Story by Keith Danielson
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published the December 2014 edition of the MSTA Michigan Chapter newsletter. The story has been edited to match the MSTA website’s style.
The 2014 Michigan Fourteen Corners Grand Tour is in the books. This year the tour took participants all the way from the Lost Peninsula, at the southeast corner of the Lower Peninsula, to Superior Falls at the extreme western-most point of the Upper Peninsula.
Checkpoints included the mundane, the historic, the scenic, and the spectacular. They ranged from light houses and beach houses, to parks, a ferry, a bridge, stones, and a hydroelectric generating station. With just a bit more effort participants had great views of all four of the great lakes that border the Great Lake State, waterfalls, statues, and several great places to eat. Once again, the eyes were bigger than the stomachs (for riding) for many riders who, after having enthusiastically signed up, were unable to eat everything on their plates at the checkpoints.
We had 66 riders and passengers who signed up and received the grand tour information packet with the best of intentions to get out and see our great state. Of those, 17 visited one or more checkpoints and two visited all eight checkpoints in the Lower Peninsula, earning the “Troll” award since they didn’t go across the bridge.
Four riders plus one passenger did the eight check points in the Lower Peninsula plus one or more checkpoints in the UP to earn the “Baby Grand Tourer” award, and five riders were able to make it to all 14 checkpoints to be called “Grand Tourers”. One rider also earned 42 extra credit points by visiting the maximum of 3 extra credit points per checkpoint. If you ask nicely, he may be able to answer any question about Michigan that you ask him, as he has seen quite a bit of it.
These riders all deserve a high-five and a fist bump, and maybe slip them a buck or two to help them pay for all of the gas and tires they consumed in riding hither and yon across Michigan. Awards for the finishers will be given out at the Squadron Awards Annual Banquet and Jan. 3. There will also be a nice poster board with the finisher’s information and some photos.
Perhaps it may inspire YOU to sign up for next year’s grand tour and get out on the motorcycle to see for yourself what Michigan has to offer.