A Travellerspoint blog

Meeting people

in new places

Okay, so right after we left Bob Evin’s we saw a car parked next to our bike at the closed coffee/ tanning shop.
At first we thought it was the police, but then we noticed it was a truck. Well, crap… it was probably the owner wondering who broke into his shop. He was checking the register when he noticed us walking over to the bike.

So, I go up and I give the guy a timid smile and I say I’m sorry, but I had to get the bike under an awning since it is about to rain. He seemed ok and relieved that no one was robbing him. He continued talking to me and I apologized again and said that I hope he didn’t mind too much. He interrupted, “Of course I mind!” Now he was getting some attitude. “I mean, Jesus! You've got some balls. Parking here and walking over there to eat; you’ve got a whole parking lot over there. . ." (He’s pacing a bit and Vanessa starts backing away slowly.) "Man, I’ve never seen anything like this. Your balls must be longer than your hair. I mean, I’ve got nothing against long hairs. I’ve been riding too, for 15 years and I’ve never pulled this kinda crap.” I apologize again and I start pulling the bike out.

We went and saw District 9, my new all-time favorite action movie. Then went back to Pokagon Park and I did a Jedi mind trick. I handed the guy our receipt from yesterday and willed him to believe that it was for today. He looked confused over to his calender, but then he handed us back the receipt and let us through.

I didn’t want to waste the fire wood we bought, so I tried to make fire at midnight... for 3 hours (stupid teepee). Vanessa tripped getting back into the tent and hurt her hand, and we stayed up till 4am crying/ cursing at the fire pit/ arguing (logically) -> Vanessa edits. Then we got up at 9:30 to get out of the camp before people noticed that we were staying at the camp site w/o paying.

Let’s get a friggin hotel! My arm really hurt, I was tired of camping in the cold and wet, and I was really fed up with trying to not really help Joe make/ tear down our camp site everyday and fit it all onto the motorcycle; so we called my mom and asked her to find us a cheap motel (since half the AAA camp sites are almost as expensive as one anyways). So then, for the next few hours, we drove.

My mom called us back with one for $30 including tax in South Bend Indiana, and we told her to look a little further west. Then, a few hours later she came up with several other hotels. But, as luck would have it, Joe wanted to get off the bike and stretch, and the next exit was South Bend. After getting one egg and one piece of toast for myself, and a tea for Joe at the free WiFi Perkins, we decided to tour Noter Dame.

And we found a cool Korea/ Vietnam/ WWII memorial fountain on the campus...


This was where Joe started to practice his Dragon Ba Gua form, and he got a bit of an audience...

They were super cool, and we talked to them a bit about Kung Fu in general, and the guy mentioned how it looked more like a dance than fighting, and Joe explained his philosophy about how advanced Kung Fu does look like a dance, and only true masters can keep that quality in an actual fight. The guy liked what Joe had to say, and he gave us an impromptu performance of his version of Ba Gua.

They seemed to think we were students there who might become future friends, or who might try and sell their studio, and a few years ago, yeah, that would have been true. But this time, we were the anti social loners with no home... and man was it nice. No, "you should come buy and try out our club" or nothing, just simple "that was cool' and a "right back at ya."

Then it was onto the 'Smoke and Mirrors Magic Switch Motel!
Now, just to be clear, I have no photos of the first room we were given... I was that thrown. First of all, it smelled like a chain smoker had just vacated the premises, and I've been to bars and concerts with smoking and it has never bothered me like this. My eyes were falling out of their sockets, and when I went to wash them off I had to open a door (that someone had seemingly punched a hole through) to a shower room that had, I shit you not, blood stains on the shower floor. There was only one bed, and it seemed a bit shady too. Then Joe came up with the brilliant idea to call the front desk (run by either the brother or sister who's father owns the motel) and ask for a different room. It turned out that there was a smoking and non-smoking side to this motel, and she automatically gave us smoking. So the brother moved us to the non-smoking side... and I herd Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
It even came with a mini fridge.
It still was the world's smallest shower, but atleast nobody died in it.
Then Joe went out and got ice cream and we played Myst IV to liven mood from our stressful few first days of rain, cold, Vanessa being moody, and Joe reciprocating. Then we made up. . .

We got up at 10 check out at 11, and of course we checked out at 11:20, and didn't end up getting the bike packed until about an hour after that. We called Moser (my friend from High School) and Allina (my friend from skating) to try and see if we could meet up with them in Chicago, and we did end up getting a hold of Moser. He said he was having a cookout anyways, and we should come, so that was set. We failed to drive up Lake Michigan (not due to lack of trying, meaning driving an extra 20 min or so, but the GPS was deceiving about the proximity of roads to the lake). Then we got caught in rush hour going into the city at 4:30, and Joe was loosing it a bit with having to put his feet down every few seconds. We finally made it to their place, and they weren't there... it ended up they were swimming, but we finally met up at their place, ate dinner, and tripped balls off acid (not really, that's just Joe's favorite quote from Moser, neither of us have ever done acid).

We left Moser's rather late, and we were just hoping to find a place outside the city were we could just pull off the side of the road and camp. We saw a fairly nice forest, and so we decided to pull off at the next exit, and then we found a lit up medieval castle.
We parked in back of lot of the Medieval Times (one of only 8 in the country) and took pics and set up camp in adjoining field of super high weeds.
us inside tent trying to keep warm by wearing our helmets ->

Then, just as we were laying down to go to bed, flashlights and talking. Yeap, someone found our bike, and didn't like that it was there. Joe's ideas: 1.) Security 2.) Cops 3.) Drug deal. About 15 min later, and much stress, Joe jumping out of the tent to take out some of the poles to make it shorter, and a few more people with flashlights... the cops came and got us out of the tent. They took us out of the field and up to the parking lot to get our information, and they were really nice and they even told us to illegally camp in a public park.

When we finally got all packed again, the security guard apologized for making us leave, and offered to drive to the park so we could follow him. We told him that we had a GPS, so it wasn't necessary, and then he got called to do another sweep of the castle, so we just left to try and find this park. All park entrances were closed off with gates, and we were thinking we would have to get a motel because it was midnight, cold, and we were exhausted. But we finally found one we could go around, and Joe had me jump off as he maneuvered around a pole and a ditch about 5 feet from the pole. He almost took off the tent, but he fit through. Then we pushed the bike to a point where it was away from the main road, and then he drove it into the forest and we hid it behind some trees. Then we camped light with just the tent and sleeping bag off the bike, and then we went to bed.

At first light (6:45am) we got up and got out of the park before the rangers came to open the gates. Then we went to Denny’s to kill time because Joe wanted to go back to the Medieval Times for lunch since we didn't let him go to the one we passed in Baltimore for Otakon. Then we went to a hardware store could open so Joe could fix the trunk (it was loosing its water seal b/c of the weight). There we met Michal who drive's this Italian crotch rocket. He was working at the time, but he still talked to us for a while about our trip and where we should go and stuff. Then he left, but then came right back and offered us his place for the night and a shower in the morning. I said sure (to Joe's surprise). We told him about Medieval Times, and he said he lives in this city just over from it. Then he asked if he could ride with us through Wisconsin b/c he was planning to do some riding tomorrow there since it was his day off. We said sure, and exchanged numbers.

Then we went to Panera to get free WiFi and buy our tickets and... the Medieval Times didn't have any show's on Tuesdays or Wednesdays all September... it was Tuesday. Joe then decided that we could go to the one just south of LA (totally out of our way), and I compromised that if we were skipping Death Valley, then we were going to Mexico. This guy John was at the table next to us, and he started asking about our trip. He said he was jealous, and he gave us a different rout to take through Wisconsin that he uses on his bike (not a motorized one, but a real bicycle that he rides 7-9 hours a day on his trips!) So we had our plans, and we decided to go to a park before driving off to Galena where John said we can pick up a scenic road up the Mississippi.

At the park we called Mike back, and it turned out he had to go into work the next day anyways, and he wished us well and told us some other roads to take through Wisconsin that never stop winding.

Posted by - Rain 19:01 Archived in USA Tagged motorcycle

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These are just the sort of stories I hoped you would add! Fun videos too--hope you'll post more of those. It's also nice that Georgi provides a motel-tracking service (that'll come in very handy when you need a better night's sleep). Remember that if it gets too cold, nothing is set in stone (other than Denver on the 24th). You could always head down to the southwest sooner. So if the cold seriously gets you down, check out the weather near Moab, Utah, where you could visit Arches National Park. We liked that as well or more than the Badlands. And you could find enough to do in New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California to keep you busy till December. Remember also that you have a welcoming home with all the luxuries (pool and warm weather) 45 minutes from Tampa, so if Florida beckons, go for it!

by Sheryl S

Wow! I love the dancing guy, he did a good imitation of Joe! and the other movie with Joe showering as a shadow, priceless! Sorry to send you to the Bates motel! Love your stories;) and it was great to see the Joe show again! Jedi mind tricks only work for me if I realllly believe I am right (plausible deniability) Great statue pose for Vanessa (again! think Europe trip)

by danielle r

p.s. the above comment was from georgi, have no idea why it says danielle:)

by danielle r

i think i figured out how to add comments! i can't believe someone is still prejudiced about guys with long hair on bikes, geez, is it the 60's? darn Beatles!

by georgi r

sURPRISE!! I figured how to do this with your Mom's help and she's right, you do have a warmer place to go! We just came home from Alaska and Loove this heat. It snows early up there so head south soon! Good luck--enjoyed the blog.



I'm so jealous that you got to visit Moser! How fun...and I'm pissed that they harassed you so much...I tried to find this song it reminded me of...look it up it's Petroleum Distillation by Ghost Mice but it has a ton of covers by other bands...anyways...my brother had the same issue and once had an officer tell them to move off 80 at Bryan, OH and when Al pretended to pack and then never left the cop came back an hour later, pulled a gun on them, and told him to "get on his mother fucking knees" and then told him he was just kidding and showed him how to hide better...anyways here are the lyrics...

by CoreyAnn

been having a hard time trying to justify
the clouds arrising from the cars we drive
and a little too easy it seems just a little to hard today
I'm afraid my children are going to have to watch the world
waste away, waste away...
been having a hard time trying to accept the fact
paying money for four walls leaves the slavery intact
and a little too easy it seems just a little to hard today
i'm afraid my children are going to have to watch the world
slip away, slip away
yeah i know, i know, i know, i know, i know
that life has become a slavery
yeah i know, i know, i know, i know, i know
that life has become a slavery
yeah i know, i know, i know, i know, i know
that life has become a slavery, slavery
costs two dollars a minute and additional charges to pray to god today
see i've been looking for some guidance but the voice on the phone ain't got a damn thing to say
and a little too easy it seems just a little bit insane
and i'm afraid my children are going to have to watch the world
fade away, fade away
i was born a little too late to see the dream that they call 'america'
and a little to easy it seem, just a little bit insane
and i'm afraid i'm going to have to run for my life
one of these days, one of these days

by CoreyAnn

the earth is my body it's been poisoned with lead, junk food, and toxic waste
the sky is my mind it's been clouded with cigarettes and flurocarbons, petroleum distillates
the water's my heart it's been broken with booze and drugs and shooting up paste
the sun is my spirit and it belongs to all of us
i guess were all just one sick race, just one sick race
and economy shall reward itself with freedom
and humility shall reward itself with peace
and the dissolution of possesions and the intergration of humanity
shall bring forth a new sense caring for our responsibilities

by CoreyAnn

definitely an exiting start! That first hotel room sounded creepy as hell. Always fun to see Moser. I always wanted to go to a Medieval Times after seeing Garden State. Seems like an interesting place.

by buddy-JC

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