Riding on the Great loop of Michigan

We had the perfect storm of fun lying in front of us. The long Memorial Day weekend, Jane's Birthday, perfect weather and a brand new BMW with only a few hundred miles on the tach!

We packed up the bike and headed out with a general idea of where I was taking us. Before the end our trip involved almost nothing of what I was planning.

We headed north on M-25 hugging the coast of Lake Huron. We quickly passed the 45th Parallel marking the halfway point between the North Pole and the equator. We then rolled into our first rest stop of the trip.

We stopped for lunch at the Old Place Inn in Harrisville. I like to hit it when I can. The owners were very helpful to me ages ago when I was stranded in the harbor with a badly damaged boat. That experience is in the Sailing section.

The next stop was the Latitudes Lounge in Alpena. With that name we had to stop and check it out.

It's a small dark cozy bar all done in stained wood with nautical stuff lining the walls. I loved the atmosphere and the drinks were strong. It's walking distance from the marina and right in the old downtown section that is really cool to walk around.

Before we left several people told us we needed to go to a bar up the road for the oil wrestling girls. We thanked them for the tip and headed to the bike to keep heading north.

We would later in the summer stumble upon this same bar by boat & bicycles on a rainy night while on the HellnBack sail. That night got interesting and is also documented in the Sailing section of this site.

From there we rolled north grinning ear to ear enjoying the sunshine and the blue water of Lake Huron just to our right as we continued north.

Our next break was near Presque Isle at the Grand Lake Lounge. This is a classic road house that proved to have a damn good burger and fries.

We quickly finished off their meager supply of Jack Daniels but the beer was cold so all was good.

While we finished our lunch we had a group of senior citizens excitedly tell us about a bar up the road that was having an oil wrestling show that night. We were told it was a great show the night before and is a don't miss event...

The oil wrestling show seemed to be the hottest thing to come through these parts in years.

We road out to the peninsula that is Presque Isle and checked out the two lighthouses and the marina where we dock when sailing through.

We again headed north on M-25 heading to wherever the road led us. Our loose plan was to ride till dark before looking for a cheap motel for the night.

My standard rule of thumb on road trips is to try and stay at hotels costing $50 or less unless it's really cool or the only choice.

It's not a matter of being cheap, it's a matter of finding locally owned roadside motels that retain the local flavor rather than a national chain that is the same no matter where you go.

We decided to look for lodging in the Rogers City area and get settled before sunset. This got us off the road before the deer got active and would give us time to find dinner before the up north schedule has all the restaurants closing.

We stopped in town and asked at a party store where we could find a hotel. We were directed to a $200 a night theme hotel. I explained I was looking for a cheap motel and was then directed back out onto M-25.

There we came upon The Captain's Quarters Motel. With that name I was already feeling right at home.

I pulled up and sent Jane inside to see if they had a room under $50. We ended up getting their best room for $48. They had cheaper rooms to show me but I was happy with the 1st room we saw.

We then learned that the room next to ours was being rented by a Florida group in town with their traveling oil wrestling show!

The girls were wandering around bored in scimpy clothes waiting for show time. It was awful...

While I was registering with Janiece in the office Rod came out of the main living quarters wanting to check out the bike. They had a Harley in the garage out back and loved to ride.

We got to talking and soon found out that we were both living in Flint Mi in the 80s and both were running with the outlaw biker crowd.

We hung with different "competing" clubs but knew a lot of the same people. We were throwing out names and places long since forgotten about.

Once we got unpacked and settled into the huge room I ordered a pizza and Jane went to the office to ask where the nearest liquor store was. She found Janiece was heading to the beer store already and was more than happy to grab some beer for us also.

I threw her a 20 and Rod and I set up some chairs in front of the office where we chilled out and talked of the old days.

The 4 of us spent the evening having a blast laughing our asses off sitting in front of the motel drinking beer and watching the local cops chasing drunks up and down the road all night.

Rod and Janiece are great hosts and we are really glad we stumbled upon them and their motel on our venture.

I highly recommend everyone take a drive one weekend and stay at The Captain's Quarters Motel while exploring the really cool Rogers City/Presque Isle area.

Next Page: The ride across to Lake Michigan through Traverse City and then Frankfort for the night!


Out tearing up the roads of this great nation