Country Roads – Day One

Gear:  Arai Quantum 2 helmet, First Gear Monarch TPG jacket, Held Steve gloves, Olympia Mustang pants, Sokz Arrow riding socks, Alpinestars Web Gore-tex boots.


The idea for this trip came about a couple of weekends ago when Andy and I were discussing my trip in the spring.  We decided we both needed a “shakedown” weekend in preparation (me for riding multiple high mileage days fully loaded, him for watching the dogs).

After looking at several options within a 600 mile range of Michigan, I settled on West Virginia, more specifically Monongahela National Forest in the northeast section of the state.

Over the next few days, we worked on making sure my bike was up to snuff for a weekend of solo traveling.  On our one year anniversary we romantically changed my clutch cable and replaced my standard bulb with PIAA X-Treme Whites.

The following day a friend at the shop replaced my disgusting, badly worn original chain as well as my front and rear sprockets.  This was definitely the maintenance I needed, I could set off on my adventure with confidence!!

Thursday, I spent the evening finishing up on laundry and packed my bike so I could leave after work the next day.  After chatter to my co-worker all day Friday, she said she could handle it and let me head out an hour early – YIPPEE!!  I sped home, changed into riding clothes, gave the pups a squeeze then headed to the shop to do the same to Andy – I was on my way!!

Friday’s ride consisted mostly of expressway and the Ohio turnpike but surprisingly proved to be enjoyable.  The sweet smell of hay followed me as a headed east toward my exit.

I’ve driven the turnpike many times, but never enjoyed it this much.  Clouds of bugs that looked like smoke rising and dark clouds to the north provided a striking contrast to the colorful barns and farmlands along the way.

At around 9:30 PM (and only getting lost once), I pulled the Ninja into the Super 8 motel in Wooster, OH.  Thankfully, I arrived just in time to get the last room – thank goodness, I was too tired to ride any farther.  I asked the lady that checked me in whether there was any food around, she said “No, but here, take this I won’t eat it”  She handed me her lunch of a honey chicken sandwich and chips – SCORE!!

It took me a few minutes to get the bike unloaded, then I called Andy and Mom, took a shower and headed to sleep.


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I'm currently on a long stretch of work (ends tomorrow thankfully), the dogs haven't gotten a ton of activity over the past week or so.  Today I too them out to a local lake for a dip.  Mira was so tired she could hardly pull herself out of the water and I had to drag Yukon, the lab, out by his collar because he was having a tantrum - didn't want to leave 😜. Mira looks a little chunky when she's dry, it's always funny to see her wet when all of her floof is plastered to her sides! #australianshepherd #australianshepherdsofinstagram #labmix #blacklab #rescuedog #rescuedogsofinstagram  #labsofinstagram #swimming #michigan #summer Early chicken spotted on our hike this evening.  I brought a couple home, I'm giving them a second chance. #chickenofthewoods #mushroomhunting #wildmushroom #sulphurshelf #woodstotable #publicland #huronmanisteenationalforest #michigan #foraging RAWR!!!!! Always on turtle patrol, this little mossy-backed Snapping Turtle was in the middle of the road.  I helped it to the other side even though it was ready to fight 😂 #turtlepatrol #snappingturtle #turtle #michigan #baldwin Always cherish time on the trail with this little old lady, she might not be as fast or hike as far as she used to but she still loves to be out exploring.  We knocked out 3 miles on the North Country Trail this morning north of Timber Creek (near Baldwin, MI), nice to have a little cooler weather! #hikingwithdogs #hiking #northcountrytrail #nct #hike100nct #michigan #baldwin #olddogsrule #traildog #australianshepherd #australianshepherdsofinstagram #rescuedog #rescuedogsofinstagram
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