After being rained out on the 2nd, shortened our ride by 150 KM we called it quits and stayed in a motel outside Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in Blind River. Woke up to pouring rain but the radar showed it was a passing storm. So, we had a late start but at least it was in a drizzle not buckets and rode to Michigamme, Michigan. Not too eventful of a day other then we decided to take the bikes off the pavement and do many kilometres off road on farm/country roads. That was fun in the drizzle and a great change of scenery. No traffic, no tar, no people just us. The ride was not technically challenging but nonetheless, good enough for us. However, when we do deviate like this it takes more time but well worth it. It also is physically challenging because of all the standing we have to do to keep the bikes balanced. Again, well worth the different way of getting to another destination.
We crossed over to the States at the Bridge to the USA around Sault Ste. Marie. The line up was crazy long and it was hot. We took pics along the way as we slowly got to customs. Took about 1 ½ hours to get there. While waiting all the cars were obviously running their a/c and there was a ton of coolant on the bridge. Cheryl slipped on some and unfortunately laid her bike down on its side. No harm done to Cheryl or her bike. Just goes to show you how careful we must be at all times and even the slightest bit of grease, oil or coolant on the road could be such a hazard to a biker. We picked the bike up and off we went slowly to the border. With nothing to declare we were through in two seconds after waiting all that time. The ride to Michigamme was simple and long but we got there in one piece. Had a few beers, cooked roast beef and cheese sandwiches on the fire, met a guy named Tom who was heading to Sturgis. Tom told us he was anti-technology and did not like all the gadgets we brought along. Cheryl and I politely listened but were like "whatever dude". Off to bed we went.
Day 19 of this cross country tour and I cannot believe it is almost over. What I am realizing is that going to Long Island and back to Maple Ridge, BC was quite grandiose. We have done well over 8000 km and still have about 3000 more to do. Knock on wood but our bodies are holding up, the bikes are doing well for us and we are actually going to complete this "working" holiday. For those who do not ride, it is more than one can imagine. We are suckers when it comes to Mother Nature, no a/c, no heat and protection other than our gear. We found out yesterday that within a moment "Mother" can change her mind about the weather. We got hit in a hail storm. Choices were go back east seek shelter or head west as planned. We choose west and that turned out to be the right direction. Skies cleared up just as fast as they darkened. There is a lot of planning in some regards when it comes to a trip like this and we both have to be prepared for anything. Our riding skills have improved so much over the weeks and as they say there is always something else to be learned.
The ride today was 603 km long and we stayed on the pathway to make up some lost time. No deviations although our GPS wanted us too. Headed right for Bemidji, Minnesota. We cruised through Wisconsin and will be heading towards North Dakota tomorrow. Let's see that makes 16 states so far and including BC, 3 Provinces. Not too shabby. Weather was very warm all day but not the HOT and humid we have had. Now, in for the night after a hard days ride. To be continued.