our first day’s ride to Mesquite, Nevada, is only about 400 miles but will likely be our hottest.

I'll fill in the details later, but it looks as if we're gonna ride a fairly direct route on our way there, via Denver and Green Bay, taking a ferry across Lake Michigan. We'll ride historic Route 66 on our way back, hitting some very cool selected spots along the way.

I'll be on my Triumph Rocket III and he'll be riding his Harley Ultra Classic.

Here are two links to the GPS SPOT Tracker so you can follow our progress:

Here’s a rough outline of the ride plan:

Day: Location Date: Miles: Accum miles:

San Diego to…
1. Mesquite, NV (7/31) 416 416
2. Denver, CO (8/1) 693 1084
3. Omaha, NE (8/2) 540 1624
4. Manitowoc (8/3) 570 2194
5. Lachine, MI (via Ludington ferry) (8/4 210 2404
6. Lachine (8/5) 0 2404
7. “ “ (8/6 0 2404
8. St. Louis, MO (via Muskegon ferry) (8/7) 572 2976
9. Oklahoma City (8/8) 500 3476
10. Albuquerque (8/9) 540 4016
11. Kingman, AZ (8/10) 470 4486
12. San Diego (8/11) 365 4851

Here’s some info about Route 66:

It winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
It goes from St Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma City looks oh, so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino

Here are some fun stops we’ve planned along Route 66:
· St. Louis Arch
· Route 66 Museum (Clinton, OK)
· Winslow, AZ
· Oatman, AZ
· Seligman, AZ

And here’s how it all happened:

Once again my legendary poor math and geography skills proved beneficial.

When a riding buddy mentioned that a mutual friend had retired, moved to Michigan and bought a cop bar, I simply stated that we should ride out to see him in the summer. Heck, free beer is free beer. And the conversation went like so:

Chuck: So how far would that be?

Me: Oh, I dunno (doing the math in my head). The Canadian border from San Diego—straight up the I-15—is 1,500 miles. So if our route twists northeast, it's prolly about the same. Yup, 1,500 miles.

Chuck: Really? That's it? Let's do it!

Me: Heck, yeah. That'll be 3 days there and 3 days back. Easy peasy!

And so it went. About an hour later, upon reviewing a map, I could see I was off “a bit.” Calling my buddy, the conversation went like this:

Me: Hey, Chuck, I was off a little bit.

Chuck: Yeah, by how much?

Me: Oh, a thousand miles or so...each way.

Chuck: Wow, the most I've ever ridden is 160 miles in one day. But I'm retired, so are we still on?

Me: Heck, yeah! We'll just need to tack on an additional 4 days. Let's ride!

See, that's how I roll. Easy, peasy.

More details to follow, but you get the gist...