I woke up today facing my last full day in Michigan in this 2016 trip. I can assure you that it was not to be a day of boredom. In starting the day I was foolishly thinking that the day would be a nice restful day prior to my 4:00 departure tomorrow heading south………silly me!!!

The activity at Brett and Angela’s was early and intense. All of us invaders were to be heading out sometime in the morning.   Angela wisely stayed up WAY late (early?) and was able to miss most of the commotion of rounding up kids, packing, rounding up kids, saying goodbye, and rounding up kids.

The first to be leaving would be me and Lisa. Lisa had an 11:00 flight out of Bishop Airport in Flint, MI. She had a rental and would be driving herself. I, because I am the loving and considerate husband that women worldwide yearn for, said that I would ride to the airport and she could follow me. She is not real familiar with driving around Southeast Michigan and even though she knew that she would get there without issue was glad that she had the benefit of just following someone.

Saying goodbye to my kids and now also to my grandkids has ALWAYS been an extremely hard thing for me to do. This has not lessened over the years but in fact if anything it has grown harder for me. I know that they love seeing us and that they look forward to each and every visit. Still, I can see as my kids get older and more involved in their lives and the lives of their children the emotion of saying goodbye and the separation is not what it used to be. That doesn’t soften the blow to my heart at all. I do NOT like saying goodbye to ANY of them EVER!! Still, it had to be done. We loaded up the car, I strapped bags onto the bike, I donned my gear, and after the goodbye marathon we pulled out of the driveway and headed toward Bishop.

There was a lot of construction around the Bishop access road……as there was throughout Michigan…..and I came across a sign that designated the exit to Bishop Airport. Lisa also saw the sign. However, Lisa did NOT see the little sign on top it that sign that said “Bishop Airport Use I-69 West”. I did see it and rode past the original exit to the I-69 exit. Not knowing what the heck I was doing Lisa was pounding the steering wheel and calling me names and swearing that if she missed her flight because I took the wrong exit she would make me eat green vegetables every single day for a month. Even though I am a good husband and rarely admit to being right I was, in fact, correct this time. I made all the right merges and turns and, voila, we were in the airport. I headed around to the departure lane and Lisa to the rental return lane.

As I downshifted something didn’t feel right. I downshifted again and I thought that it felt REALLY wrong. I swung into the lane and had to upshift and that REALLY, REALLY felt goofy. I pulled over to have a look and sure enough……things were NOT right. The bolt that holds the shifter arm on was…GONE!! Yikes. The arm was barely hanging one. It would not have fallen off completely because the linkage would hold it but if it fell off the rod I would not shift at all. I stared at it for a while. I guess I was thinking that if I stared at it long enough it would do the I Dream Jeanie thing and fix itself. Since that didn’t seem to be happening I started looking around the bike. I found a bolt that held on a piece of trim that had the same size threads. Although it wasn’t long enough to be an actual replacement it did fit and it would hold everything together until I could come up with something better………I hoped!!

By this time Lisa had come out and was waving at me. Since all appeared to be semi handled I started up and rode up to where she was standing. I told her about my issue, she told me about trying to get through car rental people and the airport, and then we told each other goodbye and that we would see each other in 5 days. Off she disappeared into the terminal and off I rode to find an appropriate bolt.

I made my way back to I-75 and went south to the U.S. 23 fork. I followed 23 south to the M-59 exit and whipped east back to Waterford. My very, first stop was at Bowman’s. That is the power sport place that is located right across the street from my hotel. It is also the first place that I stopped at to look for a new helmet. I mentioned that in Chapter 10. This time I walked in and told my tale of woes to the gentleman behind the counter. He hopped on his computer and ran my Yamaha into his system. I didn’t expect him to have THE bolt or THE washer……and he didn’t….BUT…..he wrote down the dimensions and specs and sent me around back to the service area. The guys back there were great. They were on me like ants on sugar and had me a bolt with a washer all Loc Tite’d and installed in minutes. I

My NEW Bolt!!!


was as good as new. The best part was as I pulled out my wallet the guy waved me off and said there wouldn’t be any charge. SUPER…..I would have bought them lunch but….well, there was 6 of them so……………….! I was up and ready to go. Thank you Bowman’s!!!


I went from there to the Burger King across the street and had a couple more of their Classic Grilled Hot Dogs. I can’t help it. I am a nut for hot dogs. Two dogs, fries, and a Coke and I was good to go. I didn’t go very far. I weaved through a couple of parking lots and made my way back into the Waterford Quality Inn. I checked in. I did messages and caught up on some emails before I took a well-deserved two hour nap. It was delightful!!!

I woke up in time to shower up and make myself as presentable as is possible with only “landfill” clothing and following two weeks on the road. For sure I have looked better but you can bet your bottom dollar that I have looked WAY worse many a time!

The plan was to go to the Lion’s Den. It is a reasonably popular restaurant in Waterford located on M-59. It has been there for a LONG time. I suppose that I could Google it and tell you exactly but I know that it has been there for well over 30 years. The deal was this…a gal named Coni who I have known since Mr. Pfeiffer’s 7th grade class at Crary Junior High School in Waterford was born on August 29. My birthday is August 31. For the last several years I have gotten a lot of mileage out of her being OLDER than me. When I announced my dates for this adventure she said that would be great because we could celebrate our birthdays together.

Coni’s boyfriend, Rick who I have known for a long time, contacted me last week and said that he wanted to have a surprise gathering of her friends for her birthday. It would be 7:00, Monday Aug. 29 at the Lion’s Den. Well sure….I’m all in!! Then he told me that he was going to tell her that he was taking her out for dinner for her birthday to the Lion’s Den. He said that she would probably message me asking me to join them. She did

Lion’s Den Waterford, MI


message me…..TWICE. I did NOT reply to either one. At the same time I was inviting people. She walked into a huge scream of “SURPRISE!!!” from a choir of about 25-30 people. After the normal shocked responses she looked at me and said “So this is why you didn’t answer me” and I just kept the silly grin on my face.


It was a fun night. I know many of Coni’s friends so there was some great conversation. Still, I knew that I would be getting up at 3:30 in the morning and would be on the road by 4:00. I had to leave early and get myself to bed.

My last day in Michigan was certainly a bitter/sweet day. It was good and bad, happy and sad……it was life!!! See you tomorrow!!

I hope that you enjoy my trip as you read along with my traveling. Don’t forget that anytime you might feel it appropriate you may “Like” or “Share” this or any of the posts on social media which would, of course, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You can also drop me a line or leave me a comment. You can write to me at using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to also because I will generally have more pictures and comments over there. Also you can read the blog about my 2015 road trip from Florida to Michigan at   Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past yearly road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at


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