Saturday, July 14, 2018

Wyoming Ride

Hot, windy, cold, rainy? Yep. This would be the short description of June's Wyoming ride. But that doesn't describe the power of friendship's bonds. Even being stuck together in an "8x10 four bit room" for twenty-four hours couldn't dampen spirits. And so it was with Shawn & Gary K., John L., and me. The weather wasn't the worst any of us have ever seen, but let's just say it was uncomfortable. I can remember much worse. 

The beginning of my trip started with a pleasant back road ride from Eagle with John G. to meet Gary & Shawn in Camp Douglas. John also turned me on to a fine Wisconsin Cheese shop in Mauston along the way. With so many samples who needed dinner? I've come through that way often but never noticed. Now I'll know where to stop next time.

For all the times I've ridden through north eastern Wyoming I have NEVER stopped at the Devil's Tower national monument. I guess I was waiting to be old so I could get in for free. Despite the rain (or maybe because of it) my soggy companions indulged my curiosity. Like many places during rain, the weather actually enhanced the beauty of the rock; greening the vegetation and giving a glow to the darkened sky while glossing the parking lot. The monument is more of a hiking area but because we were dressed for weather, we got the wimp's view. The visitor's center told of one wise guy's parachute stunt onto the top. Unfortunately, it took six days to rescue him. Not a good example of thinking ahead . . .

Because Shawn and Gary know people everywhere, a fellow named Gus showed up at our cabin in Sundance shortly after our arrival. I've come to expect this and feign nonchalance. Later we visited Gus at his place and were treated to a very eclectic collection of vehicles and an amazing view. A highlight was the mummified cat on the wall of his shop. Sorry I forgot to photo that one. Gus was A1 with me because he picked up takeout breakfast when we were cabin-bound one rainy day. 

What trip through South Dakota is complete without a trip to Wall Drug? En route and returning, we stopped for gas and a meal. The people-watching is superb.

John G. & I at the Mauston Cheese shop

Staging for an early morning departure

Foo-foo coffee

Photographic proof that Gary has visited a Starbucks

Hangin' at Wall Drug

People-watching at Wall Drug

Discounting the porch, this is as big as a small 
travel trailer - without the slide-outs.
This was also the last time it was dry

Without closets, storage space was at a premium

Stuck inside all day with the wind and rain outside

One of Gus' fine rides

Shawn making friends

Devil's Tower monument in the rain

 It's way bigger than it looks. 
Please pass the mashed potatos

Aladdin was a hopping place

Except for the pit toilets, this is about the whole town. 
Even the post office is here

 . . . and if you ever wanted to buy a town

Visiting Gus

This is Gus' view!

Belle Fourche, SD is the geographical center of the USA
 - If you include Alaska and Hawaii

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blue Ridge Mountains with Paul J

In November of this year Paul J let me borrow his BMW F650GS and we went on an extended run on some of his favorite roads in the VA Blue Ridge Mountains just north of the NC line. Paul is riding his Suzuki V-Strom 650 (WeeStrom).

For fun, this helmet-cam video has been sped up 2x and stabilized. It makes for a shorter and more engaging video to watch but introduces some weirdness of zooming in and out and edge fluctuation. I sway in my chair whenever I watch it!

 Ride with Paul

Friday, August 11, 2017

Riding Wisconsin - Blue Mounds State Park

I've been having fun going to places I used to ride to regularly. 

I'll never forget this spot because on my first ride with Curt G. the gate guard took exception to how my park sticker was mounted. He confiscated it and wanted me to pay another $25. He should have given me a replacement sticker and had me mount it the way he wanted, but we ended up in an argument. Meanwhile Curt quietly paid for two day passes. It's not my nature to get that riled up and it's a wonder Curt went on to ride many thousands of miles with me. I now have the sticker mounted on a plate below my license plate. It seems to make everyone happy.

The main attraction of this park is the twin lookout towers, one on each end of the "Mound". Nice view and it's always cool up there.

This ride was with Gene. I tried to pick up a couple of cinnamon rolls for a snack but all I could find was a 4-pack. Oh, darn.

Picnic area with a serious view!

Cinnamon rolls going, going . . .

One of the look out towers

Stunning view (not of Gene)

I think it's that way?

Riding Wisconsin - Albion

One of my favorite short destinations. Just a bit north of the Depot Cafe in Edgerton, in case a scone is in order. I can't count how many times this has been a quick ride to sit and read a book, make coffee, have a picnic, or just take a nap.

I've never been in the museum, but some day I'll hit the narrow Sunday hours just right and get a peek inside. The school house is to the lift of the hall.

The old town hall

Old school house

School house on the left

My favorite spot

Can't have a park without a gun

Hysterical Marker

Hysterical Marker

Concourse de Elegance

This weekend I got to go all hoity-toity for a few hours. Gene was invited to show his '63 BSA by the Mercedes folks when he bought his new Mercedes. He only had one extra Exhibitor pass, so we sweet-talked Susan through the gate as one too. Nice folks there - all just having a grand time.

The weather just couldn't be beat with a cool breeze coming in from the lakefront and just enough clouds to make the sky interesting.

Though the Beezer didn't win, the sheer numbers of beautiful cars on display made the whole day worthwhile.

I'm sorry for so many pix, but there were just too many to not include at least some of the hundreds of shots. Er, I also took some artistic license with some tone-mapping of some images. Cars images just beg to be manipulated.

Getting the beauty out of the truck

Proud restorer

Gang of three. Don't we look official??

Two of the other two-wheelers we saw

Vespa with sidecar

Fun for all ages!

Lots of cars to photo

OK, Fun with Tone-Mapping. Hard to resist!