This year's big end of summer motorcycle trip was perhaps the longest trip I have ever taken. 2,750 miles start to finish and we traveled through at least seven states and two providences of Canada.
Let's see how that trip went.
Day 1 - Leaving Chicago
The first day of leaving Chicago for any trip is always a drag. The midwest here is boring highway for hundreds of miles in almost any direction. The first leg of our trip was to get from Chicago to Port Huron
Out first stop was near Kalamazoo Michigan for lunch at a place called "The Crow's Nest". It was a great restaurant with hummus and some vegan options. You can see in the photo above that Doug (and Peter) ordered a burger that had sausage gravy on top and biscuits for the buns. It was a pretty cool and intense dish.
Day 2 - Crossing the Border into Canada
Day two was a quick cross of the border into Canada and then breakfast in London, Ontario with some of Pete's friends. A great breakfast.
We arrived at Niagara Falls around the middle of the afternoon. I was sort of amazed at how touristy the whole thing was. It was like a mix of Wisconsin Dells meets Las Vegas.
Niagara Falls at Night
Dinner that evening was in the Skylon Tower which offered us a wonderful view of the falls. After dinner we went for a walk up to the falls.
The falls though are really what made the whole stop worthwhile.
Day 3 - Montrose Covered Bridge, CR-35 and the Tally Ho Inn
Day three was going to be our first kick off into some real riding. The first half of the day was honestly pretty rough. I have come to discover that most of Ontario is the same boring flat roads that we have in Illinois. In truth you would not be able to tell the difference between here and there if I gave you a generic photo of the countryside.
Day 4 - Algonquin Provincial Park, a ton of rain and Rigaud
Day 5 - Back to the US and the long haul to Maine
After a great breakfast in Riguad we were off on the road again. We decided to long haul on the highway in the morning to make some good ground before we hopped onto some back roads leading up to lunch. Lunch was at Ailleurs Restaurant, which turned out to be another winner for food. We had a great outdoor seating area on the patio and they had an excellent selection of beers on the menu. I had mushroom soup and some pasta with a cesar salad.
We were very close to the US border at this point, just 15 miles or so away from Stanhope.
Back in the US
Once we crossed back into the US we found ourselves in Vermont. Still 200+ miles away from our ultimate destination. We made a quick stop at April's Maple, which is a maple syrup shop. They own 800 acres of trees, so we of course bought some maple syrup.
We then took some amazing country roads to our next stop at the World Trailer sign. It is a interesting little sign owned by some private homeowners on the road. We were not the only travelers to stop at the sign while we were there, and we did sign the guestbook.
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
We finally arrived at Old Orchard Beach around 7:00 pm or so. We were all tired. Our hotel was the Skylark Inn, which turned out to be another fantastic place to stay and someplace I would love to go back to at some point. It was right on the beach.
We walked the beach towards the pier to eat dinner at Surf 6 Ocean Grille. We got our lobster and soups and had a great evening of it.
Day 6 - Vermont, New Hampshire and great roads
Ben & Jerry's Factory
Lake Champlain Ferry and New York
We hopped on a ferry to cross from Vermont to New York. The cost was $6.75 for motorcycles and it offered us a nice break from riding while we transferred into Lake Placid. Our hotel in Lake Placid was very clean and nice (Best Western) and was right across the street from the olympic ice skating arena.
Day 8 - Riding through Lake Placid
Leaving Lake Placid offered us some wonderful scenery and one of the very best roads in the whole trip on Forest Home Road. It was our last great day of riding and really was wonderful.
That afternoon though I had a run in with a bee or wasp of some sort. It stung me on the neck while riding. A Rite Aid was about four miles away and we headed over there to get some medication. The pharmacist recommended I take Claritin instead of Benadryl. Thankfully I was fine with no significant swelling. The ride to the hotel was painful, but the next morning you barely would have been able to tell that i had been stung.
Day 9 & 10 - Back to Chicago
Day 9 gave us one last stop at Taughannock Falls and unfortunately the rest of the trip was largely highway back towards Chicago. We hung out with a Goldwing riders group at a gas stop and they recommended a lunch stop near Jameson for us to check out call the Hideaway.