The Penultimate Entry

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Monday, July 19, 2010

U.S. Route 2 runs 2579 miles along the northern U.S. There is a short eastern segment in New England, connected to the western segment by highways in southern Canada. The western segment runs from the eastern end of Michigan's UP to western Washington state. On this trip home I took U.S. Route 2 from Shelby, Montana to Wakefield, Michigan - a total of 1,120 miles.  It was 2-lanes through Montana, 4-lanes through most of North Dakota, and a mix of 2- and 4-lanes in Minnesota. U.S. 2 was a well-maintained road throughout this stretch.

  Today I rode from Bemidji to Marquette, MI on the shores of Lake Superior. I should be home tomorrow! On my way I stopped in Duluth, MN to snap a few photos and stop by the Aerostich Rider Warehouse, a motorcycle online/catalog superstore of sorts where I have spent a princely sum over the years. The headquarters in Duluth is the mail order center and manufacturing center for Aerostich products, including Roadcrafter and Darien riding suits. The staff at Aerostich are very friendly, and I was given a tour of the catalog operation and the manufacturing unit. Despite the enticement of a 10% discount on any product purchased on-site, I left Aerostich without spending a dime and pressed on to Marquette. This stretch of riding along U.S. 2 and U.S. 41 was two-lane with lots of stop and go through small towns. I only made 400 miles today. leaving about 580 miles for my trip home tomorrow.

Note to my brothers and nieces who attended Purdue, penultimate means next to last.
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Roger on

Hi Dave, The Aerostich Factory/Warehouse stop would have been worth the trip all by itself! For me, the hardest part of your travels is probably today - going across the Mackinac Bridge. I have done it twice, white knuckle both times. Have a great ride home and enjoy Michigan's roads. See you soon.

K on

The blue sky over Lake Superior is striking.

Rain came through, south of Mackinac Island and between Lansing and Ann Arbor, Hopefully you'll miss most of the storms today. (What a 'welcome home' ride -- rain and Michigan road conditions!)

Betsy on

Welcome Home David! It's so nice have you back where you belong. Your looking swell. (lets sing it David!) Ha! Ha!

Colleen on

David, I hope your drive through the UP today is a good one. The drive along US-2 is one of the prettiest in the state. Welcome back to the mitten!

Tim on

Dave, Let me know if there is anything you see in the UP that is a "must" see. I am heading up there next week via the ferry across Lake Michigan and then back around. I am envious of the journey you just took. Be safe.

davidrman on

Roger, I am glad I stopped by Aerostich. I was surprised how small their store is, and the guy who gave me the tout did say that they've bought a new building nearby and they hope to expand the retail section.

Hopefully the winds won't be too bad across the bridge today. I'll know in a few hours.

davidrman on

Tim, I thought about going south and taking the ferry across on this trip. That should be a good ride next week. I'll let you know what I see as I go across the UP today.

Tim on

Hi Dave. Yes, I'm going to take the Badger (slow ferry) at Ludington to avoid the bigger cities. I'm not on any time schedule or geographical limits. I'm just going to ride around and see what I can find. So any suggestions will be helpful. I ordered a Madmap on recommendation of a few of my riding friends. They are supposed to have some good roads marked and things to do identified.

Aunt Lala & Uncle Bob on

You are home or nearly so by now. Thanks for sharing your memories and photos on a great trip for us too. We hope you sleep well tonight and maybe we will be able to see the rest of your photos someday.
Welcome home!!

K on

He's home! :-)

Roger on

Congratulations on a safe and exciting adventure. Hope to see you soon.

Dean Kerste on

Welcome home Dave!!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us...see you soon.

P Nedry on

David, did you feel a little shudder . . . in Marquette? You should have . . . there is a Nedry who lives there . . . an older brother . . . talk about one's GPS screwed up . . . he retired from production in a factory in the central part of Michigan (Alma/Mt. Pleasant) and retired to Marquette! Blame it on education. They had a son who attended Northern . . . went up to see him several times . . . and were smitten with the lighthouses, etc.

Glad you are back! The motorcycle mail order operation sounds interesting . . . it is amazing what a little marketing and good inventory management can do!!

Jim on

Funny! How much time did you spend looking at the thesaurus to come up with that one?...Glad you made it back safe. Talk to you later.
P.S. I still have the Purdue / Michigan game from this past November recorded on my DVR, so the next time you and Karen are down we can watch it!

davidrman on

Tim, you have a terrific ride planned. One thing I wish I had with me were some shorts, sandals and a towel so I could have spent some time wading and relaxing on the beaches of Lakes Michigan and Superior. I've never been, but I'm told that the Tahquamenon Falls are very impressive.

davidrman on

Lala and Bob, thanks for following along and for your comments. I have slept very well the last two nights! I'll be happy to share the rest of my photos soon.

davidrman on

Roger, thanks for the congratulations and for all your comments. I hope we can get a ride in before classes start again. Maybe you, Tim, Dean and I can do a day ride soon.

davidrman on

Thanks Dean. I hope there's a trip to Alaska in your future if you still want to go. It's an amazing journey, and I'd be happy to share more of my experience. Let's try to get in a ride before classes start.

davidrman on

Pat, there's a Nedry in Marquette? If only I'd known! That's beautiful country up there ... at least 4 months out of the year :-) That Aerostich operation is very interesting; maybe most interesting because they're still running a successful apparel manufacturing operation there, without moving a thing overseas. The price of their suits reflects that home-grown production, though.

davidrman on

Jim, you know I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get a Purdue jab in. Enjoy that Michigan-Purdue game while the Wolverines are down. They'll be back in form soon! Thanks for following along and for keeping Mom posted, too.

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