Yes, you read it right...a BMW rally that I showed up at 2 1/2 years before I owned a BMW, on a beat up old TW200 Yamaha. Knowing the president of the local club, I asked at the Registration Desk where the dirt bikes were tenting. Really, how much difference can there be between a GSxxxx and a Yamaha with fat tires? So far, they keep letting me stay.......
Most likely my 2nd rally attended this coming ride season will be the closest to home, namely the MN BMW club's rally just outside of Money Creek, MN. Only a 75 mile ride, this is one that I don't take a Friday off to attend, able to ride there easily after work but before dark in June's long daylight hours.
Never present with a BMW in the past, I'm not even sure I'll take mine this year but that is yet TBD. Most every other machine I license has been there and which one carries me this year might just depend on how much gravel I intend to visit.
The 2010 version found me on the TW200, a year in which I did take the day off. No, now that I think of it, that was back when Friday's were mine every week (those were the days....) Only a few miles from home, I came upon a season-long rebuilding of a County Road, some of which was adequately signed "Road Closed". We've all seen the signs and know what they mean and how we're to respond. I chose to ignore the sign and rode on, confident in my machine and abilities to proceed and if that became cumbersome, to turn around. Stubbornness can be a positive and a negative force.
The soft gooey mud that, in my defense, started out meekly enough, soon became deeper and more greasy. Before very long, the front low-fendered wheel soon turned into a round ski that was on the verge of refusing to roll. Just before that threshold was reached, I headed for the very grassy edge of the road and proceeded on, the front wheel very reluctantly deciding to begin rolling again.
This, a few miles further on once most of the mud had been 'burned' away.
I didn't fully inspect each and every BMW parked in front of the Registration Booth, but it's safe to say they were all cleaner than my machine was. I don't always leave a good first impression but we manage to get past that most of the time.
Taking the long way down still got me to Money Creek early, leaving plenty of time for Friday afternoon exploring while the rest of the folks rode in from locations much further away. As far as I know, Twin Headlight Ernie is the only regular attendee that lives closer.
That year we seemed to find many turtles practicing the chicken art of road-crossing. You can't see the smile I have on my face right now remembering the big Snapper that friend Dave stopped to help and his very reluctant rescuee snapping back. Just imagine the old woman with a cane swatting at the Boy Scout who's only trying to help...
Why I do what I do.....Crazy Corner's Road to the left, Pleasant Valley Road on the right, just outside of Freeburg.
Sunrise on Saturday morning, mostly BMW's, Money Creek Haven Campground.
After breakfast with friends down at the pavilion, I was off to find new gravel to explore. Gravelly switchbacks....does it get better than this??
One of many Minimum Maintenance Roads, always treasures....
A stream crossing/spillway....there's a very good chance trout are nearby.
My favorite road of the weekend, just east of Amherst. It may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that I'd not done this one before. This is where it leaves 'up top' and descends steeply into a quiet valley that no one any longer has a need to visit.....except for me.
Looking forward to being in the neighborhood again....in 3 and 1/2 months.