TOBER's Blog
Traveling on 2 wheels with us old broads…

Oct
09

Day 9

Last day on the road! Mixed emotions with most of the group, I’m sure!  Of course you have those few that aren’t ready for the trip to end or just aren’t quite ready to go home yet…for sure not excited about returning to work.  And on the other end of the spectrum, maybe one or two that weren’t really sure what they were getting into to begin with and could have called it quits early on!

Aside from our round trip into Canada, today was the longest mileage day. Maybe it seemed even longer because of the broad temperature range. We started in Rolla (pronounced raw-la before you embarrass yourself like I did. But then there’s also St. Ignace! That would be IG-nis! Haha‼️ You too?  But I digress.) layered up. Temps were hovering in the low 50’s. That’s not quite heated gear cold but still pretty nippy.  At the first fuel stop a couple hours later we were shedding clothes. By the time we could smell home, it was almost 100•!  WHAAAT?!?

Beside the temperature thing, the riding was fantastic. US63 that took us out of Missouri was the kind of road that puts you in touch with your bike. Casual, slow, sweeping curves. Then you hit Arkansas and you better hope you’re in touch with your bike.  Switch backs and S curves will certainly test your skill.  I’m a Texas girl. That won’t change but I do love Arkansas. You just can’t beat the scenery, the roads, the history or the activities.  I love to travel and see new places and experience new things but there’s just something about coming home. 

The bad thing about a long trip is you seem to be moving too fast with seldom the chance to stop and investigate unless it was on the schedule. This week was no different. I only hope that my friends made some mental notes about what they would like to go back for. 

Jtsigskgdhchclckgxkhxkyxxlhchxkhkxhvbbgdi—-sorry, fell asleep trying to blog last night.  I was exhausted as I’m sure the others were too. Suppose the week finally caught up. 

3,451 miles for me (that’s CAMDEN to Texarkana), 8 states (Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois), 1 Canadian province (Ontario) and 2 time zones.  Can’t forget endless miles of cornfields. Pumpkin patches weren’t quite as plentiful. Day and a half of riding in the rain, some overcast days, but for the most part the rest were beautiful sunshine. Fall colors were just beginning as we left out. But the day we rode into Canada was incredible. Such bright, contrasting, vibrant, picture-worthy hues!!!! 

I learned that once my fuel gauge warns me of  “lo rnge” (low range meaning less than 10 miles before you have to push) my music stops. Guess that’s so I’ll stay focused. 

We also learned that your “cruise control” indicator light can be confused for an engine problem light. But we have all that straightened out now!


Our last meal stop together was in Morrilton.  From there, we fueled one final time before the group started peeling off. It’s been another good week. Hate there were some mechanical problems but I think we all came home still talking with each other. 

Pat, hope you’re healing well…we missed you and Fiona. 

Y’all get unpacked, wash your bikes and get them serviced because you never know when we will roll again!

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Oct
07

Days 7 and 8

You can always bet that there will be at  least one electronic glitch during the trip. Aside from Mary’s phone taking a trip south, I continue to struggle with the blog sight. I was really excited all was going well until last night and it just froze up! Hence, two days in one post again. 

Yesterday we awoke in Milwaukee with plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum. It didn’t open until 10 so we were excited to have time for a real breakfast, not grayish sausage or egg patties!


The Blue’s Egg if anyone is interested. Delicious pastries. Omelet was over the top.  The french toast was so good I could have married it. Should I continue?

Off to the museum and special treatment.  This place deserves hours, if not days, to see. We had allotted a few hours before we had to hit the road again. Too much to see! Too much shopping to do! Gotta go…AND it’s going to rain!


Suited up, we rolled out a few minutes early.  I don’t think we were even a mile down the road before the group was  separated. Traffic and construction prevented us from pulling over for several miles. By that time we were all heading east on two different highways! A few texts and lots of miles later the group reunited. By that time it was starting to rain and we still had a ways to go before we made it to Davenport.  We zigzagged through corn fields and pumpkin patches in the rain for a few hours.  Before we checked in for the night, several of us enjoyed supper at The Machine Shed. 

By the time we all hit the hay, we were anticipating rain this morning.  It really looked pretty good before we left but not so good that everyone didn’t suit up! We actually made it all the way to the first Harley shop in Burlington before it started. But then it didn’t stop for hours….somewhere around Hannibal. 

We were finally enjoying a little sunshine when we decided to stop for lunch. Best decision yet!  Stacey’s Place in Mexico, MO was awesome. Customer service was unbelievable and the food was delicious. Several had pie for dessert  and they wouldn’t stop raving about it!


Sure did make the rest of the ride a little difficult (I would have preferred a nap).  So good and filling that no one had supper tonight. 

We found one more Harley shop before we shut them down for the day. Columbia, MO was a quick stop. 

Rolla, MO is where we’re laying our heads for the night. Tomorrow will be a long day and several in the group have to work on Monday.  

It’s been another great trip. Wonder where we’ll find Waldo next?

Oct
05

Day 6

I’ve got 2 ½ hours to start this while we’re riding the ferry.  

Another kinda early morning! Some folks are about ready for that to stop!  But when you have a view like this….


Sunrise view of Lake Huron from our motel room.  Number three of the Lakes we’ve seen. 

Ok, so yesterday Maurice got the bad news that his bike was toast. This morning he and Lori were loading up both bikes in the U-Haul and heading south.  Of course we were all thinking the worse when Dale/Pam’s bike started running hot.  Thank goodness it was just some indigestion!


Crossing the Mackinac Bridge first thing this morning. 

And shortly after that found us on M119 (Tunnel of Trees Scenic Byway). About 30 miles later we finally emerged from the “tunnel”!


Don’t ‘cha wish you were with us??? Deer, black squirrels, turkeys, wolves and more.  Colors that you just can’t imagine. Well, yes you can…when Crayola needs new colors this is where they head! 

Back to the bike problem. Dale/Pam and Rick/Nena split from the group to head on to the Harley dealer in Traverse City.  While the rest of us continued our leisurely tour of the Lake Michigan coast line, they were having the bike checked. 

By the time we caught up with them, the bike was in the shop. Seriously, they couldn’t find any problem but thought it might have been some air bubbles 😳

When we left there we were going to be cutting it close to get to the ferry.  A few back roads and just a little over the speed limit got us there with time to spare. Fortunately for us there was Hot Rod H-D within a few blocks of the ferry terminal so it couldn’t be bypassed! 





Loaded up and made the trip across Lake Michigan in just over 2 hours. My first time in this ferry but I would do it again!

It’s been a long day…not mileage, but time. And now I think it’s time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow the Harley-Davidson museum!!!

And thanks to those in the group that have shared photos. 

Oct
04

Days 4 and 5

Guess you’ll have to muddle through a longer blog since I failed at posting  Day 4…

Yesterday was pretty outstanding! Well, really, I guess they all are.  We started a little earlier mostly because it was due to be a little longer. Good thing too because after a trike trunk door malfunction, the group got separated.  After a brief wait on the side of the road, the group was reunited and back on the highway. 

We’ve spent a little more time riding interstates than what most of us prefer. Although Tuesday we hit some pretty sweet secondary roads! Fall colors are really popping.  Add to that some wildlife, like turkeys and wolves, and the ride only gets better. 


Wisconsin roads took us pretty deep into ATV/ORV country. Trails all over. Kinda makes you want to come back and have some of that kinda fun! 

Traveling northeasterly from Wausau, WI, we rode to Marquette, MI on the coast of Lake Superior. After a brief stop at Bald Eagle H-D, we struck out on M-28 along the coastline. In Munising we picked up H-58. This little stretch turned out to be the yooper’s version of the Pig Trail. Very nice, curvy, colorful ride. I thought we would be able to see Pictured Rocks from the road but that didn’t pan out. Guess next time we’ll have to take that boat ride. 

Our accommodations for the next two nights are in St Ignace overlooking Lake Huron. Nice motel!

Having problems with two bikes…Gary’s was easy enough to fix since it was a loose muffler. Maurice, on the other hand, will be bringing his bike back in a U-Haul. Not good!

Gina is back on point with our supper spot…Mackinac Grille and patio dining. 


Today was very early departure. Rain had stopped before we took off but the roads were still plenty wet at 6:30. Everyone suited up for this one and our Canadian border crossing. 

Seven of our bikes made it through with no problems.  You will have to ask Rick/Nena, Bryon/Gina and Phil Smith what kinda shady past they have that would trigger a full search of their bikes?  We all waited anxiously across the street. I’m not sure what we would’ve done if they had kept them…but we were standing at the ready for whatever. After a brief wait, they waved them through and we reconvened to leave Sault Ste Marie. 

Not certain how many wrong turns I made trying to get us out of the city (I lost count) but the last five bikes didn’t make all of them with me.  After slowing, stopping and waiting and a couple more turns (also probably wrong) we decided to head on out – hoping they would not be far behind – or in front. Our window was a little tight for getting to Sudbury for t-shirts and back to the motel before it got too late.  The further we got down the road, the more I began to doubt my decision. I was just hoping they had gone on when all of a sudden, there they were. Gassing up about 100 miles out! Hallelujah!!!! We are reunited and moving on. We have a lunch date!

Before we go that far, i just have to tell you about the beautiful fall colors. 


We were a little afraid that our timing wasn’t going to be on. What a pleasant surprise. Colorado was beautiful last year with all the aspens but this part of the country has so many colors. And so bright and vibrant. Hope lots of the pictures turn out. 


And what a date. Fantastic dealership that fed us upon our arrival and treated us to really sweet discounts while we shopped. AND WE CERTAINLY SHOPPED! To all the staff that assisted with our visit – thank you very much. And a special shout out to Paco’s work doppelgänger!!! We hope we can reciprocate one day. 

Alright! Head ‘em up and move ‘em out! It’s a pretty good clip back to the motel. Gotta try more local fare for supper. How about pasties? I’ll just leave it at that. 

Oct
03

Day 3

I really need to be asleep by now but I promised I would try to keep this posting….

You know there’s just something almost reverent about rolling through America’s heartland. Endless acres of corn, the pungent smell of manure, the rumble of the engine and watching your comrades snake along these wonderful rural roads behind you.  Even the most mundane takes on an entirely different meaning. 

We left in the rain this morning. Unfortunately the gloomy weather matched my gloomy mood as we listened to the latest news out of Las Vegas.  Thankfully the sun popped in and out today. Not any serious rain. 

Leaving Iowa, through a corner of Minnesota and into Wisconsin. We rode through rolling hills, mostly farmland, where the corn had turned brown and dead but still a hint of fall colors shined through occasionally. 


We stopped in Hokah, MN for a photo opp. Wanted to get some proof we actually visited Minnesota since we didn’t see the “Welcome” sign as we crossed the state line.  A few minutes later and we were back on the road. There were Harley shops awaiting!

LaCrosse Harley was closed today but you know we could manage to find another…   Why, yes! There’s Wausau H-D. I’m sure they felt like they had been hit by a swarm of locusts!  I’ve seen other motorcycle brands and John Deere Tractors in a Harley shop – but never snowmobiles. Another first. 

Gina has our supper spot picked out so we need to get off the road. 


Wausau Mine Company. Good food just too much of it!

We’re leaving kinda early tomorrow, so I better hit the rack. Tomorrow looks to be a pretty interesting day!

Oct
01

Day 2


Sorry for the chunk of motel but just wanted you to see our day was destined to be another good one!

We actually got away a few minutes early this cool morning. You know when you look at the weather forecast and it says “chance of rain 10%” and you say to yourself that it’s nothing to worry about???? Well, before we were an hour down the road, we felt the 10%!  Not enough to pull over (that comes later) though. We forged onward!

Lots of interstate highway today…not by choice, but necessity.  If we haven’t told you, this trip will cover about 3400 miles in the next 9 days. We did manage to find an alternate route around Kansas City that was pretty exciting.  But that was only AFTER I gave the group a brief tour of historic Lees Summit. I’m sure someone will tell you all about it. 

Stopping in Ames, Iowa tonight. Only a short distance into the state and cornfields abound! 

Gina, the self acclaimed foodie of the group, has done some research on dining spots for our trip. Tonight was our first one…THE MUCKY DUCK. Kind of an English style pub, with fish and chips, bangers and mash, Scottish eggs and some kind of sticky toffee pudding.  Another fun night of dining!!! We tried lots of different things, including fried cheese curds. What’s it gonna be tomorrow night Gina???

Both travel days have gone pretty smoothly. Roads are fairly decent and not a ton of construction.  Somehow I feel like we will have to deal with the rain tomorrow.  Til then…

Oct
01

Day 1…


I mean, really! What more could you  ask for? “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning!” But what does that say for us on scooters??  If it was intended as a warning, thank goodness it wasn’t necessary. 

After meeting at our designated spot, and having our send off committee bid us adieu, Jerry put us on the road with a needed prayer for safe travels and a safe return. 

We left town minus the Adams family (ha, couldn’t resist)! Pat was trying some new trick rides on his dirt bike (imagine Indian Larry) when things went south and he went north, over the handle bars. Turns out injuries were a bit more serious than first thought. Several rib fractures and more. If you want to send him well wishes, he’s at Christus.  Hate they couldn’t make the trip with us. 

This trip our group consists of 11 bikes (4 2wheeled, 7 trikes).  That’s probably a first!


Today’s route is taking us, pretty much, due north. A couple of fuel stops, one meal stop and the Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin before we stopped for the night.  

After we checked into our accommodations and put our feet up for a few minutes…we headed out for our dinner reservations. 



What a fun meal at the Lucky J Steakhouse and Arena. Tonight we got to watch team roping while we dined! And, bonus, our waitress was a biker that had made a trip into Canada last year. 

Ok y’all, let’s top off the tanks and get some rest for tomorrow. 

Sep
28


Alright, I’ve been trying to write this since we got home. Not certain if I haven’t been successful because I didn’t want the trip to end or if I’ve been too busy playing catch-up! Let’s just assume it was the first reason. 


WOW! WHAT A TRIP!!! I can’t say it enough…what a trip. The timing couldn’t have been better. The beauty and scenery, surpassed description and all expectations.  And the physical challenge was more than gratifying!


Best I can tell, everyone was pleased with the trip and the way it ran (well, with the exception of me being so bossy!).  Some of your comments/highlights follow… it was a group consensus that the Million Dollar Hwy, Hwy 92E from Delta to US50 and the canyon ride along the Arkansas River were the definite favorites. As cheesy as it was, everyone seemed to enjoy the Midway Point (Adrian) on Route 66!  Biggest accomplishment of the trip, hands down, was Pike’s Peak.  Best food…it was a mixed review – breakfast stops in Durango and Gunnison, Tuneup Cafe and the Cowboy Cafe.  We celebrated several birthdays and I thought that was pretty neat…especially mine. Again, much thanks. 

We learned what a green cross means, how to check the oil in a trike (FYI, it requires several people) and that your room key won’t open what you thought was the stairwell but was actually someone else’s room. That was a good thing. 


Although we all ended with different mileage totals, we’re going to count it “officially” as 3,020 miles and 5 states. 


I hate that we didn’t have time for the Royal Gorge or more of Roswell. Guess that just means another trip! 😁 There’s still lots to see. 

Let’s start talking about next year!


                      THE END ‼️

Sep
23

Not going to be a blog tonight. We are entirely too busy swapping tales. And inspecting Pam and Dale’s new purchase! Promise to post tomorrow night.  

Sep
23

Suffice it to say that this has been, yet another, good day. Morning started with the motel breakfast, birthday wishes and beautiful weather!

KSU at 7:00 headed to Canon City along US50. Awesome ride even if we did have to add and take off clothes more than once. 


Once we were headed south the terrain started changing too. It was really almost boring some of the group. I heard rumors that a couple passengers may have even slept through part of the ride!

Our plan was to ride into Santa Fe for a late lunch. All was going well until the rain caught us. Only 5 miles from lunch and the bottom fell out.  Do you stop and try to find a place to suit up? Or do you hunker down and drive on?  Today we chose the latter. 

We all kind of sloshed our way into our lunch spot, Tune Up Cafe. Still, it didn’t seem to dampen any spirits, just added another chapter in the memory book!


Deliciously fueled, we set out for our next stop. Remember the movie, Wild Hogs? Yep. We are headed to Maggie’s Diner!


Of course there was a little excitement in Madrid and we were not the cause. Seems a concrete truck had crashed the day before and they were still cleaning up the mess. In order to continue south on the Turquoise Trail, we had to traverse a privately owned dirt road. This was the point the group went separate directions. Several took the detour and the rest re-routed. All of us arrived safely at the Moriarity motel, almost at the same time – but with slightly different stories. What a fun day!