By: Bruce Mike
In early August my lovely bride and I went on our first significant motorcycle trip since her accident. Two years ago we were headed home from a week long ride through the Smoky Mountains when she was hit by an inattentive driver. She broke her wrist which required a couple of surgeries. She will probably never get all the strength back and will most likely have pain for the rest of her life. Needless to say, we haven’t done nearly as much riding as we used to.
We went on this recent adventure with two couples we have done several trips with and who we have great fun travelling with. Our “Road Captain” on this ride is a GPS geek and does an amazing job leading. He rides at a good pace and is very mindful of those who are following. He also does a great deal of planning and routing which takes us on amazing roads with easy to accomplish daily mile totals. He makes these trips really easy for me because all I have to do is show up and follow.
This particular trip took us up to Copper Harbor, across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, over the Mackinaw Bridge, down to Muskegon and across Lake Michigan, on a Ferry, to Milwaukee. We left early on a Thursday and returned the following Tuesday in the evening. It was a great trip totalling about 1600 miles. I think we had about 50-75 miles of rain, temperatures in the mid 70s to low 80s and a ridiculous number of amazing roads.
The road on this trip I was most excited about is The Tunnel Of Trees Road (M-119). It starts in a small town southwest of Mackinaw City called Cross Village. It ends in another small town called Harbor Springs. It’s a little over 20 miles long and your speed is between 15 and 30 mph. It’s a very narrow road but the pavement is good. It truly is a tunnel of trees and with the vast variety of them I’m sure the road is a parking lot when the leaves start to change color. If you are ever in the area, drive the road. It was well worth it.
We ended the trip in west central Wisconsin in Hillsboro. It’s near the Kickapoo and Baraboo rivers as well as Wildcat Mountain State Park. Again, if you’ve never ridden this area you should check it out. There are miles and miles of twisties and hills. If you’re a “leafer” this would be a great place to spend a fall weekend.
We spent our last night on the road at the Blue Highway Motorcycle Lodge. I didn’t think it would be my kind of place. I tend to look for cheap lodging when I’m on a bike trip because I’m normally not looking to spend a whole lot of time there. As it turned out, this was the perfect place. Each couple had their own cabin with a king size bed, whirlpool tub, gas grill and outdoor fire pit. We all gathered at one cabin for dinner and a fire. It was a great final day of our trip.
The couple who own the lodge are motorcycle enthusiasts themselves and opening this little resort was their way out of the rat race. They have six cabins that are available only to motorcyclists. I’m not normally big on exclusivity but staying somewhere where there aren’t a bunch of kids running around was really nice. Each of the cabins has covered parking for your bikes as well as a hose and bucket if washing them is important to you. If you’re looking for a home base for two or three days, in an area with some amazing riding, the Blue Highway Motorcycle Lodge would work great. Check them out at www.bluehighwaymotorcyclelodge.net