Allen leads me, Pete Wilton, and Tom Raybuck from Oxford to 177 & 73 so Tom could take the Butler Barn. From there we went north to Eaton and started our long journey up 127. We stop at the TA just above I70 and pick up Bob Ulrich. My GPS reading says 18 miles to the next barn. Bob points out that the next barn is just 2 miles north and check the gps and sure enough I had Darke County plugged in. Prebble County is on the west side of the road with a little bit of a shoulder. Lots of trucks. Darke County was getting very dark an I put my frog togg pants on. Minutes later it starts to drizzle as it begins to get even darker. Iím now looking for a good place to pull over to get all the gear on. I pull into open parking lot and everyone puts their rain gear on. As we head north the rain starts coming down steady. The rain was somewhat spotty with a consistent drizzle. Itís now foggy too. Georgia on my mindÖ
At the Mercer Bicentennial Barn I hop off and take a group picture with the weather and little shoulder. Weíre on our way. Van Wert is just off 127 on old rt 30 Lincoln Highway. Take the Van Wert exit and head east for a half mile. Itís on the left with a nice shoulder. I took the long wayÖ donít ask but the gps was right, itís the map reading skills. We stay on 30 west to Paulding County then north on 49 to 24 where we follow the Maumee River to Antwerp. Iím leading checking out the scenery looking for a barn when I look at the gps and the arrow is pointing back there. I check my mirrors and Allen is the only on behind me as he points back there. I turn around and join the rest of the group. Pete takes my picture for me. We catch 127 north again to Bryan for the Williams County barn. We go through Bryan and the gps is telling me to turn right. I thought it was on 127. Am I on 127? We get gas and regroup. I follow the arrow on the gps and we finally get to the Williams barn. Turn around and head bac to route 6 and start heading west. The barn pressure is relieved, and we make our way into Indiana until we reach 9 and head north to Sturgis, home of the 30th Annual Mini Rally. Stopped at Howe, IN for cold adult beverages as Michigan beer cost more. We arrive before 6 pm and get registered and set up tentage. Tom has olive pizza delivered. Yum. Time to relax. We mingle with the Beemer crowd and as the sun goes down the temperature drops and before long Iím in the tent listening to Tom snore next door. Iím sure I was next to saw logs.
Saturday Weíre up by 9:00 and out on an 8 bike ride to eat authentic Mexican food at Su Casa in Fenneville. I order the sopas and a chirisso taco. If you like Mexican, this place is the real deal. Off to Saugetuck to see Lake Michigan and gas up. We blitz back to Sturgis and Pete goes on a beer run to Indiana. The pig roast starts at 5 and the line is huge. Eventually we get our pig sandwich and fixinís and chow again.
Shortly after the awards start and door prizes are announced. I won a Coke t shirt compliments of Tom and then I won the 50/50. Rallying can be profitable folks. You canít win if you stay at home.
The party was in full swing and the band was playing. There was even a Harley with very loud pipes. I think he was with the band. I made it another early evening and hit the sack by 11.
Breakfast on Sunday morning alone is worth the $12 rally fee. Pancakes, sausage and coffee is always a good start before heading back home. Pete & I head out at 9:00 in search of more barns. We take 20 east to to 20A east to Fulton County for a 4 pointer (5 with the bike). Down 108 to route 6 where we pick up the Henry County barn. 109 south to 281 west to 15 south takes us to the Defiance barn. We stop at a roadside trailer and had chicken wings and ribs from Daleís Texas Bbq. Not bad at all. We pull into the gravel drive/yard of the Defiance barn. The owner came out and chatted with us . I was impressed at the size of this barn. The owner said there has been a few motorcycles that have stopped. We follow 15 south to 65 and catch the Putnam County barn just after Columbus Grove. Next stop Allen county throught Lime we take 81 east where I let Pete take my picture so I donít have to get off the bike. We turn around and start our slab attack on I75. Heading south on 75 the Auglaize County barn is on the other side of the expressway, but you can get the shot from the entrance ramp of the rest stop. We had plans to get a few more, but we wanted to get home and not hunting down barns anymore. 13 barns, 49 points, and a great time at a great rally.