We had a good time even with overnight temperatures that never really 'daytimed' the way we'd hoped. Friday and Saturday were mostly sunny and that helped a lot, offsetting to a large degree the strong winds that kept things on the coolish side both days. Counting on a warmer Sunday, I don't think it ever made 60 and with the very steady overcast some sessions of sunshine would have been very welcome.
Friday's stop at Pier Natural Bridge Park just outside Rockbridge.
Just like we'd done last Spring, it was a camping weekend, at least it was camping to the extent that we all slept in vehicles. Steve had his plush digs on the truck chassis, I stayed in the minivan and Mike, arriving Saturday afternoon, toughed it out in his Ranger. Our buddy J.P. was part of the plan but at the last minute his plans had to change. We missed him and expect him to join us once again next Spring. He missed my cooking......maybe that's why he......??
The propane coffee maker made the trip as did the propane stove, a first with the group. Having done some early meal preparation last week so that I could Heat-N-Serve to the greatest extent possible, the guys were stuck with some Chicken Pitas on Friday, though "guys" were Steve and I. There really was more than we needed. Beef Stew was on the docket for Saturday evening and Mike helped us with that one.
Thanks for these Mike....I was too busy poofing up and adjusting my Chef's Hat to be taking photographs.
The best part of all was that Peg and Lauren felt sorry for me upon hearing that I planned to take some vittles along and made (2) Apple Tarts. Two would have been overwhelming so I only grabbed one at 5AM Friday morning when I left the house. Thank you ladies, it was wonderful once again. Steve and I even saved some for Mike.
So I remembered all sorts of things for the FOOD prep but neglected two things to properly outfit my GPS for Route Following. Great care was taken to plan Routes for all 3 days. My ancient though still favorite GPS unit does not contain every map in the USA and even though I loaded the very detailed planned rides, I'd forgotten to load the southern map detail sections of Wisconsin. Northern Wisconsin regions were still in the little machine from the Lake Superior Shore trip but did us precious little good down in the Driftless area.
In addition to that boo boo, I'd somehow taken the SAE/lighter receptacle adapter out of the tank bag and forgot to replace it. Initially thinking that wasn't going to be a big deal, it then was. Not all that long ago, the Quest would run all day on its internal battery but no more.
Enjoy this because you won't see Ol' Coop going Old School like this very often. For all of the things I've forgotten how to do, I can still run a Tank Bag Route and I was pleased with myself though I really, really missed my little mapping device. I surprised even myself with the number of times that we'd approach an intersection.....I'd look down......"oh yeah, no screen."
We'd considered moving to another campground and then changed our mind and returned to our very welcoming hosts' place just like last Spring. Steve and I did stop in Muscoda however to look around at what we'd missed. More than likely I'll be camping here along the river in their very nice City Campground next season when I'm sans van/trailer with only the bike and tent.
Friend Illinois Dave has often chided me for not joining him on a ride to Prairie du Chien for a Pete's Hamburger. The location/direction/time of day never seemed to fit with my plans so I've always left him go alone. It just seemed like the thing for Steve and I to do last weekend.
The wait was long and mostly worth it though I'll try not to go at noon on a lovely autumn Saturday next time. Each batch takes 20 minutes so there's ample time to visit with your neighbor in line and we had an exceptionally chatty neighbor in line. There are lines at the windows on both sides of the little stand, the aroma of steaming burgers and onions draw tourists from a block away. When Mr. Chatty wore us out, he crossed over to the other side and spread most of what he knew with those folks. I think it took about 2 1/2 griddle batches for us to score ours.
Now on the north side of the Wisconsin River, we did just about every County road to and from the river, winding our way back to Richland Center and the campground.
Stopping for a communication and rest break, we took a look at some headstones. Way too many 20'ish young men were commemorated.
When we got back, Mike was there, his excellent '70 green XS650 parked and ready for action. A quiet evening of a hot meal, campfire and hot cocoa with temps that dipped very close to 40....plus or minus depending on the source.
Sunday, actual Slimey Crud Run day, we got an earlier start and as tradition dictates, we stopped for breakfast at the Piccadilly Lilly Diner on runway's edge at the Lone Rock airport. Besides an at capacity crowd when we arrived, there were 3 planes that had flown in for their morning meal.
We decided to skip the Pine Bluff portion of the event and instead head directly to Leland. We weren't first but pretty darned close. Mike (without the competition of crowds) took a look inside Sprecher's
These motorcycles were still able to pick their favorite spots.
Before the throngs began to arrive, I was fortunate enough to run into some old friends whom I'd not seen for quite some time. Becky, Steve and Scott, so great to see you again and have a chance to talk. My very first 'Crud Run was attended with them. Listening to your friends back from their recent riding trip to Croatia was icing on that cake. We really need to not only meet but ride together again as well. Ride and be safe until that happens!
This little green Honda 200 is like mine but it's not.....this one is actually very pretty and it would be a shame to cut this one up. The one in my garage is ready to make that sacrifice.
After a brisk ride back, we loaded the bikes up, ours on the trailers and Mike's in the red truck.
The first Sunday in May will be here before we know it.