Its been a tough morning, dealing with Corporate America on the phone and computer, but I am finally off at 11 am. I had been trying to pay bills online. It wasn't easy and I still have one outstanding I cannot get a statement for.
I head for Madison, Wisconsin to get a picture of the capitol. On the way into town I see my bank and will stop on the way out. Across from the bank is a store I was told earlier that could get a copy of my bill. 1 1/2 hours later, no bill. Its now 3:15 PM and I've only gone 140 miles.
I head for Milwaukee, I don't know why, but I just want to see it. Upon entering the city, I head straight for the water. Immediately a white sailed vessel catches my eye. Its the art museum. Beautiful. I continue down the beach and pull off into the park and enjoy the waterfront for a few minutes. Returning to the freeway, its now 5 o'clock rush hour. Stop and go. I am a little frustrated when realize that I forgot to stop by Harley-Davidson. Exiting the freeway I inquire about directions. Its 20 miles behind me.
I gotta go. U-turn, getting back on the freeway, heading for Wauwatosa.
I am having difficulty finding Harley-Davidson from the directions I was given. They had sent me down side streets, thinking I would avoid traffic. Seeing two Harley's at the stop light I follow them into a parking lot and ask for directions. The factory is only a couple of block away. Thanking them, I am on my way.
Pulling into Harley-Davidson, it is cold and gray outside, I back my car up onto the side walk and proceed to take some pictures. Two gentleman have stepped outside in front of the bikes. I move the car to get another angle, then walk to the front of the building for more pictures. The gentleman are looking at me and I present "The Card."
Don Kieffer, Vice-president of Manufacturing, is talking to a shop foreman. Seeing the card, Don smiles and I tell him, “next time it will be a Harley!”
I inquire about tours and they are in the morning, no reservation required. Telling Don that I need to hit the road, he says good-bye to the other gentleman. "Come on, I'll give you the 5 minute nickel tour." He calls his wife as we walk explaining that he's been held up.
Signing in, forfeiting my camera, safety glasses, we enter the shop. They build and assemble all the motors and transmissions here. They actually manufacture most of the parts in this facility. The motors are then sent to Kansas City for assembly on the bikes. Harley-Davidson is running 2 shifts motor assembly and 3 shifts manufacturing.
The employees are friendly and smiling. What a difference.
After 20 minutes, I thank Don and congratulate him and Harley for 100 years!
I'm on my way to Chicago. Boy, am I glad I stopped. My Mom and Brother-in-law are going to be so jealous!
I’m thinking, a millennium yellow Harley??????
Entering Illinois (State #2...I’m back!), its toll time! I realize that with the gray skies, my light is going to be limited along Lakeshore Drive. Its dark by the time I hit he other end and decide to find a room and drive it first thing in the morning.