August 8th, 2013
Being a guest at Ed & Dianne's for a couple of days had made me spoiled but I had to start my trek home. I still had a long way to go but which route should I take. We looked at some maps and I considered the Canadian route but when Ed mentioned he had to return his riding boots and I also wanted to visit some cousins in London, so we headed East on Hwy 401 where we parted ways at this rest stop
and as I had arranged the day before I headed out on my own to see my Aunt & cousins whom I had not seen since 1988 at the last family reunion that I attended
You know how it goes. You plan to stay an hour but you keep talking and soon it's over 2 hours. Cousin Sarah is into photography too and belongs to the local camera club. She snapped a few of me and I snapped back. I was soon back on the road
and decided to re-enter the USA through Sarnia, Over the Blue Water Bridge. I had been over this bridge before but many years ago in our rented car back around 1973 when we visited my Uncle in Detroit
Soon I am riding on the Blue Water bridge which is the no-man's land between the USA and Canada
Welcome to Michigan coming up and I have to turn my cameras off before I hit the customs booth. They actually asked me about it when I was being questioned
After I crossed the border the highway splits South and West and I was not familiar with the names of the towns so I kept to the left which was a big mistake. I didn't know it but I was heading straight into Detroit and my plan was to go around. I got lost and exited the freeway and tried to find my bearings. I couldn't figure it out because the road atlas I brought wasn't detailed enough and my GPS was too detailed and I couldn't find the names of the places on my paper map so I continued to ride in circles. I thought that I could go into the McDonalds to use their WiFi on my phone but they didn't have WiFi. Then I realized that the reason was they didn't want the wrong people hanging around so it was a warning to me to get out of there
I decided to make this an early day so I ended up in Columbia City, IN for a sit down dinner at a Chinese Restaurant
It wasn't so bad. Broccoli & Beef with fried rice topped off with a fortune cookie. With a full tummy now I had to find a home for the night. I rode around and didn't see much. Mostly run down motels so I decided to grap a marginal one right along side of the highway. It was a seedy looking place where I had to talk through plexi-class and pay cash before I could get the key.
I prefer places where you can park in front of your door and I put my bike cover on
It was a hot day and the A/C was very cold and it had FAST internet too. It was clean enough and I would stay there again if I were by myself.
Notice that I was just West of Fort Wayne on the Lincoln Highway. The next morning I headed south towards Kokomo, IN and got myself lost
You don't get a good feeling when everything around you looks run down and you are staring at the County Jail. I kept on the backroads in exploration mode watching the farmlands roll by. Soon I found myself in Marion, IN and after a few wrong turns ended up in Kokomo where I entered another depressing area
This Motel looked cleaner than the one I stayed and the rates were cheaper. In fact the surrounding Motels had similar rates and even so, it would appear that all of them had no customers
I wandered around for a while getting a feel for the town and had lunch before I headed on my way. I tried to find my way out of town but again I took the wrong turn and ended up riding through miles and miles of corn fields (video at the end)
I used my intuition to find a Northward route and try to get back to I-80 but also to avoid the toll roads near Chicago but the traffic was gridlocked and now I was on secondary roads riding through small towns
Eventually I made it to Ottawa, Illinois which was my new home for the night. I spent hours trying to find my way out of the corn fields and trying to follow my GPS as you will see . . .