Sunday, February 19, 2017

FridaySaturdaySunday

I still save files on my PC's this way...no spaces, upper case to separate the words.  There was just too much time with old DOS files for me to break the habit.

It should be announced that we're having incredible weather here in the Midwest.  Our record breaking weather isn't for cold, snow or even rain but rather for warm, unseasonably February temperatures and this nicer outside weather is having an impact on everyone.  The ice fisher people have all but given up though not quite (see below).  The outdoor sports people have had a tough go of it this '16-'17 season and I truly do feel for them; these mild winters have a huge impact on our economy.  Moods for the rest of us have lightened considerably and you can not only feel it, you can see it.  I saw so many pairs of shorts protecting white legs yesterday that you have to know that we're Northerners.  You can imagine what 60 degree weather brings out in us at this time of year and we're 'ta home, didn't even have to fly to a tropical beach.

Friday Morning

I stepped outside and right over my head, heard their wonderful trumpeting.....Even though potential blizzard conditions are forecast for next weekend, I'm hoping that these birds have the inside scoop on how March might lamb-like roll in.


Saturday 

Up early and off to Minneapolis for coffee.  I took the camera specifically for getting a couple of shots with our early season attendees but then never even pulled the camera from my belt.  Overall attendance was down for such a nice day though percentage wise, bikes parked out in front were a nice proportion.  Some of the other guys were probably at home "laying out", getting a head start on their tans.

Originally planning to be at home in the afternoon to get more work done on daughter's Tack Cabinet, plans were changed.  A quick text to Erik with or rather hinting at my plans to meet him read a short and sweet "See you at 1:00".  Our buddy Chad of Lone Wolf Expeditions was putting on a seminar about riding his Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail at 2Brothers Powersports down in Onalaska, Wisconsin.  Great hosts of the event, cookies, beverages provided plus they gave away a very nice Klim jacket.  I'm going to put a plug in for this dealership.  A couple of years ago one of the attendees at our annual Labor Day Wildcat Mountain Rally had a serious issue with his BMW, up from Chicago he was in a bit of a pickle.  His bike was towed to 2BP, they provided him a loaner bike, not only allowing him to ride back to Chicago but to finish the rally with us the remainder of the weekend.  We all agreed the service was top notch.


Eric and I are inching closer to a plan to run the trail this season and were anxious and willing to learn anything new that we could about the route.  Plus, it's always good to gather where other riders meet.  Eric rode down and wasn't the only one, I drove.

Not unlike Eric's latest machine, one that he's (we are) anxious to get properly dirtied up.....


This one for Mark and Mike, up on the mezzanine......


Chad getting the projector warmed up...




A few of us present had done part or all of the ride; both Erik and I have covered quite a bit of the southern roads.  I learned some new things and Chad's reminder about safety and first aid were well taken.  Where and how we go potentially can make the transition from an "uh-oh" to "oh no" a quick and deadly one.  Chad's experienced the spectrum.

After some questions and answers, Erik headed first east (a pick-up order of ribs in Sparta) and then home.  I see there's a new Facebook photo this morning telling me he didn't stick to the Interstate.  The van was telling me that it was 60 degrees outside, a cloudless sky and even driving, rather than riding, on roads that we know so well and visit frequently made for a wonderful drive home, even in a dirty minivan.

And....look what happened on the way home!!!


Driving up the Wisconsin side of the river, open water was everywhere, large chunks of ice breaking off from the south end of Lake Pepin slowly melting and heading south.  Large backwater areas were scattered ice fishing quests.  I stopped in Old Frontenac to take a couple of photos at this time of transition for the ice fishing folk.

Ice, open water and finally more ice over on the Wisconsin side.  It's about 2 1/2 miles across right here.




Sunday

Another lovely day, good enough to get out for a ride, so I did.

Snowmobile trail crossing........



The gravel up top is in pretty nice shape.......


The valleys weren't quite as easy....


I call it pudding.  It isn't deep, I think it's the waterous silt as the frost comes out and it's gooey soft.  Ridges that would be mere child's play in simple wet summer tracks are challenging when this stuff gets slippery.  There were a couple of times today...... I had predicted it on the north facing slopes but anywhere the valleys were hiding accumulated snow, road conditions are in need of more warming.


Here we're experiencing good old fashioned ice, still the slippery kind.  It wasn't slush, the tires were leaving no tracks.


Both of us need a bath after today's ride.....

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My first time out, after just a couple of miles, felt as easy and smooth as if I'd been out only last weekend.  According to the weather folks, winter is due to return by the end of the week and I'm perfectly fine with that.  It will be another month for sure before I'm ready to be having this much fun every weekend.