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.