I Suppose It Had To Happen Eventually

By 6:30 am we are up, dressed, packed, and waiting for the bike to warm up. The fog is so thick that we can barely make out the neon VACANCY on the sign at the edge of the parking lot. The Kawasaki noisily clearing its throat is the only sound for miles, but even that is muted by the fog, its atmospheric blanket dampening everything but our spirits. For the first time in three days our outlook is bright and our moods lifted – because we’re going home. For the first time in four years, we’ve had a less than stellar vacation on the bike.

 

Memorial Day weekend in Canada sounded like a good idea. “Let’s go someplace different,” we said. “Let’s not wait until Fall,” we said. “Memorial Day isn’t even a holiday in Canada, so traffic won’t be bad,” we said.

Oh, how wrong we were.

The trip started like they usually do: enthusiastic start, good intentions, and breakfast at a Big Boy.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that that things went south. We hit rain. We stopped to put on our rain gear. The sun came back out. We stopped and took off our rain gear. It started to get grey and cold again. And then we rounded a bend in I-69 to be met by the view above. Three car accident on the Bluewater Bridge, a whole whack of Americans who had the same idea as us to get over the border for the weekend, and a rapidly dwindling fuel supply. This wasn’t the vacation we’d signed on for.

I’m going to spare you the details of the next three hours — mainly because I don’t particularly feel like reliving that swath of time that it took us to travel five miles across the bridge. I honestly don’t know how F did it; I was exhausted, and all I had to do was sit there. I also don’t know how yet again the trip took us so much longer than travel estimates — even without the traffic jam, it would have been an excruciatingly long day to get to Stratford, Ontario. By the time we finally rolled into town, we were cold, tired, hungry, grumpy — and had about 90 minutes to check in to our hotel, swipe away some of the road grit, change our clothes, find somewhere to inhale some food, and walk to the theatre for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

We were at that stage of hangry at which decisions seem impossible when we staggered into the Boar’s Head Pub. It was packed, and becoming increasingly clear that we wouldn’t even have enough time to finish our dinners, let alone take the leftovers back to our hotel, by the time our food arrived. In a flash of inspiration/desperation, I asked the waitress if they would be willing to box up our leftovers and keep them in the fridge for us so that we could pick them up after the play. She not only accommodated my weird request, she welcomed us back and heated up the rest of our food for us when we returned. I think we fell in love with her a little bit.

And once we were fed and feeling human once more, we were able to thoroughly enjoy the play, Timon of Athens, which was amazing. Day One was saved. Sort of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we strolled around the Shakespearean Gardens (which were lovely) before getting on the road to Goderich, where we were going to stay for our second and third nights. It was a pleasant ride to the town billed as “Canada’s Prettiest Town”… but… well, no offense, Goderich, but you really weren’t that pretty. And it’s the kind of town that rolls up the sidewalks at 6 pm. And the day rides we had planned that looked so great on the map turned out to be mostly straight roads through farmlands. And we were still pretty exhausted from our travel travails on the first day. And after seeing no ghosts at the supposedly haunted old inn we stayed at in Stratford, we got two terrible nights’ sleep at the outwardly cheery but oh-god-we-think-it-truly-was-haunted motel in Goderich. Definitely not the kind of atmospheric we were hoping for when we booked at the delightfully “50s kitsch” looking place. And we just never really ended up enjoying ourselves. At some point on Day Three we dragged ourselves out of our funk enough to come to a conclusion: we’d had enough.

 

So. Here we were, bagging our last day early to beat the border traffic and get the hell home. I suppose it had to happen eventually that we’d have a decidedly “meh” roadtrip. Fortunately, there’s always a next time.

The End

 

via Daily Prompt: Atmospheric

 

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PSA: Play Nice Out There, Drivers

It’s that time of year when lots of Michiganders head north on color tours to go leaf peeping. That means there’s going to be a lot of vehicles on the road. Plenty of those will be of the 2-wheeled variety, including us, as we’ve settled on an itinerary for our fall getaway and are heading out later this week. We’d like to stay “shiny side up,” so please, be careful out there, drivers. Here are some helpful hints for those of you encased in giant steel boxes with 4-wheels and rolled up windows and loud music to help you help us 2-wheels enjoy our time out on the road, too.

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The Great Fall Getaway

It was 90-some degrees and 200% humidity here in Michigan the first week of September. It’s like Labor Day hit and Summer said, “Wait a minute! I’ve got until the 21st, not so fast with your pumpkin spice, you’ve still got some sweating to do.” It’s hard to imagine that in 4 short weeks or so it will be 50 degrees, grey skies, and freezing rain. But it will be, because F and I are planning our Fall getaway together on the Concours.

It never fails. Every Fall sweeps in to Michigan all blue skies and crisp breezes and sun highlighting the magnificent oranges and golds of the trees as they turn.  It’s time for cider mills and pumpkins and sweater weather, but mainly just because you want to wear a sweater, not because you really have to. It’s perfect. And then whatever October weekend we’ve set aside to head north to enjoy it all, Fall suddenly says, “Sooo, I’m taking the weekend off, but don’t worry, Winter’s gonna pop in and cover my shift.” So, my apologies in advance, Michigan folks, but we’re planning our annual motorcycle Iditarod. We’re not exactly sure where we’re going or which weekend we’re going yet, but don’t worry, you’ll know. The morning the furnace kicks on for the first time, you can say to yourself from within your warm cocoon of blankets, “Ah, K and F must be on their way up north.”

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