Monday, August 27, 2018

17th new state on the BMW motorcycle

We're counting down the 19 states we need to complete our goal of riding our BMW motorcycle in each of the lower 48 states. Today we left Gladstone, MI later than usual, waiting for thunderstorms to pass.

We followed U.S. Route 2 the entire way to Grand Rapids, MN, crossing back and forth into Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula along the way to Minnesota, our 17th new state.

We thought riding through the farmland in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and southern Wisconsin was monotonous, and today we decided that riding through the forests in the U.P. is just as monotonous. It was fun, however, to spot some unique signs, such as the large cut-out of a miner advertising the Iron Mountain Iron Mine and the Viking ship announcing we were in the town of Norway, MI which was actually named for the Norway pines in the area, not the country.

Around Iron Mountain the landscape changes from flat to rolling, steep hills and in fact there is a ski area here plus due to the snow, forests, and trail systems snowmobiling is also really popular. This area typically gets over 16' of snow each winter!

We stopped for lunch in the tiny town of Marenisco, MI, population 254 in 2010, where we might have been the only people to eat lunch the entire day.

Yesterday we stayed on Lake Michigan, and today we rode past the southern shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin.

Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes, it's also the largest body of fresh water on earth.

A detour on U.S. Route 2 took us onto a county road in Wisconsin, winding its way through the only farmland we saw all day; the rest of today's ride featured forests.

The sun briefly came out for a few minutes mid-day, and then the rain started when we had about 60 miles left in today's 375 mile ride. Mike and I both miss the bright sunshine of Arizona, and we've calculated that the last truly sunny day on this trip was 2 weeks ago in North Carolina. We avoided the heavy rains on the East Coast, and it seems our luck has run out in the Midwest since the forecast at least for tomorrow morning is also for rain as we continue west into North Dakota.  Here is today's route

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