Hello all, I'm making plans for my trip to see the races at the Springfield Mile next month. Rather than just driving out there and back just for a day of races, I'm trying to plan things out for the return leg of the trip.
I've been looking around online on various sites like tripadvisor and roadtrippers, and quite frankly it seems to be pretty sparse with attractions along the way. I know the Badweb is full of people that have ridden and found the hidden and not so hidden gems along the path.
I haven't settled on a route to get home, the default path would be to just take I70 from Springfield to Columbus OH, then I71 and I80 until I get home. I was thinking of instead heading north from Springfield towards Chicago, maybe hitting Detroit, and northern Ohio before heading home. One thing that complicates it would likely be Memorial Day, a lot of things will be closed. I debated doing the Buell Homecoming, but by time it happened I would already have to be closer to home. I will have my special someone with me, I don't believe we will be riding, and I doubt I will have a bike in the back of my truck either.
If you're going up to Detroit, go to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. It's a very interesting place. Plan on spending a full day there.
From there, cut across Ontario and visit Niagara Falls. Take the elevator down and go through the tunnels to behind the Falls. Since you'll be in Canada, you'll need to have your passports with you. The Falls are amazing.
Stop in Syracuse on your way home for some BBQ at the original Dinosaur. And, of course, ride over to the Niagara-Mohawk building and say hello to Iron Mike. That's still one of my favorite buildings and it's only a couple of blocks away.
>>>Since you'll be in Canada, you'll need to have your passports with you.
FYI - I opted for the addition of a Password CARD in addition to the traditional BOOK. Cost just a couple bucks, lamented wallet card, great for I.D. (UNITED STATES PASSPORT) and is good in Mexico (sí) and Canada (Eh?)
Also, just outside Columbus in Pickering OH is the AMA Motorcycle Museum. I hit it every 3 or 4 years.
Upstairs of AMA museum is basically the history of dirt bikes. They have them all lined up chronologically so you can the improvements over the years. They had a little more flat track stuff the last time I was there. In fact, last time they had Indian's FTR 750 full scale mock up that had been 3D printed....still in raw white plastic. Just seems like something you would like. Can't guarantee that it's still there though. Downstairs is more street oriented.
The terrain of the Finger Lakes region is roughly North-South valleys with roads on either side of a lake, inevitably named East or West Lake Road.
There are no bridges across the many lakes, so you pass North or South of them. Nice twisty roads either way. Not far north of that is the N.Y. Thruway, a flat boring slab that runs through a mosquito and insect preserve between Rochester & Syracuse. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/montezuma/ You will want to stop and clean your face, neck, and face shield after traversing the refuge. Maybe even hose down at the boring thruway rest stop. Seriously. You might see a bird. Not my recommended route.
The Curtis museum, ( great ) Watkins Glen, ( nice leg stretch ) and hilly, twisty, roads are along the South side of the row of lakes. A slow, but fun route. You will see many birds, from Golden Eagles to Giant Blue Herons the size of dinosaurs... because they ARE.
You then have a choice between The Dinosaur in Syracuse ( nice, great restaurant downtown ) or down to Corning, ( Glass museum! ) a much shorter route.... Along the South end of the Finger Lakes.
West of Syracuse your route choice is Thruway slab to Albany, ( desolate farmland, boring ) then South along the Hudson. ( nice but deer packed ) OR, South to Binghamton on 81 then through the woods along the NY/PA border on 17.
My strong suggestion is to take the southern run through New York, it's slow & twisty, and full of character. Museums, great little diners, deep valleys, you will see wild life, maybe a hang glider, bikes, and sooo many deer. Gorgeous.
The northern Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, endless straight line to Albany run is faster, cruise control at 75 in a 65 zone, boring, ( an outlet mall & 2 casinos ) and full of blind tailgating idiots and trucks. Tedious.
While in the Chicagoland area, I would suggest either finding a Nancy's pizza place or a Portillo's Italian beef/hot dog place.
Nancy's has, IMO the best stuffed pizza to be found. Portillo's is famous for their Italian beef sandwiches. Both are local chains. Both have been missed greatly since leaving the area. You could substitute Portillo's for Bona Beef or Zippy's. If at Zippy's I would suggest a cheesy garlic beef.
Thank you, still planning things out. Neither of us have passports, and with the time it takes to get one I don't think that is going to happen. We might be able to get it faster with the expedition fees, but even that isn't a sure thing. Neither of us have guns so carry laws won't affect us though