Great Lakes Tour – Day 20

WHERE: Sturgeon Bay -> Green Bay (Lambeau Field – Home of the Green Bay Packers) -> Sheboygan, Wisconsin

WEATHER: Gray skies, cold, rain showers which turn briefly to snow! 43* + wind (Today is definitely a long johns and hat & mittens day)

We get up and are on the road by 8. It is cold! We see fall colors still. We go for about an hour and then stop and have breakfast at a great little country family cafe. When we come out it is spitting snow!

We are on our way and feel a little guilty being in our nice warm modern A. We continue on to Lambeau Field – home to the Green Bay Packers and take a fantastic tour.

LAMBEAU FIELD – Front of the stadium, which has a capacity of 81,441 – fifth largest in the NFL.

We start the tour by going in a large enclosed Box Seat area for Alumni, which looks out over the field. The Packers have sold out every game since 1960. At least 115,000 names are on the waiting list ( with a reported average wait time of 30 years!)

The seats are aluminum bleachers!
We enter the field from the tunnel right behind the goal post.
Showing them painting the field for tomorrow’s game! They explain how they have a heating system under the field to keep the grass roots from freezing. But nothing to keep the stadium fans from freezing! The stadium’s nickname “Ice Bowl” from a game played in 1967 in temperatures of -15*F with sharp winds!
Lambeau Stadium showing bleachers and years of being WORLD CHAMPIONS.
Rick in the stands behind the goal post for the “PACKERS”
Lori with one big Packers football player!
And no tour is complete without a stop in the gift shop. Pat in her “Packers” overalls!
GO PACK GO! (This time with the ‘green & gold’, not with the ‘blue & silver’ of our home team The Wolf Pack of UNR.

With the tour complete we go to Sheboygan. On the way we stop and have an early dinner (I had the biggest serving of pot roast I have ever seen). We check into our hotel for the night. Our trip is coming to an end, tomorrow is our last day, but we could not of packed in any more fun than we have had in the last three weeks.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 19

WHERE: Ludington, Michigan -> across Lake Michigan on the USS Badger -> Manitowoc, Wisconsin -> Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

WEATHER: COLD & WINDY with slight rain showers on & off, High:46*

We get up and have a light breakfast at the hotel and leave by 8:30. We are at the dock, line up, check in and board the last coal fired ship/ferry still sailing the Great Lakes – the USS Badger. It is a 4 hour crossing on Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

We aren’t the first Model A’s to take a ride on the USS Badger.
It is very cold & windy, so not staying out on the deck very long.
Lighthouse at Ludington
Lake Michigan – one huge lake. As the waves pick up (up to 10 feet) the ride becomes rougher and I feel rough – no longer smiling – and loose my breakfast.
Beautiful site with sunrays welcoming us into Manitowoc, Wisconsin

We get off in Manitowoc and need to drive 83 miles to our hotel in Sturgeon.

We check in and have a small Happy Hour in Bob & Marilynn’s suite. Then it is off to the “Fish Boil”.

We then go inside and have a great dinner of : white fish, red potatoes, carrots and onions. We finish it off with cherry cobbler and ice cream.

“FISH BOIL” dinner

That is all for today. It is already down to 36*, wonder if things will freeze tonight.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 18

WHERE: Battle Creek -> Hickory Corners (Gilmore Car Museum) -> Ludington, Michigan

WEATHER: Rain, more rain, & MORE RAIN! 64* briefly

We get up and Rick asks about getting our points for staying at the hotel, but they never find us in the registry so they end up comping us breakfast. We stay and eat breakfast as the rest of our group head out to the Gilmore Museum – it is the home to the Model A Museum (the largest in the world). It also has over 300 vintage autos of all types. We start in the main hall with a special display of Duesenbergs, probably the largest collection of them all at one place. They are on loan from various owners for the display for a limited time. The following is my choice:

This is one “Classic Car”, a real Duesey!
Darlene Dorgan painted her Model T silver and took girlfriends on road trips & they became known as the “Gypsy Coeds”.
Our Group of A’s lined up at the Gilmore Car Museum ( three are missing, but here in spirit)!
The not as often photographed side.
A Fantastic Hand Embroidered Quilt
Ron Rude’s 1928 Light Delivery Truck (from my home town of Quincy, California)

We stop at the old Diner for some lunch before we hit the road again.

We leave and it is still raining:

We are glad we stay off the freeway in this rain, but do hit a detour which leads us to this:

But we also get to see all the pretty tree colors by going this way.

We get into the motel at 6:30, before dark, meeting our goal. We go to dinner at a place called Scotty’s and being Fish Friday Night that is what we all have. Thus brings us to the end of another Model A Touring Day! And as Marcus says “The Day Will Be Fun, Safe, and Great!

Great Lakes Tour – Day 17

WHERE: Dearborn/Detroit ->Marshall (Cornwell’s Turkey Farm & Turkeyville) -> Battle Creek, Michigan (Eyre Model T’s)

WEATHER: Started out foggy , turned sunny & nice, 73*

We get up and have the usual breakfast and are on the road by 8:30. We are leading today as we head out of Detroit. We try to stay off the freeway and go through some pretty country roads, but end up on the freeway. We go about 35 miles on #94 and end up at Cornwell’s Turkeyville before most.

We have a turkey club sandwich and a piece of lemon meringue pie before heading on. This time we are going to a private collection of Model Ts. It is the Eyre Family – Phil and son Mark.

We head on to our hotel in Battle Creek by taking little country roads.

This is MY kind of Model A road!

We check in to the hotel and meet up with other Model A people from Virginia – Jim & Connie Baker . The 10 of us go to dinner together and then call it a day.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 16

WHERE: Dearborn & Detroit, Michigan

WEATHER: Warm, large fluffy clouds in blue skies , 65*

We get up and have the usual motel breakfast and get on the bus to go to our tours today. Today is ALL FORD, after all we are in Detroit! First we go to the Ford Piquette Plant.

One of the many Ford factories in Detroit
Original Piquette Plant Building
Lori & Rick in a Model T

The four steps to the assembly of a Model T:

We then go from the past: first assembly to the most modern: the Rouge Plant with the assembly line of the aluminum F-150 Pickup. It is very modern using robots as well as humans in the assembly. They just started assembling the 2020 model on Saturday. Pictures aren’t allowed in the assembly area, but very interesting to see!

We are then on our way to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. It is once again so big we can only briefly see the exhibits.

The exhibits are wide and varied in the museum showing many different things from the past up to the present. Rick gets up in a modern combine:

After all the farming areas we have been through, Rick wanted to see what it was like being in a combine. One big piece of farming equipment!

That concluded our tours for the day. Back to the motel, but most of us go to the FORD’S GARAGE restaurant for dinner:

That brings to end a fully packed day of Henry Ford and his cars!

Great Lakes Tour – Day 15

WHERE: Dearborn & Detroit Michigan

WEATHER: A beautiful day, sunny & warm (no wind or rain) 69*

We get up, have breakfast and get on a bus to go see our sights today. It is great to not have to drive in the Detroit traffic. However it didn’t get rid of the potholes!

Our first stop of the day is to Greenfield Village. Where Henry Ford wanted to show America’s formation and how through resourcefulness, ingenuity and perseverance anything is possible.

We start by riding the oldest steam engine train in the US around the periphery of the village.

We go to the house where Henry Ford was born and grew up.


Our next stop is through the Wright brother’s shop. They started in building bicycles before they reached for the sky in flight .

We see how inventive Thomas Edison was.

Edison’s light bulb was only one of his many, many inventions.

We visit the Noah Webster house. It is amazing all the work it took to do the dictionary.

There is so much to see here that it is impossible to see it all in the few hours we have here, but it is very interesting. Here are some other pictures:

Dorothea shows off her new hat purchase!

From Greenfield Village we travel on to the home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. Edsel was the only son of Henry Ford and he had three sons and one daughter. It is a grand house, with expensive furnishings and art, as well as the beautiful landscaping done by Jens Jensen from Denmark. Interestingly enough our last name is Jensen and our daughter is a licensed landscape architect who prefers doing everything in natural native plants, as did Jens!

Maybe the most impressive thing for me was the “play house” built and given to Johanna on her 7th birthday by her Grandmother Clara Ford. It cost $15,000 dollars at the time and was done in 2/3 scale, with all unique and custom made furnishings.

Our last stop of the day was to see the grave site of Henry & Clara Ford.

We end the day by having a pizza party at the motel. And this brings us to the end of a beautiful day.

Sunset in Dearborn, Michigan

Great Lakes Tour – Day 14

WHERE: Frankenmuth -> Chesterfield (Stahl’s Automotive Museum) -> Dearborn, Michigan

WEATHER: Warm, sunny with scattered clouds, Low 60’s

We get up, have breakfast and leave by 8:30 to go to the private car collection – Stahl’s. It is in the suburbs of Detroit. Bob offers to be the leader again today. We make it by 11:15, and the tour was just beginning. They have antique musical instruments as well as cars.

We start in the music room. It is amazing that all but one of their instruments work/play and the guide plays most of them for us.

I found the following two instruments very interesting, they play violins as well as the piano.

They also have numerous BIG pipe organs.

Then we go into the room with his show cars!

Model A’s in the showroom. I am partial to my Jim’s Model A pickup at home. He and Rick spent many hours together building it from ground up.

I thought this was funny. I found this tag hanging off the throttle lever in the Model A Pickup. No other car needed instructions on how to start the car! It reminded me of my Jim again when he was only in elementary school and went on a field trip to Harrahs Automobile Museum and the curator offered the kids to try to start a Model A. Jim said I will, and hopped up and started it, much to the curator’s surprise!

They fed us a box lunch while we listened to the pipe organ music. I was reminded of my childhood by their BOB’s BIG BOY restaurant. It was a special treat to go there when I was a kid.

This is as close as we will come to driving an antique car this trip, oh well we are having fun!

We leave the Auto Museum and head for Dearborn. We are the leaders of the pack this time. The traffic is picking up and trying to follow directions on the phone and keep us together as a group is getting harder but we all make it. Rick is summoned to help work on Steve Kurtz’s car and I do the blog. The next two days we get a reprieve from driving in the Detroit area and will be taken around on a bus.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 13

WHERE: Bay City ->Point Aux Barques Lighthouse-Port Hope on Lake Huron -> Frankenmuth, Michigan

WEATHER: Blue skies with scattered clouds, windy – 66*

We get up, have breakfast and are the first ones on the road today at 7:30. We start the day by keeping the ‘FORD’ motto in place: ‘F’ix, ‘O’r, ‘R’epair, ‘D’aily. We find the cap to replace on Ken’s car that we used earlier to fix Jim’s car.

We are on the road again on small two lane roads. Today we again go through a lot of farm country. I am impressed with all the large farm houses and everyone has an acre of lawn around their home! (not a common sight in Nevada) Today we see why there are a lot of windmills. I like the green, but not the wind.

We arrive at Point Aux Barques Lighthouse. It is interesting, but the light tower is closed. We are really glad we went to 40 Mile Lighthouse yesterday.

The twosome with our ‘Lighthouse’ shirts we got yesterday.

While we are at the lighthouse, volunteers feed us a great lunch, as we sit on the shore of Lake Huron.

We are then headed off to Frankenmuth. Everything is going well until we hit Caro and they have the street blocked for a parade. I try to follow the detour signs but end up getting us lost, not unlike going in a corn maze! So forget the ‘Maps’ on the phone and nothing better than asking a local farmer how to get out of the maze! We loose one of our party but are back on track and headed to Frankenmuth.

Frankenmuth – an entire town done in Bavarian/German style. Not quite like the real thing that we did last month visiting Germany, but still fun.

Shirley, Dorothea, and I go to the Worlds Largest Christmas Store, while Jim and Rick work on Jim’s car.

We get back in time to meet the group at The Bavarian Inn. We first go to a ‘Pretzel Making Class’.

After our pretzel making we are treated to a great German dinner and treated to music by Cindy Krill. We then pick up our personally made pretzels after they have been baked. Back to the hotel and I do the blog and Rick finishes working on Jim’s car. The end to another “GREAT” Day.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 12

WHERE: Mackinaw Island -> Bay City, Michigan

WEATHER: Overcast & cool, 55*

We get up at 7:30, have breakfast and are ready for our 9:00 A.M. ferry ride back off the island. The weather is cool but no wind today and the ferry ride is much smoother than going over.

Once we are back to the mainland we head down the peninsula. We are the leaders of our small group and decide to take the longer but more scenic route, down the coast on Hwy. #23. We have now made it to the 3rd of the Great Lakes – Lake Huron. We make a stop in Cheboygan so Kenny can see his son, Scott & girlfriend Laurel and then are on our way again.

We try 2 overlook pull outs with not very much luck on seeing the lake, then on the 3rd one we hit pay dirt. We went to the 40 Mile Point and Lighthouse. It ended up being a nice stop with a lot to see and no charge.

First we tour the living quarters in the lighthouse, nicely done. Rick enjoyed the basement with all the antique laundry equipment while I climb up the steep spiral staircase to the light in the tower. It is still operational and the light it sends out goes out for 16 miles! The light keeper actually turns the light on for 3 seconds for me to take a picture.

We also go to see where the shipwreck remains of the Joseph S. Fay are.

We head on down Hwy. #23. We run into Jay & Pat and Terry , Cammie & Sally. Jay’s car is running rough and Rick takes a look – think it was the distributor. They make adjustments and they are off and running and pass us on the road. The last 3 of our group make it in at 6:30 to Bay City. Jay invites us to join them for some dinner. We accept and then it is time for bed. Tomorrow is suppose to be our longest day and I am ready for some shut eye, so see you tomorrow .

Great Lakes Tour – Day 11

WHERE: Mackinaw Island

WEATHER: Started out cloudy & COLD, cleared as the day went on, 51*, mitten & hat weather!

We sleep in until 7:30, have breakfast and ready for the carriage tour at 9:45. Everything in this town is done with horses. In the peak season they have 500 horses. Now they have only 120, they ship them off the island for the winter because there is no feed for them. It is very expensive to ship hay over for them. The horses are mostly Persians, in three different sizes – small, medium and large. We have two medium size mares pulling our carriage.

Horses and carriages stopped at Arch Rock.

We make a stop at Arch Rock.

Our next stop was to the “Grand Hotel”. It truly is GRAND. We are treated to lunch here, a huge elegant buffet with linen & china table settings. We go up to the Cupola Bar after lunch to enjoy the view.

We walk through the hidden garden and see all the pretty plants. They have a staff of 7 that just maintain the gardens, we talk to some of them working in the garden.

We walk back down to Main Street. We think about renting a bike to look around some more, but end up doing it on foot. We walk through the trees up to a lookout overlooking the town.

Church with harbor, lighthouse and boat in background.

We return to town and decide to taste some of the town’s renown fudge.

We can’t decide on just one kind so get three different ones. We enjoy talking with the young guy making the chocolate. To end the day we join others in the lobby for a little ‘Happy Hour’ and then go with Jim & Dorothea and Shirley & Kenny for a small dinner. Mackinaw Island was a fun place to see.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 10

WHERE: Sault Ste Marie -> via country road (Mackinac Trail) -> over the Mackinac Bridge -> to Shepler’s boat dock in Mackinac -> board boat -> Mackinac Island, Michigan

WEATHER: Rain, Rain, & more rain, completely overcast with clouds, 48*

We get up at 6, eat breakfast, and are ready to leave at 7:30. We are our little groups tour leader today. It is raining and we decide to stay off the main highway and go on the country road called Mackinac Trail. It is nice to not have the big truck traffic and go at a slower pace in the rain.

Rain, but no traffic and nice fall colors continue.

We make it to the Mackinac Bridge:

We go to the dock and leave our cars and board the boat – Shepler’s to get to Mackinac Island. No cars are allowed on the island.

Lighthouse as coming into Mackinac Island.

We are staying at the Bicycle Street Inn & Suites:

The town is somewhat like Amsterdam with all the bicycles, but add all the horses to that and it is very interesting.

We end the day by the 8 of us going to dinner together at the Seabiscuit Cafe. It was a great time enjoying each others friendship as well as the food. We are hoping for some better weather tomorrow, time will tell.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 9

WHERE: Munising, Michigan ->Paradise (Whitefish Point Shipwreck Museum) -> Sault Set. Marie (SOO Locks Tours)

WEATHER: Sunny with clouds and some wind, 55*

We get up at 6, eat and ready to go by 8:30. The start of the morning is cloudy and doesn’t look too promising.

We head out again through pretty fall colors:

Our sighting of the ‘Great’ Lake Superior:

We are on to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museum:

There is a lot on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald:

I actually get my feet wet in Lake Superior!

After we finish at the Shipwreck Museum we continue onto Sault Ste Marie and check into the motel. We then head out to go on the SOO Locks Tour.

We get on the boat and are served a nice dinner while we are told about the buildings, shipping & factories. We go through the Canadian side lock first and circle back and go through the US lock.

Shirley & Kenny – Our two favorite ‘riding companions, doing it on their own this time.
The END of a beautiful day.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 8

WHERE: Silver City, Michigan -> Munising, Michigan

WEATHER: Overcast, clouds, a few sprinkles, ending with some wind, 65*

We get started by a wake up call from Bob: “Are you coming with us?” We had done as per instructions in our tour book, which said: Today, sleep in and enjoy your vacation! It is 8:30, we shower, pack, have some breakfast and are ready to go by 9:15. But hold on – Kenny’s car won’t start even with a push and a new alternator, it has had no time to charge. A worker at the hotel comes to the rescue and has jumper cables, we pull up to use our car to jump him and our hood on the rental car won’t open! Bob uses his car and Kenny is running. The worker is so gracious he gives Kenny & Shirley the jumper cables! We are on our way to enjoy some more Fall Colors.

We stop at a small cafe, called Corner Cafe, in Champion, Michigan to have our large meal of the day so we will arrive in time to get on our boat tour to see the Pictured Rocks on a sunset cruise on Lake Superior. We make it to Munising in plenty of time only to find out our cruise has been cancelled! This is two days in a row that Mother Nature has not been nice to us! It is too windy today for the boat to safely go out. The lady at the hotel desk is great and gives a guide/route to see the sights of Munising. It includes light houses, waterfalls, and seeing the pictured rocks from shore rather than boat.

Next we go to Miners Falls:

We continue on to see the cliffs at Miner’s Castle:

Cliffs, the one on the right has Bridalveil Falls coming down it into Lake Superior
Rick at the Pictured Rocks
Lake Superior is a magnificent and powerful lake/sea!

We finish the day off with a large ‘fish’ dinner at DOG PATCH.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 7

WHERE: Ashland -> Silver City, Minnesota

WEATHER: Rain, RAIN, Rain! – can’t see across the street, does clear throughout the day and eventually even makes it to 72* briefly.

We wake up to it pouring rain and things are flooding. Including distributors on Model A’s. The very sad news is that our boat trip all through the Apostle Islands is cancelled, but as everyone knows no one controls Mother Nature.

With no alternative we head out, when everyone is running, to make the best of the day. The farther we go it slowly clears and we enjoy the Fall colors.

On the shore of Lake Superior (from our hotel in Silver City)
LAKE SUPERIOR
SUNSET on LAKE SUPERIOR (even though we saw very little sun today).

We do find some interesting things near the hotel though:

A little more car work is necessary when Rick discovers Kenny’s generator is dead, thus why it isn’t holding a charge and won’t start with a push. David Krill comes to the rescue with a spare alternator and Rick puts it in.

Rick, David and Kenny putting in alternator.

The rest of us enjoy getting together and having cheese, crackers, meats, and drinks supplied by Mary & Marcus, before we call an end to another day.

Great Lakes Tour – Day 6

WHERE: Wisconsin Rapids -> thru the Wisconsin countryside to-> Ashland on the south shore of Lake Superior

WEATHER: Clouds all day, with rain on and off, with some wind, cool and a high of 56*

We get up at 7 and are on the road by 8. It is cloudy with sprinkles of rain. It is actually kind of nice to be in our “Modern A” with this cool and rainy weather.

We don’t go too far and I say I smell something hot. Rick says “Oh you and your nose.” But soon after our traveling companions are all pulled to the side of the road. And Jim & Dorothea’s car has trouble.

We are on our way again and by 10 we make a breakfast stop at a little cafe called Amber’s Colby Cafe. They have great homemade breads and pies. We eat breakfast and each get a piece of pie to go. Our next stop is to a little creamery that a local recommended for getting cheeses.

Look what we found in the “Specialty Cheese ” aisle:

Four very ‘special’ cheese heads! Looks like we are having fun.

We continue on through farm country. I love all the old barns.

We continue on through forested areas and the fall colors are just starting.

We make it to Ashland and we get our first look at Lake Superior! Our hotel is right on the banks of the lake. It is pretty blustery and there are white caps on the lake. It is so big it looks like you are at the ocean.

We check into the motel and the desk clerk is great. She lets us set up a Happy Hour in the dining area. Those of us that have arrived bring snacks, fruit, cheeses and drinks and all share and have a nice time . Time to hit the sack and get ready for another full day tomorrow.

Addendum: The Biebacks get the hard luck award of the day. Their front spindle/axle broke and they were taken back to the starting point on the trouble truck by Marcus. Hopefully they will be able to continue on with us in a modern??

Great Lakes Tour Day 5

WHERE: Wisconsin Dells->Warrens(Cranberry Fest)->Wisconsin Rapids WEATHER: Clear skies & 64*

We get up at 6:00, pack up and check out and on the road at 6:45. We gather everybody at JellyStone Park to go into the Cranberry Fest to park the cars together. It is one HUGE craft fair with the theme being cranberries, but it is also just prior to the holidays. We see several things of interest to buy, but not having a car here and flying home we gather ideas instead of items.

We go on the bus tour out to the cranberry marshes/bogs and learn the history of how cranberries are grown and harvested. They like this area for several reasons: the abundance of water and the sandy acidic soil. The productive life of the plants is an average of 50 years and they do not require rotating the crops to replenish nutrients into the soil. When the plants are first planted it takes about 5 years to reach their productive maturity. Most of the cranberries grown here go to the Ocean Spray plant.

Some of the machines used to harvest the cranberries:

We buy some cranberry wine and some dried cranberries with cinnamon, both are good. When we get off the tour Rick and I get a feeling of what it is like to retrieve cranberries from a flooded bog. It was fun!

At the end of a day’s work!
All is good that ends well!

We finish our time at the Cranberry Fest by Rick finding and buying me Cranberry Cream Puffs!

Yum yum!

We leave and are told the highway to Wisconsin Rapids is closed but we make it to the hotel. Rick invites people to our room for some wine, beer and cheese and crackers prior to finishing the day with a dinner at the hotel.

GREAT LAKES TOUR – DAY 4

WHERE: A mini circle from Baraboo/Great Wolf Lodge -> La Valle/Carr Cheese Factory -> Baraboo/Lodge -> Wisconsin Dells/Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty for dinner and back to the Great Wolf Lodge

WEATHER: Clouds, that turn into a light rain, which turns into a full rainstorm 63*

We get an early start, (before restaurant open at the lodge), at 7. Some grab a little at McDonalds and then we head to the cheese factory. We drive through pretty farm country.

We end up at the Carr Cheese factory. A little family run operation, with things done by hand. On the other end of the spectrum from the massive automated Harley Davidson factory yesterday.

Lori & Marilyn
Dorothea & Kenny

We learn the short version of making cheese:

Cheese curds
And it takes 10 gallons of milk to make one pound of cheese.
First comes the cows to get all the milk
Then bringing the milk to the cheese factory
Adding color and heating milk up and separating creme from whey
Cheese blocks
Cheese curds
Final product!

Next we go to another family diner and have some brunch. Then it is on to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo. It is very informative with the history of the Ringling Brothers and the circus.

It is then back to the lodge for a little while before going to dinner at the Paul Bunyan Cook Shanty.

It is back to the lodge. It has been raining all evening and is now dark and we are glad to be in a modern car tonight. It is up early tomorrow for another FULL day.

Great Lakes Tour Day 3

Where: From West Allis/Milwaukee -> Menominee Falls -> Wisconsin Dells Weather: Warm, sunny, blue skies with scattered clouds, 72*

We get up at 7, have breakfast, check out, and are on the road at 9. We are going to try and stay off the major highways and take the smaller back roads. Well between us we have 2 GPS’s, maps on an iPhone, and a good old map and guess how many times we get turned around? Well let’s just say each car took their turn in trying to lead! We arrive at 10:10 and the tour at Harley Davidson was to start at 10. Oh well, they are very nice about it and they just form another group with a tour guide for us. Then she says I can’t go with my shoes even though they are closed toes, they have slits on the side. She says no worries and lends me a pair of “closed” shoes. Everyone has to don orange vests and steel toe protectors.

Steel toe protectors
There is always a first time for everything – I have never been on a motorcycle. Might as well start out big, by trying out a HOG!

The tour is very interesting. It is a huge factory, covering 15 acres. They only do the building of the power train/engines (with powder coating and all the machining) at this factory. All the precision work is done by robots! It runs three shifts/day, seven days a week. Totally automated with a lot of quality control. Automated cameras take pictures to make sure everything is put in its correct position. Any mistakes and the whole line shuts down. No pictures were allowed in the factory.

Our group for tour through the Harley Davidson Factory

We are on our way after the tour, heading for Baraboo, Wisconsin. We decide to definitely stay off the highways and take our time seeing the country. I find the country side very interesting with a lot of farming and small towns with large old family homes. Large green lawns (truly needing ride-on mowers) and large mature trees around each home. In one of the small towns we stop for lunch. We find a little family cafe called The Apple Tree. What a good find, we all fill up on homemade chicken and dumpling soup and stuffed tomatoes with tuna salad.

Taking the ‘RUSTIC ROADS’ ( as they are called here) has it’s ups and downs. The ups being very pretty country and slower travel. The down being if you break down there aren’t a lot of places to get help, but FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS and usually working together can fix things. That being said, we really miss traveling in our Lizzy where Rick has tools and spare parts to work with.

A pressurized radiator does not do well without a radiator cap! And even trying to make do with stuffing it closed is of no use. But Rick takes an extra cap he had seen on Kenny’s overflow and puts it on Jim’s radiator, add some water and we are on our way!

We arrive in the Dells and check into the Great Wolf Lodge.

We check in. We decide that after our large lunch that a stop in the ice cream shop will do us just fine for dinner tonight. We call it a day and go to bed by 10.

Great Lakes Tour Day 2

WHERE: West Allis & Milwaukee, Wisconsin WEATHER: Beautiful skies with light fluffy clouds, slight breeze & 77*

We get up after a much needed night’s rest and have breakfast at the hotel. Bob and Marilyn invite us to ride with them and Kenny and Shirley and Jim and Dorothea are going to follow us to the Miller Brewing Company for a tour.

Jim, Shirley, Marilyn, Bob, Dorothea, Rick, and Kenny at Miller Brewing Company

It is a fun tour through the whole brewery, including samples of course. I may get to like beer yet! If not, it won’t be for a lack of trying different kinds of beer, between Germany and here.

The Girl in the Moon
The cave
The whole gang in the cave at Miller’s Brewing Company!
Work never ends for our leaders – Marcus & Mary

From the brewery we head to take a Milwaukee boat sightseeing , history and architecture tour on Lake Michigan.

We end the day by going to a Mexican restaurant and having a good time together with good food and margaritas helping us to slow down and get ready for another day.

Great Lakes Tour Day 1

Well life gives us many twists and turns and we have had our share to deal with lately. We thought we were prepared for this trip but I think Tin Lizzy was just a little too smug in getting to go again and leaving her siblings behind. As things turned out she too gets to stay at home this time and see what it feels like! (The reason being my Mom had a cardioversion done two days before we were to leave, which was successful, but the following day ended up in the hospital with fluid overload and early CHF. She was discharged to a rehab hospital Monday evening and we were able to get tickets and fly to Chicago on Tuesday morning, leaving Tin Lizzy behind.)

We rented a ‘FORD’ in Chicago and drove to West Allis, making it just in time to go to the Welcome Dinner and beginning of the tour. It was so great to have everyone glad to see us. We enjoyed dinner at a German restaurant, called Mader’s German Beer Hall and Restaurant.

Our first sighting of one of the Great Lakes-Lake Michigan as we fly into Chicago.

Makes for a very enjoyable starting of our tour!