Monthly Archives: July 2008

First Bike Trip




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Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

This is a week late in posting, but I just came back from an amazing weekend. 1200 miles in 72 hours on my motorcycle. Here’s a quick recap:

We left Friday July 11 in the morning around 8. Rode 2-lane roads all the way down to Toledo and across Ohio. It was a great day. Sun. Fun. Battling the fatigue of losing feeling in my “saddle”. But an amazing day of enjoying the journey. One thing I love about the bike is being able to interact more with the environment. Like smelling, tasting, and seeing more of this great country. Especially discovering places I’ve never seen before. We got to Dubois, PA around 7ish. Had dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and then rode into Caledonia. It was a great ride. And great to have made it. It was my first all-day long bike ride.

I slept like a stone Friday and we decided we’d go on a short ride Saturday. Dave had some ideas. So we rode into St. Marys and Emporium, my hometown for my senior year in High School. I stopped to take a pic of my old house, the church, my High School, and some other things. We saw Rock and Sherri Pifer, friends from another era, who were planning an outreach event for bikers in the area. Great to connect with them. Special people. We then headed over to lunch at Luigis. A place I used to eat at as a high school student and had never eaten there since I was 18. It hadn’t changed at all. We got their famous hoagies for lunch.

We then rode out to a state park, took a dip in a lake, and rode up a mountain. This was the part of the trip that wasn’t really my favorite because of excessive speed and lots of corners. But Chad and Dave loved it. After eating dinner in St. Marys, we wound up getting back to the cabin at 7ish. After leaving at 10ish. Our “short ride” had turned into an all day adventure. Dave and I took a hike to the first pipeline in the forest and then the three of us chit-chatted a bit before turning in.

Sunday we said our goodbyes and watched and listened to the rain storms head our way. We knew this would be a possibility. Now we just knew it was a certainty. We got just west of Dubois when the heavens opened up. And I mean opened. Let me just say this to all of you car drivers. Rain hurts. Bad. We waited under an overpass after we were totally soaked. Tried to stay on highways all day to get ahead of the rain. But never succeeded. So 70mph in driving rain on wet roads was our situation for about three hours.

The rain subsided and turned to sun east of Cleveland. We stopped to have lunch with Ryan and Joelle and their two cuties. Dried off a bit. Bought new socks. And headed into phase two: Wind. We fought off 30 mph wind for the next three hours until we were north of Toledo. Wind so strong it was literally pushing me off the road. There were a few bridges where the wind was so strong, signs were being blown off to the side. It was grueling. After stopping north of Toledo, Chad and I decided we may not ride up to Ferndale to see the Foremans and Shiela Jones. Just worn out. Beat down. But the ride up Telegraph to Ferndale proved to be the best ride of the day.

We got to Foremans and enjoyed a juicy steak and brief but good conversation. It’s always good to see those guys. But we needed to get home, so we left around 9ish to ride home in the dark. Another test. We decided to try highways in Detroit as safer than slower two-laners with deer jumping out. We made it home in record time safely.

Let me say that triips like that are awesome. And inexpensive when I get 66mpg. And fun to take with a good friend. And even better to meet up with a good friend there. Despite the amazingly horrible ride home, I’m grateful for it. I got to ride in some of the worst conditions. And survive. And I still want to jump back on the bike and do it again. I love it. Feel free to check out the pics from the trip. I tried to document it as much as possible to remember as much as possible. Thanks Chad and Dave for a great weekend. Thanks Bryan, Erika and Shiela for a great dinner. And thanks again, Micki for the wonderful gift of this motorcycle.

Motorcycle Adventure


On the Beach
Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

Grace and I have been back for a few days now. I’ve got the pics up, but don’t have any posts yet. So, many of you know G and I took a four-day road trip on the bike. I’ll bet your wondering how it went. Well, surprisingly for you but not for me, it was AWESOME! Here are a few highlights:

Monday

We headed out for Ludington State Park. With the bike packed down with all of our stuff, we rode well. Stopped in Nashville, MI for lunch, Grand Rapids for a rest and massage in a really lame mall, and a major stop at Rosy Mound Park. This park contained letterboxes, which we had determined ahead of time would be one of our hobbies on the trip.

We spent about three hours in that park looking for 8 letterboxes. We found one. Only one. After much hiking. With jeans and boots. Was it fun? Absolutely. As a matter of fact, this picture was taken on the beach at Lake Michigan after we found our letterbox. It was a great momet. And probably one of my fav pics of all time. Because we spent so much time in the park, we were fighting sunlight for our arrival. We stopped at Ray’s in Grand Haven for dinner. Fish and chips and shrimp and chips. At a diner. Ate outisde and talked to a man named Clair. He was from PA but moved here to work most of his life. Lost his wife recently. Fought in the Korean War. Seemed lonely. So we shared a picnic table with him and enjoyed our meal.

As the sun went down, so did the temperature. We white-knuckled it from Grand Haven to Ludington on the highway going 70. By the time we got there, we were frozen solid. We stopped at a Big Boy for hot chocolate, coffee, and hot deserts. Then found the park, our camping cabin, and a less than stellar night sleep. But we were thankful that it had a heater. Nice!

Tuesday

We decided to look for letterboxes on Tuesday. Since we were on the bike, we showered, then didn’t have anything to eat. Went to the camp store, bought some cinnamon rolls and juice, and ate at a picnic table. Simple, baby. Simple. Then off to hiking all day. We found 0 (ZERO) letterboxes. But we probably hiked about 8 miles. On our adventure, we went on a one-hour canoe ride (G’s first) and decided to head into town for dinner. A nice sit down place.

We found a local place. It was nice. I had chicken stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. G had a BLT and it looked awesome. There we called Kopickos and confirmed the surprise: Wednesday night we were going to spend with Mr. Ron and Becky! Later that night we stocked up on supplies at Wal Mart, got a fan and some gloves for G (she had lost one of hers on our trip), and realized we were tired, but not ready to head back. So we found an ice cream place, then headed to the 9:45 showing of Kung Fu Panda. Grace loves telling the fact that we went so late.

When we got back to the camp site, it was after 12. But some of our conversations that day about God, being a Christian, and even tithing caused me to pause. I took her to the beach. Millions of stars out. Gentle breeze. And we layed on the beach and talked. About lots of stuff. But mostly about the fact that the same God who created millions of stars, planets and even solar systems, intentionally created her and is interested in her. We also talked about the fact that when we hold on too tight to our stuff, we wind up losing it. Try holding on to sand. It was a great moment. We went to bed REALLY late. But we had a fan.

Wednesday

We woke up at noon. That’s right. Noon. And had to be out by 1. So we ate our pop tarts and energy drinks, got the bike loaded back up, and decided not to search for letterboxes. Got a present for Mick at the store and headed north to Orchard Beach State Park. Easy ride up. And then it was Kopicko time!

Ron and Becky welcomed us and we immediately went down to the beach. Becky and Grace went for a walk on the beach finding cool stones. Ron and I took a nap in the shadow of his mammoth umbrella. We went back, played Dogopoly, and enjoyed a great bonfire. Brats, dogs, mountain pies, and marshmellows. After eating and sharing it was time to head to bed in their high-end camper. Ron had asked Grace what she wanted for breakfast. She said chocolate chip pancakes.

Thursday

Before we all got up, Ron got up. Drove into town, bought stuff for chocolate chip pancakes, and he and Becky made us a breakfast of champions. After we ate, we packed up and headed home. On our way home, we stopped in Grand Rapids to pick up a thank you gift for the Kopickos. We also stopped in Charlotte for dinner. And before we knew it, we were back home around 9ish.

There are many side stories and things we’d love to share with you if you ask. My goal is to simply share my time and life with my daughter, make memories, and point her to Jesus. And have fun. I think we did all of that and more.

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