Chicago Meet Niagra!

 

 

I have to say leaving Madison was kind of tough! I liked it there. I’m moving pretty fast across the united states, but considering I haven’t bought my plane ticket or my Iron Camel’s plane ticket. I figured I should get closer to Toronto. MY logic, is no logic!

I have an idea of when and where I’d like to ship the bike, but, maybe I’ll change my mind!  Like the morning I woke up in Madison, someone in a coffee shop says why don’t you go to the harley museum in Milwaukee? I said OK! Awesome! Who doesn’t want to wake up and go, “yes I think I’ll do….. THAT!”

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I’m a Harley owner….I love the way it rumbles down the road and love what it represents. So to see the history of harley was pretty cool.

Riding to Milwaukee though made me think of laverne and shirley… I would see re-runs when I was a kid, also my friend Craig suggested I go check the area where they filmed the show, but I just kept thinking I’d be like these guys.

Ha seriously! Back to the Harley Museum. To understand where such a power house company started, actually gave me chills! Everything starts out with an idea, and most people once a company reaches certain success, me included, might say, how fortunate they are!  Certainly there fortunes increased because they stuck with their dreams!

“They” William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson started here in a shack like this in 1903IMG_1628

This the oldest Harley, as far as the museum is concerned, still in existence!

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Love the look of the older bikes

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This museum by the way was $20 and well worth it!

After a quick morning in the museum I was off to Chicago! I set-up myself with airbnb, and found a room which came with good reviews and a good location, near what they call the loop of  downtown Chicago. Shops, restaurants, and bars galore!

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Carla was my host and was awesome! She made sure she was there when I got there and provided me with all the information I needed.

So first things first, Pizza and a beer right down the street!!! Can’t re-call the place but it was BUSY! I Hung out there for little bit, got the skinny on the area from a local girl, and after a Lagunitas pint and pizza I walked around to check out the neighborhood! I spent most of the night hanging in the area and meeting all kinds of people, but I have to say not as friendly as Madison. At least the first night, sorry Chicago.

So it’s been a about 10ish days and it’s about time I do some Laundry! If you live in a big city there is everything you need with-in a block or two or three! Carla hooked me up with  a laundry mat, but because I rely solely on my instincts, instead of truly looking at the directions, I walked about two miles with bags before I found the unassuming laundry place.

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Yet when you pop inside, your transported in time!

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Laundry is done so what do you do when you have a full day in Chicago? Yep, you check out OUR (petaluma) local favorite LAGUNITAS!! I actually forgot they opened up there until I got through Milwaukee.

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Can you say Willy Wonka!

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Same type of social seating!

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But a brand new and HUGE production!

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and what would Lagunitas be without music and Chicago without the blues!

 

Do you think Wrigley field when you think Chicago? I did, and it so happens there was a game on Sat. night. So instead of skimming over Chicago streets, why not enjoy it with some passionate local fans.

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and a sing song 🙂

sorry for my horrible video skills.

A little late night snack at Al’s Beef, and I was spent! Good fast food by the way!!

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After the meal and game I walked about 3 or 4 miles back to the apartment.  Wandering the streets, at night, until I realized the area I was walking in didn’t look so good! UBER to the rescue!

Chicago was great! There were lots of things going on, the weather was great and I’m not sure why I only decided to spend only a full day there. Oh yeah thats right its expensive :). I’m not sure I’d want to camp on the city streets. Although I did enjoy sitting at this bus stop for an hour, while I waited for my clothes. Can you tell? 🙂

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Chicago…I’m out and i’m singing the blues!!

The next morning i was set to leave. The only thing is, where? No matter! I hopped on the bike after my morning coffee and a nice conversation with Carla and cruised towards lake Michigan. After taking one last ride around chicago. I headed towards Toronto and still had no idea where I was going to stay. The drive around the lake though helped put me at ease. Yep this looks like good spot!

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After about a 200 mile drive I posted up in Grand haven, Michigan! At haven state Park.

BY the way on my way, good friends Craig and Mickey, suggested I take a drive through Gary, Indiana! Michael jacksons hometown. I did, but I left quickly 🙂 Schools looked burned down and the houses were boarded up, but the town was still moving along. The towns middle schools sign was still functioning but the building itself looked abandoned.I stood out for sure, and all eyes seemed to be on me! No I’m not stopping.

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The night I was there was the final game for the warriors! I ended up watching it in a bar with a guy and his girlfriend from Cleveland. Turns out this town is very sleepy because we were the only ones watching it. Needless to say he was a raving fan and absolutely went nuts after they won. It was interesting being in this part of the country where most are on the enemies side.

Where too next? I rode east the next morning and again wasn’t sure where I’d stay, and realized that I would be crossing  into Canada. The border crossing was quite painless. I sat  on this bridge for a 1/2 hourIMG_1700

I crossed into canada and was off again riding mile and miles of farm land. The weather was great. Then I ended up stopping in Hamilton, Canada for lunch. A guy sitting down, kevin, asked me where I was going and told me I should go to Niagra falls. I said how close is that?  He said 45 min. Holy S#%$, FOCUS Sinan, do some more research before you leave….of course i Iwant to see Niagra Falls! 

So off to Niagra falls….BAM!DSC_0359

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A Magical place really! The roar of the falls is awesome!

The  guy screaming next to me was cracking me up! He kept going back and forth towards the water, like a kid running through a sprinkler, knowing he’s going get zapped!

Niagara falls was a nice surprise, something I did not expect to visit. One minute I’m Chicago and BAM, Niagra falls! Felt Surreal!

Still had to get to Toronto though! In Chicago I finally made it official and bought the tickets I needed and Paris it is. All in all the cost to get me and my bike to Paris was $1500! Pretty amazing when you think about it.

When I got to Toronto I was pretty tired, I didn’t set myself up for a place to stay. I was just trying to figure out the logistics of getting the bike to the airport, so for those who are interested in knowing how it works. You can ask me 🙂 In this case it took to long because the dangerous goods company/girl , who owned it, was fighting with the Cargo guys at Air canada. Needless to say I got in the middle of it. It took probably 2 hours longer then it should have been. Air Canada came through big for me though!

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My bike was gone, and I stayed back one more day to relax and let the bike get settled in Paris. I got a hotel room that was way too much and didn’t even go into Toronto.

The day I had to go, all I did was take in a movie at the movie theater and waited for my flight to Paris. Which by the way was at 10pm! A nice break from being on the move. Anyway I’m about to enter whole new world traveling around Europe! Nervous and excited but I’m up for the challenge!

Cheers, I’ll see you over the pond!

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