Stage 3: September 9~Third day’s a charm as the excitement of the activities for this day will have everyone anxious to hit the road early. Riders will make a quick trip down major U.S. highways across the “flat” country of southern Michigan to keep an appointment with an elegant lady on the lake.
At a precisely arranged time on Sunday, our group will board for an exciting aquatic adventure. We will be crossing Lake Michigan on a 192-foot, 148-ton high-speed auto/passenger ferry that is reserved for Motorcycle Cannonball participants only. The ultra-modern Lake Express is an aluminum hulled catamaran built in Mobile, Alabama capable of reaching speeds of 40 mph. Launched in 2004, the vessel is powered by 4 MTU Detroit Diesel 4000 engines producing 3000 hp each which drive four independent Rolls-Royce Kamewa water jets and will accommodate riders and their motorcycles for the 2 ½ hour trip from Muskegon, MI to Milwaukee, WI. Support crews, however, will have to drive the distance around the lake utilizing the interstate through Chicago.
In order to accommodate this many motorcycles, the Lake Express crew will convert the deck of their ship in order to properly secure the machines. Riders will have an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company as they are transported in complete comfort across the only one of the five Great Lakes that is located entirely within the U.S.
Bound by four states, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, Lake Michigan is second largest of the lakes by volume and third by surface area. The word “Michigan” is believed to have come from the Ojibwa word mishigami meaning “great water,” is only slightly smaller than the entire state of West Virginia, and its extensive southern and eastern beaches are often compared to those of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Referred to as the “third coast” of the U.S., the soft sands along the shores of Lake Michigan are high in quartz content and make a “squeaking” sound when walked on. Dunes reach several hundred feet high along the shores of the lake and make up the largest freshwater sand dune system in the world. Beaches along the northernmost and east coast, however, are rocky. The stark difference between the coastlines is based partly on the prevailing winds from the west, which also causes thick layers of ice to build on the eastern shores during the winter.
Our trip for the day will have us arriving for an extravagant reception finish at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In a world-class design, the museum houses 450 motorcycles and artifacts dating back to some of the oldest known Harley-Davidsons. Exciting stories and displays of extraordinary people, history, and products surrounding the Harley culture are found at the space designed by Pentagram Architects and we are welcome to tour the facility as our pack of vintage motorcycles rest on their stands. After an adventurous day covering 301-miles, we will be surrounded by motorcycle history as we enjoy a relaxing hosted dinner.
Harley-Davidson Museum website