Tigerboy's Domain Ohio - Detroit : Oct 29 - Nov 2, 2010

Oct 29   |    Oct 31 - Nov 1    |    Nov 1 - 2

After my stay at John's in Milan it was time to depart and check out Detroit. Getting there would be easy enough, just follow Mich. Route 12, which is Michigan Ave. And given that it was Sunday (Hallowe'en) the traffic shouldn't be too bad. The day was blustery and noticeably colder so I hope I wouldn't freeze on the bike. This is what I get for planning a trip up North rather than South at the end of October !

John has a curious cat.

Part of objective is to get some cool industrial shots with my gnarly MZ Baghira in the foreground. After all I am in the rust belt and Detroit is one of the kingpins of heavy industry. So, there should be no shortage of photo-ops.

After another stop at a Tim Horton's to warm up, I then stop to check out H & H Metals Co. Nothing like looking a giant junkpile of scrap.

Of course their yard was closed and fenced off, so the junk too far back to get a good photo.

But I did manage to peer in and get a good look at their scales (imagine pulling up with my MZ Baghira on that!)
What would I have? Maybe one or two cans for recycling?!

Onward towards Detroit, I catch the Ford HQ building, the one you always see in the media. Right now Ford's doing pretty well.

It's not too bad going along Michigan Avenue on Sunday and the varied cityscape does make this more interesting than you'd otherwise think.
As I get towards downtown Detroit, I couldn't help notice this huge, elaborate, stately, yet run-down building.

I imagine this was once a busy place but now, the building seeming abandoned, there are wide streets that are absolutely dead.

I notice the building has a sign. Save the Depot. I conclude this was once a large train depot, handling all the traffic and freight going through the terminal. Given that it's right next to several lines of train tracks. Kind of like Grand Central Station

Anyway, I ride under the tracks, around the back. This area is very empty, for being in such a large city.

I then find my Baghira on Bagley St, where I stop to check out an optician.

Though something tells me I don't think I'd want to get my eyes checked out there.

Bagley Street is another one of those pretty wide streets with no traffic. And yet I'm very close to downtown.

Now I turn onto Fort St, which, you guessed it, is another wide street with little traffic.
Now I can see downtown, like wow, I've never seen anything like this. I know it's Sunday but where is everybody?

Now looking south.

Next, I come across the Ambassador Bridge which crosses over to Canada.
I ride a couple side streets over (pretty much industrial wasteland) to get a closer look at the Bridge.

I then ride under the bridge to get another look.

Now I have family on the other side, so I think about crossing over to visit (and have a place to stay, since it is getting on). But then I look at the weather, it's getting cold, it looks pretty dreary and questionable and maybe I just should call it a trip, and start heading south. Do I really want to stay this far north longer than I have to?, I say to myself.

Anyway, I decide my Baghira hasn't been over the Bridge, might as well take advantage of it, so I tell my aunt I'm coming.

Getting onto the bridge is a real circuitous route, where I pass a sign saying "once you pass this point, you must continue onto Canada". I figure all cameras are on me at this point, even though I go through several twists and turns before I finally find myself onto the bridge.

Fortunately there's no border traffic, and I'm on the other side, and onto my aunt/uncle who are maybe 40 miles further, which is not a fun ride. It gets dark, and it's getting colder by the minute. Fortunately I arrive before I'm frozen solid.

After a nice restful night, I wake up to a frosty Baghira. What did I expect? Miami beach? This is Canada after all, and it's November.

Don't think I'd want to head out right away (unless I want to freeze my ass!)

After chilling out (well, actually it does warm up reasonably and now it's nice and sunny), I'm ready to head out by early afternoon.

After crossing the Bridge once again, which wasn't too bad given it was now Monday, I'm back in Detroit, and I wanted to get more industrial shots with my Baghira. I end up back on Michigan Ave, this time looking straight at downtown. Very odd, this is a wide street, leading into downtown, a Monday, yet no traffic.

Neat to see the brick road exposed under the tarmac. I visualize a lot of time and effort went into building this thoroughfare.

Once in downtown, I turn onto Cass, then Fort St (which is the street that passes under the Ambassador Bridge).

As I pass the Bridge the area gets very industrial and then I find I can't continue because up ahead, a bridge is out. Great. Now what?
I turn right and find myself getting a couple cool photo-ops I wanted.

Neat power-grid at a large substation.

Then a chemical plant. I love staring at all those pipes in fascination. It makes me wonder what all this plumbing actually does.
I always thought I might enjoy the job of a chemical engineer.

I figure by now I can probably get on Telegraph Rd (Mich 24 South) in order to get to Ohio. This road by the chemical plant takes me back to Michigan ave, which I then head west to Telegraph Rd. By now it's getting later in the day, and I got the photos I wanted, so it's time to head south where it will be warmer (ha!)

I stop at an antique mall (again, I take a look but I do not buy anything), my only stop along Telegraph Rd which is basically an endless suburban landscape.

It's a bit slow going because there is traffic (unlike around downtown Detroit), but I do eventually make it to the Ohio state line and I've still got a couple hours of daylight.

Onto Ohio and the rest of the trip.

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