2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days – Days 20,21,&22

Happy Father’s Day to my Buddy/Love – ❤️

Your the BEST, Thank you for sharing the journeys, Always and forever – I Love you ❤️

Day 20 – Friday, June 14th

Resting up day before the 2 day journey home.

Day 21 – Saturday, June 15th (482mi)

Murphy, NC to Paragould, Arkansas

The most miles yet – eating up the miles, headed home.

The final miles, while excited for heading home I always want to enjoy every final mile of the journey.

We are Lodged and resting up for an easy riding day tomorrow – our final day.

Windy riding today, slanted riding always wears me out.

This is a list of the states we have passed through on this cross country tour:

Beginning in Arkansas







New York





North Carolina



back into Missouri and now Arkansas

Over 4000 miles.

😊anxious for home


Day 22 – Sunday, June 16th (250mi)

Paragould, Arkansas to Home

Thankful for the memories and my buddy/love traveling buddy ❤️

Thankful for all those who love us and faithfully pray us home safe.

Love you all,

Happy Blessed Trails to you

2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days 18 and 19

Day 18 – Wednesday, June 12th

Pleasure riding (all riding is a pleasure) around 100mi

We made a stop at Sunshine Grocery, a novelty stop place near Blairsville, Georgia.

Rode part of The Gauntlet on the way to eat BBQ at Blue Ridge, Georgia – Mike’s Trackside BBQ.

We were back at our lodgings around 4pm; snacked and watched, The Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2…..R&R

And seriously this is what the next few days will look like.

Day 19 – Thursday, June 13th

136 miles of pleasure.

Slay the Dragon day – It’s called Tail of the Dragon.

We start at Deal’s Gap motorcycle Resort, drive the 11 miles (318 curves) to Look-Out and then back again. Thats 636 curves in all.

After miles and miles of semi straight and flat our bikes were hungry for curves.

We are here to relax and ride the Smokies.

And then…….we ate desert again at Lynn’s Place – Dragon Slayer‘s deserve desert 😊


2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days 16 and 17

Day 16 – Monday, June 10th (150mi)

Sellersburg, Indiana to Somerset, Kentucky

We had a late start today, as we were waiting on the UPS delivery of my new back tire to the motorcycle shop that was kind enough to work us in.

It was around 4pm that all our kiddos gathered around the bikes and hugged and loved us on our way.

It was cloudy with threats of rain, though it was worth it to us to get far enough along to make the next day to our destination easier.

Day 17 – Tuesday, June 11th (242mi)

Somerset, Kentucky to Murphy, Tenn

We drove the Cherohala Skyway –


on the way, and also stopped into Lynn’s Place for deserts in Robinsville, NC – Al had coconut cream pie and I got their fudge chocolate cake with ice cream. This is an area that we’re very familiar with. We have stayed at the Phillip’s Motel down the street many times when we come to ride in this area.

The dragon at Deal’s Gap, is just down the road, but we are saving that ride for after we get to Murphy and unload our gear and luggage.

We arrived to our lodgings around 4pm and this AirBnB will be our rest, relax and leisure riding in these great Smokies for the next few days.

Our host has stocked this; over the garage beautiful living space with snacks all over the place. My mega stuffed Oreos fit it nicely.

The refrigerator is stocked with sodas, milk, orange juice, cheeses, English muffins, and little butters. The bathroom has various toiletries provided by our Airbnb host here.

The house has a wrap around porch with two porch swings and cozy comfy seating to just sit and relax and also a BBQ cooking area. This was all for much below the price of a motel.

This Airbnb is definitely one we will return to. If you go onto the Airbnb app and look for Murphy, NC, and you will find it called – Hubbard House Mountain Retreat 3 room Private apt. – Tell them Al and Kim sent you.

This is our chill, relax and ride retreat time, 😊

Happy Trails ❤️

2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days 14 and 15

Good bye Niagara Falls

Day 14 – Saturday, June 8 (110mi)

Cincinnati, Ohio to Sellersburg, Indiana.

A very short fast ride to our kiddos.

Oh yeah…. the GRANDS.


They are located not far off our path as we are now headed to the Smokies.

And a good time to have a pit-stop-new back wheel.

It just almost always happens one of us needs a new tire. We knew my back tire could not complete this journey.

Al sent a glympse. Our family has the glympse app on our phones. This means we send a glympse and they can see our traveling path – watching us in progress, makes it fun for them.

They track us all the way into their neighborhood.

And there they were, all 6 of them standing in their front yard waving.

Now that is JOY. Blessings of God.

It’s a clamor of love and greetings.

We lunched and played cars, put puzzles together and later I put on my swim suit and jumped in their pool with them.

Their bloodhound dog howls demands at them and it is a mess of constant activity.

I snuck off for a nap.

3 year old Lucius finds me. Memaw, Memaw, Memaw over and over he finds me. I heard him say to his momma – I like MeMaw.

Melt my Memaw heart.



ZZZZZZ ahhh sleep

Tomorrow is Sunday.

Day 15 – Sunday, June 9th

Church with the kiddos.

Their church is the church home of many professors and theologians of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Our minister of message this morning was Tom Schreiner, he is a scholar of Paul’s Epistles and if you use an English Standard Study Bible, he is the writer of all the study notes of those Epistles. He preached a great sermon from Galatians 3.

22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Galatians 3:22-26

Happy Trails to you

2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days 12 and 13

Day 12 – Thursday, June 6

Niagara Falls all day.

We ate our hotel continental breakfast and then took off exploring shops and walking the beat.

We had scheduled dining at the Skylon Tower buffet for around 1pm, it was the same view, only higher than the Grand Casino view. We were again fortunate to have window seats.

After that we headed on down to The Horn Blower boat rides.

Day 13 – Friday, June 7 (455mi)

Niagara Falls to Cincinnati, Ohio for the night. Long day. Many miles.

Leaving Niagara Falls crossing from Canadian border into Buffalo New York.

It’s a get-her-done-day, today.

On the road getting to where we begin tour riding and on our way home are hard and fast miles.

There are Times we do our hard core riding (just to be honest), people in their cars, might be thinking here comes two motorcycles and there goes two motorcycles. ZOOM ZOOM

Happy Trails to you

2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour Days 10 and 11

Day 10 – Tuesday, June 4th (211 mi)

Onaway, MI to Lexington, Michigan; this was just a travel day, and one day closer to Niagara Falls.

This cross country has been the first time we scheduled our lodgings and paced our miles in around 200mi or so increments. We consciously paced it as to not wear myself out to much. Most of the time we are off our bikes by around 4pm, with the exception of what I call; get-her-done miles; those days of traveling hard and getting it done.

Keeping it real….for all those who have challenges, I just want you to know how to manage your adventures and not crash into fatigue, in my case it’s auto Immunes. We all have limits.

Being in my 60s and with health realities causes me to ….govern my energies well.

Rain is due in this area early morning so we went to bed early to rise and shine, before the rains came.

Day 11 – Wednesday, June 5th


Lexington, MI to Niagara Falls, Ontario

Al rolled out of bed around 5:30am.

I followed.

And we departed just a few minutes after 6am. We are Nija warriors when it comes to packing up and moving on down our Happy Trails.

Strapped down, geared up, intercoms on, kick stands up and we are off…

Headed to the Canadian border.

We pulled into Niagara Falls around 10am

This would give us basically 2 full days to tour Niagara Falls.

Driving up to it and seeing it for the first time was majorly magnificent, especially because it’s one of those things I have always wanted to see – and there it was…… Seeing is believing.

A gentleman from the area instructed us on eating at the buffet at the Grand Casino. It was practical in price and we had a window view over looking the Falls. We both ate to our hearts content while gazing and smiling at one another- we could not believe the thrilling site.

We had pre purchased a package deal, tickets for behind the Falls walk, tickets for a 4D theater presentation in history of the Falls with visual interactions and a feel of it. We went ahead and did those two events on our 1st day.

Our tickets also got us 2 days of riding the We-Go public buses, Buffet dining up into the Skylon tower and the Horn Blower boat ride into the Horseshoe of the Falls, which we scheduled for the next day.

In our early research we read suggested deals, and decided what would be best for us.

Lots of walking.

Then off to bed.

2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and The Smokies Tour – Day 9

Day 9 – Monday, June 3rd

Mackinac Island day.

We loaded onto a ferry in route to the Island, while we had waited to board I watched several school buses arrive and 6 huge tour buses. I was thinking this is a bigger deal than I was expecting.

I had not put in my usual research.

When we got off the ferry, it finally soaked in ….. this is an Island with an airport and absolutely no other motorized vehicles, except ferry’s, boats and airplanes bringing people to this beautiful small island. The ferry’s were unloading huge rolling carts of luggage, as many people on the ferry’s have come for a vacation stay. They we’re loaded up onto horse drawn buggies destined to one of Victorian Hotels, or a sprawling Victorian looking Bed and Breakfast home.

Bicycles are everywhere.

UPS and Amazon deliveries are delivered on horse driven carts.

The Main Street probably had a name, but I’m calling it MacFudge Street. We picked from many of the candy fudge shops, a shop where after I sampled 4 or five different flavors, we chose Turtle Fudge.

We then debated horse carriage ride or bike rentals. After passing 3 different bike rental depots. We opted for biking. Individual versus tandem – we chose individual.

The weather was in upper 50s, and then later maybe 60, a beautiful sunny day.

Al said – where to

I said – let’s go around the Islands. We had been told it was mostly flat and it was. Neither of us ask how far.

I kept saying – I wonder how far.

There were mile marker’s. And 6 miles in we found out it’s 8 miles total perimeter around the island.

It was a great ride. So fun. Beautiful experience.

When we returned our bikes we had them a total of 2 hours.

We went into shops and messed around a bit.

I got the T-shirt.

At the ferry landing we had a 40min wait.

Al sat down on a bench and told me to go and enjoy, explore some more while he sat on the waiting bench.

He found some other man-bench- buddy’s.

When I walked back up they had all been talking riding and rolling.

An older gentleman setting with his son beside Al, told him – he road his bicycle an average of 4000 miles a year.

Living Life Well. WOW!

While in my exploring I found a strawberry nuetella crepe, hot off the grill. Al and gobbled it down in minutes. 2 hours of biking makes a body hungry.

Al and I sat inside the ferry on the way to the island as it was cold and windy going…..

Leaving we went top and front, along with Al’s bench buddy’s, we all laughed as the ferry moved fast wind hitting our faces. We looked behind us laughing also, because everyone else had left and gone below.

Living Life Well.

As we were exiting the ferry, the older gentleman reached out to shake Al’s hand and said Bless you Brother and we knew kinship. We shuttled with them to our parking and spoke of our salvation in Christ together – we said – we WILL see you THERE.

We had plans to find what is called a Pastie place when our ferry landed us back in Mackinaw City.

When we were riding into the area the day before we kept seeing signs with – Pastie’s served here.

So we did some asking; it’s a potato, meat pie, like a burrito only pie dough wrapped and baked, served with gravy on top. There are various ones.

While we were there in that small Pastie joint, several women came in and picked up multiples of frozen ones. One lady I heard order 16 of them.

Their history – They were a provisional meal for miners many years back.

They were excellent and tasty.

We road an hour back to Onaway, our Air BnB lodging.

Al found a car wash, washed both our bikes, while I started a load of laundry.

Preparing for the next day’s journey.

If you ever want an excellent vacation destination for Anniversary or such, Mackinac Island would be a sweet choice.

Check out this information below-


2019 Great Lakes/Niagara Falls and the Smokies Tours – Day’s 7 and 8

Day 7 – Saturday, June 1st (253mi)

Marquette, Michigan for the night.

We got here around 3:30pm, had lunch and climbed a mountain, for a magnificent lookout. (Sugarloaf Mountain)

Mountain climbing is for the young. Over 300 steps along with the climb. Every time I told Al – I gotta stop and rest.

Al said – you don’t have to finish.

My willing spirit reaches beyond my physical limits….Blessings of strength

Sugarloaf Mountain

We had our 1st experience in Air BnB, it was good, woke up rested.

We were in an excellent neighborhood near a golf course and a church just behind the backyard.

Day 8 – Sunday, June 2nd (250mi)

So after a good nights sleep we walked over to the church, enjoyed Praise and worship in God’s word with what seemed to be a sweet congregation; friendly and welcoming. We had a great conversation with an older gentleman who told us of his travels with wife on tandem-bicycling for over 40 years they go on long bicycling trips together, tandem riding. WOW good for them.


People are so very interesting. And the most interesting people are interested in one another, this has always been my observation as we go on our ways.

A lot of caring people.

A couple days before, when we were in a McDonalds after early morning rain travels, we stopped for breakfast – soak and wet, we left a trail from the front door, to the bathroom, to the counter, the drink station and to our table right by the door….. because we had already made a big enough mess. It was pouring rain.

A lady who worked there came to our table laughing and ask us if we would make a complete lap all around so they could just go a head and mop. We laughed with her and then she began to tell of her rain motorcycling experiences. So fun when fellow riders laugh and share.


So after an 8:30am church service we found us a good breakfast.

With our map out and our motorcycle gear in the other side of our booth we were plotting our days journey when our server, a young lady who said – where you headed when we told her she said – well you’ll want to take…. and she confirmed exactly what the kind gentleman at church told us. They set us on a great riding stretch of road with some actual curves. We were tired of straight.

Most of the time we sacrifice time for a better ride…. because….it’s really all about the journey.

Then we finally saw the Great bridge we had anticipated.

It was all really cool until….

Oh my gosh!!! What’s this???

The Mackinaw Bridge is constructed with a full left lane made of rough metal grates. The right lane is for trucks, not to go over 20mph. Al and I would have switched to that lane but it was under construction.

It was an experience Al and I will always remember. We were on our intercom’s having a shock fest of exclamation to one one another.

It literally felt like those heavy metal grates could take control of our bikes. And to boot, you could see the water right through the grates.

I did some self talking- relax.. hold steady Kim.

Later, Al googled other riders comments who had gone over the Mackinaw Bridge and the comments were hilarious.

Here is a little fun fact:

Since all suspension bridges are susceptible to movement, the Mackinac is designed to contort as much as 35 feet laterally in high winds, although the bend does not become a swaying motion, and the bridge gradually returns to its original form once conditions subside.

WIND, yes it was very windy too.

5 miles long too.


We made it.

So we are 2 nights in another Air BnB in a very small town called Onaway, Michigan.

2 nights so that we can have a day to venture at Mackinac Island.

And that’s for another blog

Happy Trails to you

2019-happy-trails-tour-great-lakes-niagara-falls-and-the-smokies – Day’s 1-6

We are into day 5 of our cross country motorcycle tour, journeying The Great Lakes and destined for Niagara Falls and The Smokies; this is our Celebration tour. As this July 4th is our 40th Anniversary.

I absolutely LOVE when our dry bags are bungeed onto our bikes, helmets on, intercom connected, engines started, kick stands are up and we start down our driveway. I am smiling. The adventures begin.

Day 1 – Sunday, May 26th (400mi)

Rain riding much of the day and lodged in Des Moines, Iowa

Day 2 – Monday, May 27th (211mi)

Some rain riding, though not as far to go. We lodged in the home of my cousin Kay; she hosted us with comfort, rest and good food. It was so good to visit with her, as it had been many years since seeing her. When she heard we were coming through her area, she insisted we spend the night. We spoke of our relatives, their history and heritage, her daughter has put in long hours of discovery and research into ancestry.

On our way to her home we had passed Austin, Minnesota, where my Grandparents, the Schmelings (German heritage) had lived. I recognized the names of many near by towns I had not been near in decades.

Day 3, 4,and 5 – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, May 28th, 29th and 30th (85mi)

We headed for Bloomington, Minnesota; a short day of riding. The 1st couple days of riding are always the hardest for me, we were both exhausted and planned for Bloomington to be our hold up for recovery before we begin touring the Great Lakes.

Our lodging was 5 minutes from the Mall of America…kinda planned that. We rested up, Mall walked, went to a movie, went to the Aquarium and just enjoyed …. hanging.

Day 6 – Friday, May 31st (164mi)

Bloomington was expecting temps in the high 80s when we left this morning, but we were headed towards the 50s in Duluth, Minnesota, just 2 and a half hours away, so we dressed accordingly.

We arrived down town Duluth, just in time to see the historic lift bridge in action.