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This is my first attempt at a ride tale so bear with me. :smile:

My wife and I on our LT are on a roughly month long tour of the US, primarily the west since we live in PA and see the east and south fairly often. My sister and brother-in-law are joining us for the first week and then have to head back to their jobs. Being retired is nice.

Day 1: Home to Sarnia, Ontario

A fairly uneventful day. Left in cool temps of 40-42 for the first couple hours. Warmed to low 60s as we crossed the Peace Bridge. Somewhat busy at the border given the holiday travelers, but we got through in less than 30 minutes. A fairly boring ride across Ontario to Sarnia where we spent the night. The roads here are in fantastic shape, but many long boring straight stretches that my LT really hates. A few more days of this ahead though!

We had planned to take the SS Badger across Lake Michigan, but saw the note about bringing your own tie downs. Who has room for those on a 30 day trip? Called to see if there was any alternative and they said no. So ... we are now routing down through Chicago. Oh well, I can't believe a ferry that doesn't provide tie downs. This is a first and we have ridden many ferries in the US, Canada and Europe!
 

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On my ferry crossings (only a few) I've found that ONE ratcheting type is more than adequate to keep the LT in place. I put it on the side stand and loop the strap over the frame under the driver's seat. You may need to use a jacket or similar as a pad to keep from scuffing the tupperware. I also put a velcro strap around the front brake lever as a little extra security. A while back there was a product called the Strong Back - which was very heavy duty frame that straddled the frame and utilized 4 tie downs. Bulletproof but awkward to carry on tour.

Good luck on the ride and remember if you get into Arizona and Southern California it is still going to be really hot after noon in the deserts. :wave

Nick's StrongBack Cycle Tie Down for K1200LT - PhotoPost Classifieds
 

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Every ferry I've been on has had tie downs available, although they're usually big, bulky, dirty, and pretty beat up.

I do carry my own ratcheting tie downs (too many final drive failures over the years), which are secure and easy to use. They pack pretty small, and I keep then in my rear box where my half cover lives so they don't take any additional luggage space.

 

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Good luck and safe riding. I'm jealous. I retired in 2014 and wife is younger and wants to retire next year. Always dreamed of a bike trip to San Fran then up coast hwy. No schedule just take your time and go where and when you please. Now the Doc suprised me and says I need a knee replacement. The point is you guys are doing it now while you can, so good for you. The one quote that haunts me is, "there's a difference between dreaming and doing. The dreamers just sit around and moon about how wonderful it would be if only things were different. The years roll by and by, they grow old and they forget everything even their dreams." I hope I'm not just a dreamer! Have a great trip and I will look forward to your reports.
 

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On my ferry crossings (only a few) I've found that ONE ratcheting type is more than adequate to keep the LT in place. I put it on the side stand and loop the strap over the frame under the driver's seat. You may need to use a jacket or similar as a pad to keep from scuffing the tupperware. I also put a velcro strap around the front brake lever as a little extra security. A while back there was a product called the Strong Back - which was very heavy duty frame that straddled the frame and utilized 4 tie downs. Bulletproof but awkward to carry on tour.
D
Good luck on the ride and remember if you get into Arizona and Southern California it is still going to be really hot after noon in the deserts. :wave

Nick's StrongBack Cycle Tie Down for K1200LT - PhotoPost Classifieds
I've used ferries on lake Champlain, Nova Scotia, and Scotland and they always provide adequate tie downs. As you say, not much is required anyway.

The irony is that we brought clothes more geared to Death Valley, but our first day started out at 40 degrees in PA!
 

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Day 2: Sarnia, Ontario to Madison, Wisconsin

The day began with rain in Sarnia, Ontario, but ended in time for an 8:30 departure. No line at US customs so we were back in the states by 9:00. Weather was cool, but nice and we cruised along at, um, 70-something and made good time. The only downside was 32 mpg. This is the lowest I've recorded on my LT, but then I have never averaged 75 mph for two full tanks of had!

We could not take the SS Badger ferry across Lake Michigan as they require you to provide your own ratchet straps; like we have room to carry those. This is the first ferry we have encountered with such a dumb policy.

So, we rerouted through Chicago, which was a mess as usual, and made it to Madison, Wisconsin for the night. 495 miles today was very good considering the traffic in Chicago and the Illinois toll booths every 5 miles. $19 in tolls just to loop around Lake Michigan and I think we stopped at least ten times. I have decided Illinois has no redeeming value and I can see why it is bankrupt. And the nicest sight all day was Chicago in the rear view mirrors! My advice is to avoid Illinois if at all possible.
😎
 

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Day 2: Sarnia, Ontario to Madison, Wisconsin

The day began with rain in Sarnia, Ontario, but ended in time for an 8:30 departure. No line at US customs so we were back in the states by 9:00. Weather was cool, but nice and we cruised along at, um, 70-something and made good time. The only downside was 32 mpg. This is the lowest I've recorded on my LT, but then I have never averaged 75 mph for two full tanks of had!

We could not take the SS Badger ferry across Lake Michigan as they require you to provide your own ratchet straps; like we have room to carry those. This is the first ferry we have encountered with such a dumb policy.

So, we rerouted through Chicago, which was a mess as usual, and made it to Madison, Wisconsin for the night. 495 miles today was very good considering the traffic in Chicago and the Illinois toll booths every 5 miles. $19 in tolls just to loop around Lake Michigan and I think we stopped at least ten times. I have decided Illinois has no redeeming value and I can see why it is bankrupt. And the nicest sight all day was Chicago in the rear view mirrors! My advice is to avoid Illinois if at all possible.
😎
Glad you made it back into the states Matt. Keep the daily reports coming.

Don't these ride tails usually contain some pictures along with the tail of the days events. Give the old girl, ( not the bike) or younger girl as the case may be a camera ( with wrist strap) and let her snap away as you ride and maybe you will get a few good shots of the days travel worth posting till you get to destinations of photo-graphical interest. Anything is fair game.
 

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Glad you made it back into the states Matt. Keep the daily reports coming.

Don't these ride tails usually contain some pictures along with the tail of the days events. Give the old girl, ( not the bike) or younger girl as the case may be a camera ( with wrist strap) and let her snap away as you ride and maybe you will get a few good shots of the days travel worth posting till you get to destinations of photo-graphical interest. Anything is fair game.
Those will come in due time. Nothing to see on interstates in flat country. Once we hit SD, pics will be included.

My wife took more than 1,000 pictures on each of our trips to the Alps, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and the U.K. But they all had things worth photographing!
 
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The irony is that we brought clothes more geared to Death Valley, but our first day started out at 40 degrees in PA!
The warm weather gear will come in handy soon enough...

I've worked hard to come up with one set of gear that will cover me over a wide range of weather conditions. One particularly memorable ride was 112°F crossing Vegas at noon, then 32°F crossing Wyoming at midnight. Nothing like an 80°F temp swing in 12 hours to test out your gear.

Looking forward to seeing the pics as you make your way further west. :)
 

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Day 3: Madison, Wisconsin to Fairmont, Minnesota, 345 miles today/1190 total

We had another cool ride today with temps in the upper 60s, but very nice riding overall other than strong and gusty winds.

We had a nice sightseeing stop at the Mystery Cave. Otherwise, a fairly boring ride on flat and straight Midwest roads. Just enduring the ride to the real treats starting in South Dakota.

Unfortunately, this brain dead forum software will only allow my iPad to upload one picture at a time. I can do multiple from my computer, but when I select multiple from the iPad, only one gets attached.
 

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The warm weather gear will come in handy soon enough...

I've worked hard to come up with one set of gear that will cover me over a wide range of weather conditions. One particularly memorable ride was 112°F crossing Vegas at noon, then 32°F crossing Wyoming at midnight. Nothing like an 80°F temp swing in 12 hours to test out your gear.

Looking forward to seeing the pics as you make your way further west. :)
I think an 80 degree range may be mission impossible. I have come close with mess gear and Frogg Toggs rain suit. Frogg Toggs are mediocre rain suits, but they block wind quite well trapping air in the mesh gear. I ride this combination for up to two hours in temps just above freezing crossing alpine passes and was quite comfortable. And I have ridden for several hours in temps in the 40s. Shed the rain suits and I have ridden all day in the mesh hear in temps of 100-105.

This is a lightweight combination that minimizes the amount of gear needed since the rain suits do double duty.

Pictures may be a nuisance with the one per message limitation this site seems to impose on the iPad.
 

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And you can't post an attachment with an empty message.
 

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It would be great if you could give us a heads up as to your general route that you are planning to take. I did a 25 day/25 state tour in '14 on my LT, but was solo (I ride, she flies), so I could take much more gear with me. Wearing an Aerostich Roadcrafter suit enables me to leave any rain suits and heavier clothing - a sweatshirt worked out well in temps ranging from mid-50's to about 28 degrees, and I also wore a Veskimo cooling vest and mounted the cooler on a BMR rack over the pillion seat that is great for temps ranging from 85 to whatever. I have been comfortable riding for hours in triple digits. BTW - did you start out with new shoes? Ride safe and have a great scenic time! :bmw:
 

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It would be great if you could give us a heads up as to your general route that you are planning to take. I did a 25 day/25 state tour in '14 on my LT, but was solo (I ride, she flies), so I could take much more gear with me. Wearing an Aerostich Roadcrafter suit enables me to leave any rain suits and heavier clothing - a sweatshirt worked out well in temps ranging from mid-50's to abiout 28 degrees, and I also wore a Veskimo cooling vest and mounted the cooler on a BMR rack over the pillion seat that is great for temps ranging from 85 to whatever. I have been comfortable riding for hours in triple digits. BTW - did you start out with new shoes? Ride safe and have a great scenic time! :bmw:
Route is quite fluid changing each day. Mainly want to hit Yellowstone, Glacier, crater lake, Sequoia, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, stand on the corner in Winslow, AZ, planned to visit coastal Texas, Port Aransas, but not now, Barber Motorsports museum, Kitty Hawk, Chincoteague Island and those are the big things. Will hit others as we find them such as the Pioneer Auto museum later today in Murdo, SD.

No, my boots are a couple years old. Oh, you meant the LT. >:)

Yes, new tires of the highest mileage combination I know of: BT020 rear and ME880 front.
 

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Day 4: Fairmont, Minnesota to Murdo, SD, 326miles today/ 1516 total

We had another cool ride today with temps in the 50s in the morning rising into 60s by afternoon. Southern Minnesota is as flat and boring as Kansas, but has lots of wind farms. Other than that it was unremarkable.

A nice riding day, but strong and gusty winds again quartering from the northwest made it unusually tiring. South Dakota has an 80 mph speed limit which combined with the 20G35 winds gave us air speeds close to 100 mph. The result was a range of barely 200 miles and an all-time low mpg of 29! That isn't a typo.

The topography of eastern SD was a big improvement over MN and that made the miles pass more quickly. After arriving early afternoon in Murdo,
we had a nice sightseeing visit at the Pioneer Auto museum. Rather "tourist trappy" for my taste, but a nice break from riding.
 

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Appreciate the trip post. Its enjoyable reading these. Its the first thing I do now....read your reports. I read your other thoughts on the LT making it. I have the same opinions after virtually my whole life on countless jap bikes. I have only been stranded once (1979 cbx, fuel petcock failure filled #1 cylinder, bent rod with hydro lock) in 42 years of riding them. Have fun and ride carefully!!!
 

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Appreciate the trip post. Its enjoyable reading these. Its the first thing I do now....read your reports. I read your other thoughts on the LT making it. I have the same opinions after virtually my whole life on countless jap bikes. I have only been stranded once (1979 cbx, fuel petcock failure filled #1 cylinder, bent rod with hydro lock) in 42 years of riding them. Have fun and ride carefully!!!
It has been mundane thus far. That should change tomorrow as we ride the Badlands. I just wish I wasn't limited to attaching only one picture. If anyone knows a way to get multiple pictures to post from an iPad, please let me know.
 

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It has been mundane thus far. That should change tomorrow as we ride the Badlands. I just wish I wasn't limited to attaching only one picture. If anyone knows a way to get multiple pictures to post from an iPad, please let me know.
I tried using my Ipad to upload pictures on a vacation and couldn't even get one to upload but it is an Ipad2 and not the latest so I will be of no help there. Keep posting and make several posts one at a time if you have to. We will understand.
 

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If anyone knows a way to get multiple pictures to post from an iPad, please let me know.
I just uploaded three pictures in the test forum with no problems, except the first picture came in upside down. The pictures were taken with a iPhone. I am thinking that maybe the file size is too large, but again it worked for me.
 

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I tried using my Ipad to upload pictures on a vacation and couldn't even get one to upload but it is an Ipad2 and not the latest so I will be of no help there. Keep posting and make several posts one at a time if you have to. We will understand.
Mine is a 5 year old mini which can't be upgraded past iOS 9. However, this function used to work so something on the site changed. I may try my iPhone as it runs iOS 10. One picture per post will be tedious to do and to read.
 
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