Ohio in a Day

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 50  July 9 Farmington Hills, MI to St. Clairsville, OH 278 Total trip miles to date: 10,906   278 warm miles. Two stops for gas, two more stops for drinks and some AC. I had to say goodbye this morning to Amy (’94) and Joe.  Great hosts!  Many thanks, guys! Every Grinnell grad I have met on the trip has impressed me immensely. That was once again the case. Angling NW to SE, I made it across the great state of Ohio today after meandering through Toledo and trusting google maps...too much. One of the instructions was to make one of many turns in Toledo.  I suddenly found myself on a bike path! Seriously.  I was on the bike path for about 400 yards before finding a way off. Geez. I must have been a site. Just shy of Norwalk, a beautiful two-tone 2005 Morgan Roadster pulled up next to me. It was Gary and Sally Kneisley of Grafton, OH.  They came over to join me for…

Continue Reading

All British!

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 49  July 8 Farmington Hills, MI to Hickory Corner, MI and back! 254 Total trip miles to date: 10,628 For a bona fide British car nut like myself, today was a bit of heaven. Joe and I drove our 3-wheelers 2.5 hours to Hickory Corners, MI and the Gilmore Automobile Museum for the annual Mad Dogs and Englishmen all-British car show. And what a show it was, with hundreds of cars: Jaguar, Mini, Triumph, MG, Austin Healey, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Caterham, Jensen, TVR, Land Rover, and oh yes, Morgan (2 3-wheelersJ and one plus 4).  A beautiful day to chat with other car lovers and see some  amazing restorations.  All of this on the grounds of a very  impressive car museum that holds an amazing history of beautiful cars, most of them in pristine or restored condition. Here's a sample:   I’ve never had to tell my Journey Story so many times.  I had it down by mid-afternoon, now etched into my brain forever.…

Continue Reading

Cars, Cars, and More Cars

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 48  July 7 Farmington Hills, MI 55 miles in and around Detroit Total trip miles to date: 10,374 A good morning, indeed!  Detroit is called the Motor City. I found out why today. It began with Cars and Coffee at Pastiner’s in Birmingham,MI, went on to historic Ford plants, and then a ride in a historic Citroen.  Wow!  The Cars and Coffee get together had quite an eclectic  collection of cars from like-minded folks.  Joe and I pulled up with our two Morgan 3-wheelers, and it generated quite a buzz. Very enjoyable.  Here’s a taste of just some of the cars that were there:     After quick breakfast at a wonderful Mom and Pop breakfast place,  we went to visit the first Ford factory where Ford Model T’s were initially made and where mass production of cars began.  Marked by a plaque, it is closed and unused. A sad reminder of an amazing time of Ford dominance.   Then we drove to the Ford Piquette…

Continue Reading

Locked Out!

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 47  July 6 Mount Pleasant, MI to Farmington Hills, MI 146  miles Total trip miles to date: 10,319 A wonderful Friday, but It did not begin so. After having breakfast at the motel, I went up to get my bags, already packed and ready to load into the Spirit. I had plenty of time for the ride south to Chelsea to meet one of my runners, Matt and his family for lunch.  I also invited Amy Goldmacher, Grinnell class of ’96 (anthropology major)  and her husband Joe, the folks who would be hosting me tonight. They would be driving to the lunch in their 2013 Morgan 3-wheeler. Two Morgan 3-wheelers in the same parking lot might be too much for people to handle. After having breakfast at the motel, I went upstairs to the room to grab my bags and load up the Spirit. The key would not work. I tried it several times, but to no avail. I asked a lady from housekeeping in the…

Continue Reading

Upper to Lower

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 46  July 5 Escanaba, MI to Mount Pleasant, MI 306  miles Total trip miles to date: 10,173 Highway 2 was a nice road to finish up the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Light traffic, thin clouds to keep the heat of the sun off of me, and Lake Michigan to my right for a lot of it, all made for a good morning.     The Mackinac bridge puts most bridges to shame. Completed in 1957, it is the longest suspension bridge between two anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. It’s the 20th longest main span in the world.  It costs $4 for the joy of crossing it.  Since the bridge is part of I-75 I had to get on at the bridge, and then get off right after crossing. When I came over the hill and first saw the bridge, I also saw a long line of cars.  The one concern I have is overheating from stop-and-go traffic in the Spirit. Luckily, we were on a long…

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, America

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 45  July 4 St. Croix Falls, WI to Escanaba, MI 303  miles Total trip miles to date: 9867 I drove across Wisconsin today, beginning on the western border and crossing into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, landing at Escanaba on the coast of Lake Michigan. It was a nice drive, but once again, like South Dakota, pretty much a straight line across the state on Hwy 8. It began sunny, then started clouding up. It was a hot day with very high humidity, and it got to me.  I felt like I was in a swamp.  I pulled over about 40 miles from Escanaba and downed a full Gatorade (the big bottle). It was a big shot in the arm, immediately made me feel better, and ready to face what was ahead.  The dark clouds now became a front of dark clouds.  I knew we would get wet, so I pulled over and put on the rain jacket, the tonneau cover over the passenger seat, and…

Continue Reading

Native American send off, Charles Lindbergh, and an old friend. That’s a good day

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 44  July 3 Ellendale, ND to St. Croix Falls, WI 553  miles Total trip miles to date: 9564 I woke up to rain at 7:00. No way I was leaving at 8:00am as planned. By 8:45, it had stopped, but was moving in the direction I was going, so I gave it some more time before leaving around 10:00.  I had chatted the night before with a young Native American man who was staying at the hotel. He was in the area doing work on wind turbines, but today's work had been rained out. Named Michael Zephier, I asked him, while packing the Spirit what his Lakota name was and he told me, translated it means “Love-War”. I should have asked why the name, but he went inside the hotel. As I finished packing, he came back out, “I have a gift for you.” He handed me a sage stick and a cigarette. Sage and tobacco are commonly used by Native Americans as a part of…

Continue Reading

How straight can a road be?

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 43  July 2 Valentine, SD to Ellendale, ND 338  miles Total trip miles to date: 9011 From Valentine, NE, I drove to 9 miles north to enter South Dakota. Up to Mission, and right on 44. On to Winner, then Platte and a left at Plankinton onto 281 straight North, and I mean straight. All the way to North Dakota and Ellendale for the stop over. Sunny and 95 today, but I and was not drinking enough. Two sweet teas and some air conditioning did wonders, and the usual question/answer session. How do I explain the South Dakota view from the cockpit? Rolling hills or flats, lots of grass, very few trees. A lot of farmland!  It’s hard to compare it to the Black Hills, but it has its own beauty. There are a lot of very small towns in SD, and a whole lot of space between them.     One of my former runners, Aidan Healey, who is doing research in Bismarck, drove over…

Continue Reading

“Lakota” means “friend, ally”

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 42  July 1 Deadwood, SD to Valentine, SD 250  miles Total trip miles to date: 8673 It was a beautiful 1 hr. morning drive from Deadwood to the Crazy Horse Memorial.  As I pulled into the large parking lot, the Spirit immediately attracted a lot of attention from bikers next to where I pulled in. As I removed the big luggage bag to put in the cockpit under the tonneau cover, I gave the usual overview of the trip and the vehicle. As I was finishing up with this, a young woman came up behind me and asked if she could get a picture.  She introduced herself as Krista Knapp, the social media coordinator for the Crazy Horse Memorial. After explaining what I was doing on this journey, she asked if she could get a shot of me and the Spirit, with Crazy Horse in the background. “We might be able to use this with our media.”  I signed my life away, giving her the…

Continue Reading

A Good Decision

© 2018 will freeman  all rights reserved Day 41  June 30 Gillette, WY to Deadwood, SD 173   miles Total trip miles to date: 8423 Deciding to stay in Gillette and not face the black clouds between Gillette and the Black Hills yesterday was a good call.  My short drive today from Gillette necessitated taking various roads to avoid more brewing dark clouds around the Black Hills.  I actually ended up going around the Black Hills and coming in from the east, landing in Deadwood.  As I drove into the historic western town, I noticed a line of cars in a parking lot that had been hammered by hail. Totally dented and with broken windshields and windows!  All of that happened around 6pm yesterday, just when I was expecting to get here. Apparently, golf ball to baseball sized hail stones resulted in a lot of damage to roofs and vehicles here.  Glad I decided to stay in Gillette last night. Intuition! The main street of Deadwood was almost totally gaming and gambling places…

Continue Reading
Close Menu