2020 Moto Trip - Day 4 - Back on the Road

By: Kevin JohnsonJan 26, 2021

Day 4 (8/15/2020)

As I said in my previous post, poor Adam was having a great time the night before and was therefore unable to even wake up to say “bye” to us before Tab and Alexa drove us back to the shop to grab the bikes and get back on our journey.  We said our goodbyes, I left Adam a little present on his side by side, and we hit the road on our way to Norway, MI.  The past few days definitely left us a little tired so it was good that we only had about 350 miles ahead of us this day.  Unfortunately for us there was a ton of road construction going through Minneapolis so we had to detour a few times.  Once of those detours because we missed an exit due to the road splitting, and so getting off from where we were wasn’t even an option.  We looped back around, stopped to fuel up the bikes and regroup, and then finally got out this crazy city.

The ride today started out kind of boring, as expected, rolling down the interstate.  We crossed over the St. Croix river into Wisconsin which I guess was exciting enough for me to take a photo, and then I didn’t snap anymore pics until we were pulling into downtown Chippewa Falls for lunch.  It is a very pretty town on the Chippewa River, and didn’t really look like much as we were pulling into town so we didn’t explore too much; but in hindsight we maybe should have looked around a little more because it seems like there was a lot more than just the main street that we rode in on.  We saw Max’s Bistro & Bar and so we went in and had lunch, and although it wouldn’t have been a typical spot we would have eaten, the food was really good.  Looking back now and being able to see the map on the larger computer screen there are other spots I would have like to try instead, but I guess that just means I’ll have to go back one day.  I don’t know what was in the air, but my allergies started going crazy while in Chippewa Falls and didn’t stop until we got to the hotel that night.

After lunch, and about a dozen trips to the restroom to blow my nose, we got back on the bikes and headed toward Michigan.  It was some more straight, bland road for a while but at least we were no longer on the interstate.  There were some very pretty farms along the way too, but it wasn’t until around Wausau where the scenery changed for the better and the riding got more fun.  We stopped a few times for fuel and at one of the stops I found that I must not have closed the gas tank at the previous stop (remember, my tank is near the back of the bike).  Luckily for me no gas spilled out and I made sure not to forget to close the tank again.  There was also an abnormal amount of skunk smell around the area too.  Having grown up in the mountains I am very familiar with skunks, but this seemed eerily overwhelming.  Lots of tomato juice baths for the doggos around there I imagine!

Having never been in this area before I was blown away by it’s beauty and how fun the back roads were.  I remember thinking to myself that this would be a great area to live or maybe even have a cabin.  Given how nice and mild it was in August though I can only imagine how rough the winters can get.  We carried on down the line until we pulled into Crandon where Bob needed to take a leak and I needed to blow my nose again so I made sure to snap a quick photo before we hopped back on the bikes.  It wasn’t long on the bikes until I had to pull over for an emergency nose blowing again so I did that and made some mini-tampons out of tissue and jammed them up my nose as usually that helps quite a bit.  I wish I would have been faster with the camera, but shortly after this stop I saw a black bear cross the road and run off into the woods.  It was pretty far ahead of us and happened so quick that it would have been hard to see even in a photo, but was still pretty cool to witness and I wouldn’t have seen at all if my nose weren’t being a dick so I guess that’s my “glass half full” perspective on the situation.

My nose tampons worked and we finally pulled into the hotel in Norway without further interruption.  In the parking lot I noticed a group of Harley riders looking pretty grungy drinking beer, but along with them was an adv rider like myself.  Bob and I checked into the hotel and when I came back out to grab a few more things off the bike the adv guy came over and visited with me for a bit.  They were headed home from a weeklong trip to Sturgis, so my earlier observations were very much on point to the stereotype.  They were riding pretty long days, 600+ miles, and remember thinking there is no way I’m interested in any of that business!  And he didn’t even offer me a beer, what the hell?!

Since we’d just partied pretty hard with Alexa’s family the two nights prior we decided to take it very easy and had a pizza delivered to the hotel.  I won the coin toss again thankfully, but ended up paying because the pizza joint’s credit card machine was down and Bob didn’t bring any cash so I forked over some greenbacks to the delivery guy when he showed up.  Perfect, now I have a gimme in my pocket with future meals should a later toss not go in my favor.  And here is a picture (finally) of the coin that I just took to show you all.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!