Thursday, June 19, 2008

Exploring the Thumb part one

On Saturday, it was such a nice day weather wise; we have had so many poopy storms, we decided to go for a ride to Port Huron, Michigan. I am not really sure how many miles this is from our home, but it is a good ride, I was not precise in my mileage count but it was at least a two hundred mile round trip.

So, we started out on our bikes, I forgot to mention that we ride Harleys in my opening!!! OOPS! Well, we do. And we are not "BIKERS", but "bikers" I wear a pink flame helmet for goodness sake, I also have a patriotic one with the flag on it for those days when I feel really American. The reason I say these things is because the word "BIKERS" often connotes a bad image for many folks. You know the Hell's Angels and the like. Well, we don't pillage anything, okay other than quilt and antique shops ( and we pay for all our purchases, LOL) and we love to stop at restaurants!!! And, I have to say, that when I am not riding and talk with folks and they find out I ride a bike, they often seem to think differently of me. I am new to riding a motorcycle; four years really.

When we were in Canada, the Captain, as I like to call him ( he is a retired Air Force Captian, hee-hee) bought a Harley and a Honda Gold Wing. My initial reaction was not good!!!! I was soooooo afraid of motorcycles and didn't want to be thought of as a biker's old lady! Eventually, he convinced me to ride around the very quiet, trafficless street in Burlington,Ontario where we lived with him on the Gold Wing. Now, he has been riding for a long time, me pretty much never! After millions of trips around the block, I allowed him to venture down a real street; then we joined the Gold Wing club in Burlington.

These are mainly older folks who are nearly retired or already retired and enjoy riding together in a group. They are the nicest people and are so helpful. The bikes are beautiful, and when they all leave for a ride it is impressive to see. All the colors of the bikes, the outfits many of them wear match the bikes and each other which I find so cute, but the Capt. does not ( he call it "being twinks") Needless to say, I think they are so sweet and innocent, so hey after the breakfast meeting, I run up and tell the Capt. that we are going too!!!! He was probably stunned, ok I know he was cuz he said it.

Well, these folks may be older, but whoo can they ride; they left with us ensconced somewhere in the middle, away we go. All is good, the weather is sooo nice and warm the way I like it, the OPP are waving to us as we wind through the streets of Hamilton, and then I see it, OH NO!!!! these old people are trying to kill me!!! There before us is Hamilton mountain, and we are going UP THE MOUNTAIN!!! Now, I drove this route in my car many times, even though it was a bit scary, but beautiful. It is an escarpment actually, part of the Niagara escarpment I believe. At this point, I don't care how pretty it is. I want off, right now, well, I don't have a microphone on MY helmet, oh nooooo, because he knew I'd be yelling in fear at some point!

Along we go, I look over at the others, they are laughing and smiling!!!! I don't care I'm still scared. So we get up and over, I keep chanting 'I"m okay,I'm okay" We eventually get to Port Dover which is beautiful. I'm in one piece and we go shopping at the neat shops and eat lunch. Well, we decided to linger and rode back alone.

That was okay until Mr. IminaHurry decided to get on the expressway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRGH! I have never been so scared on my life; he goes down the ramp at like a million miles per hour, hey we're not taking off the end of an aircraft carrier, ( I think those jets don't even go THIS fast!) People are looking at me because I have my hands over my eyes!!!!!!!! When we got home I just was so happy to see my babies, and I promised myself no more rides. Okay I loved parts of it, but I am a control freak!!!! We did ride more, not as often as I would have liked because he was often traveling for business, and I didn't know how to ride, so I often longed to know how to ride to take advantage of the summer days.

We met a lady who owned a local restaurant that we frequented and she rode her own Harley; alone ! woo! So the idea was firmly planted in my head, but other things were a priority, but in 2004, I signed up for a class at a college in Port Huron. I figured, it's only $25.00, if I can't do it, or don't like it, no harm. But.... I LOVED IT!!!!!

I often try to figure out why I love it so much; I see things I never see in my truck; I feel and smell things I wouldn't in my truck, okay that can be good and bad; hee-hee. I often get a feeling of utter joy when I ride that I never experience any other time. I never thought I would feel like this on a bike. There are scary things; I have to really focus and stay way more alert on my bike, but the rider's class has made me a better all around driver too. Riding my bike is a learning experience for me each time. I try to learn from my experiences to make me a better rider.

So now that you know part of my history, back to Saturday; we started out at home, went through Cass City, Michigan to eat at McDonalds. This is all a country ride, quiet and pretty. Right around our home we have, cows, with their new sweet babies, crazy pheasants who I call the suicidal pheasant, cuz no matter what I'm in/on they jump out in front of you and scare the poop out of me because I don't want to hurt any animal ever. We also have deer, beautiful, but deadly to a bike and car ( I'll tell you about that one later) We have the most wonderful scents, lilac, lavender,lilies, the sweet smell of freshly mown grass, we also have the smell of nature; the cattle farm has the poop smell, the horses have the poop smell, very organic.

Hey, I live with four bulldogs, if you want an organic smell these babies have got it!!!! The gas in here would run a fleet of Hummer H2's if we could harness it!!! LOL! Well after a small lunch; we rode to Sandusky,Mi. If you come to Michigan, go to Sandusky. There are many lovely shops and it is just a sweet little town, with the old courthouse square. I realize now that I have this blog, I have to show you photos too. I'm working on it!!!

As I ride; I notice everything! Soooo.... as I am going to stop and get gas, what do I see but a pink quilt!!!!!!!!!! There is an antique shop and they have quilts on display outside!!!! ; the conversation between the big bad bikers goes like this; " Honey, did you see that quilt over there, no dear, well I am so going over there after we get gas!!! Okay honey" So now you know what us bad ole bikers are ripping about at the gas station, traffic lights etc. LOL!

( We did see and buy the quilt. we met a really nice guy who owns the antique shop; you should visit if you come to Sandusky; its called Sandusky Antiques on M46; the main drag. You will meet Greg; he is so nice and kind and honest too!; he kept the quilt for us until I could come back on Wednesday (yesterday) which is his first day open through the week; (Wed-Sat) He has so many fantastic finds, I'll have to go back and take pictures for y'all. On the way home I stopped at WalMart, then to the local Mennonite bulk store. I had heard of the store, but yesterday was the first time I went there. Wow, it is so neat. And many things are very inexpensive. I drove home a different way and saw the most wonderful sight; a mom deer and her itsy bitsy baby. They were in a field eating; I pulled off the road and was close enough to see them quite well. The baby was so little I had to squeal!! They heard me and ran back into the field, but it made me so happy that I got to see them! )

And now to the conclusion, finally of Saturday's ride; I know, I wander!!!! We left the antique shop and rode to Port Sanilac which is on Lake Huron. Now this is beautiful. We rode down the lakefront road into Lexington which has one of my favorite shops Gatherings; she has all kinds of country and primitive home items as well as a fantastic garden that her husband keeps us; I will go back and take pictures as soon as possible, I promise. There are many lovely shops there and restaurants all with that small time feel; it is in the country really. And then we left to ride on, at my urging, to Port Huron. We had promised ourselves many times in the past few years since I began to ride my bike that we would ride to Port Huron. Generally we did not ever go further on the bikes than Lexington for many valid reasons.

One is "shopping issues" Port Huron is home to Mary Maxim, which is a crafters heaven!!! Usually if I go there (PH) I have to go to Mary Maxim. I don't have saddlebags ( on my bike at least LOL) ( I told the Capt. that this is probably the only time you'll hear a woman ask for saddlebags!!!) But Saturday I had resolved that I would be good and not go to MM; ( I didn't go, I wuz good!) So here we went to Port Huron. It would have been so grand had not I gotten the POOP scared out of me!!!! Unbeknownst to us, the powers-that-be at the "Michigan Dept. of It's warm , so it's time to jack up the roads" had ripped off the top layer of pavement, leaving this wobbly grated up rough stuff that always makes my bike feel like a kid just learning to ride a two wheeler.

Add to that the fact that I was going highway speeds (55) when I hit it and the we went right into a curve and you will know I was trying hard not to poop! Of course, when you are that scared, your sphincter won't open as it is really puckered up I'm sure ( I don't know because I was trying to keep from falling off my bike) So as soon as I could I pulled off on to a sliver of shoulder which was DIRT AND GRAVEL !!! My sweet man says what's wrong??? ARRRGH!!! WHATS WRONG??? ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!! He has a different bike than I do; his rides way different that mine; he has more experience too; but I am sweating buckets!!!! He says well we'll turn around and go home, I say Im not going back through that curve on this icky stuff! So, eventually I got my nerve up to continue on; it was still scary, but we finally hit real pavement again. WOO-HOO!
Well, we wanted to eat at the Old Country Buffet, and I rode into the parking lot AND IT HAD GONE OUT OF BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah baby; got scared and now my favorite eatery is GONE!!! Well, we rode on over to the Golden Corral; which is also a buffet and sooooooooo much better!!! And, way cheaper too!!!

Okay, you ask, how did I get back home without going on the icky road??? HA! I did something I don't always like to do; I rode on I-69!! A big ole' expressway!!!! This is my second time riding on it and it was great!!!! And, in finding the expressway we wandered through some really pretty country in PH and found a flea market to boot; which I intend to visit in my truck so I can be sure to find and buy some really cool stuff to show y'all in future posts and maybe, if I can part with some treasures, sell a few to some of you who might not be coming to Michigan anytime soon. I know this is long, but I am a talker!!!! My babies want me to stop playing with the bad computer and feed them NOW!!! Sydney is pulling on my sweatshirt jacket so I better feed her and her sibs!!! Talk soon!


Anonymous said...

Best of luck with the blog, and thanks for stopping by mine, too!

(I hope you don't mind a well-meant kind suggestion. A couple of paragraph returns to break up your posting would make it so much easier to read.)

Take care, See 'ya again!

Merrie said...

Thank you for your help; I am soooo out of touch with writing!! LOL! I love your dogs and the stories; as I said it's so much funnier when that happens to someone else!!!

Anonymous said...

Great job!

I can't wait to hear some of your dog stories too!

Right now, I have one with his head on my lap as I type and he keeps belching at me. Not sure what that's all about, but I think we're off for a quick walk.

Take care,

Sandy said...

Welcome to blog land...
You will see how addicting it is.

I just loved reading your blog!
Thank You for stopping over at mine.

When I read that you lived in Ontario at one point, I thought WOW! I was born and partially raised in Georgetown, Ontario. I now reside in New Brunswick and love the laid back life here. The Maritimers sure know how to have loads of fun...hehe

I look forward to future blogs and PICTURES. You can't forget have also added you to my blog under my favorites.


Merrie said...

thank you Sandy and twobarking dogs for your help and kind comments! It is addicting I have already found; love to talk to you Sandy about all things Canadian as it is my favorite place to go. I have never been to New Brunswick, but with a new blog friend there, I think a road trip may be in order in the future !!LOL!

Shanda said...

Merrie, So nice to meet you. Welcome to the blogging world. I have truly enjoyed writing and reading blogs this past year. I added you into my blog list and I'll be sure to stop and check in often to hear about the new adventures.
I once had a bulldog, named Hootie. All I can say it Pew-WEEEE. I know what you mean about their little gas problem.. My Boston Abby isn't much better, we have learned to avoid anything "turkey" with her. She can let some killer's too.
I enjoyed visiting, see ya soon,

Merrie said...

Thanks Shanda; I am soo honored to be on your blog list; it's my very first!!!! I too will be keeping up with your adventures. My only complaint is that I don't live near you so you could do my hair!!!! How perfect would that be!

My Country Baby Murphy