One of my favorite local destinations is the Cold Springs area near Whitewater. It's not far on a direct route but can be part of a 60 mile back-road loop through many nice roads in the Kettle Moraine area. It's now early April and the green lawns look like emerald carpets amid the brown detritus of winter. The trees are getting fuzzy with buds for flowers, but haven't actually sprung yet. Cold Springs has a bit of history as the birth home of George Peck and Edward Curtis. George Peck served as Wisconsin governor in the late 1800's and Edward Curtis published a 20 volume photographic study of North American Indians. The Cold Spring Community Center, located on the land that belonged to Edward Curtis, has a small parking area and a two table pavilion. The Center used to be a one-room schoolhouse. This is a very out-of-the-way sheltered spot; Perfect for making coffee while watching the tractor traffic. Surrounded by farm fields, the scenery changes by year and season. It could be beans, wheat, or corn, in stages of sprouts, lush waving carpets, or harvested stubble. It merits regular checking over coffee and snacks. A destination when I need a ride but I'm on a short leash. Not far from the Community Center is a Jefferson county park wayside that includes a picnic table and toilets. A good place to know about if there is over-brewing of coffee.
Home of Governor Peck
Community center lot with pavilion in the back left
Marker for Edward Curtis at the community center
Sign next to the wayside.
I was too lazy to get off the bike to include the actual wayside.
The 2019 F750GS is 100 lbs lighter and just as fast (to me) as the 2014 R1200GS! Not as comfortable out of the box, however. It seems ready for the season now that I've added STUFF: Madstad windshield and Russell seat (thanks to Gary for the recommendations), EZ-HexCan, Denali brake lights, bar-backs, hand guards, driving lights, and some loose (not yet) odds and ends from my favorite Chinese suppliers. Also chrome fender dents, sneeze-through wind vents, and factory air from BMW's air conditioned factory. Purdy
Yeah, it was one of those years . . . Not too much riding went on, no big trips, but there was still a bit of motorcycling activity. A new camping trailer/pickup truck stole some of my riding time, as did surgical removal of some of my internal organs. Then, in the fall, the 2014 R1200GS, one of my most favorite bikes, took a dump by frying it's alternator. Quoting Firesign Theater: "Unfortunately, the dime was in Mr. Rococco's pocket." The $1,300 alternator turns out to be in the engine. And requires at least that much more $$ in labor to dig it out. As much as I loved this too-big bike, it had several serious problems while under warranty and had a tow truck ride once before. I guess I just couldn't read the signs. Looking around Mischler's showroom during diagnosis, I spotted a new F750GS that my saddle bags and GPS would fit. Deal! It didn't hurt that BMW and the MOA were throwing money at buyers to move them. Jason at Mischler's brought the 1200's carcass back to the house for de-farkling. Time to move on. The R1200GS is dead; Long live the R1200GS!
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
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
This is Gus' view!
Belle Fourche, SD is the geographical center of the USA
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!