When I say we I really mean we. Steve, J.P. and I all met at the campground at or near enough to the agreed upon time of 10AM Friday morning. We 3 intended to camp at the Alana Springs Campground just outside of Richland Center, Wisconsin. Eric rode down to join us for the day, rode home that evening and came back down early Saturday morning with our friend Hootie. By Saturday afternoon, Mike was in the mix as well.
The van was loaded Thursday evening, scooter on the trailer and I was down in Alma almost in time to help my favorite weekend breakfast place open their doors for Friday business. Marietta was surprised to see the "yellow one" on a trailer but I assured her that all was well.....more than well. After my fill of the Prime Rib breakfast special and coffee I was on the road and stopped just long enough to get a photo of the powerline progress noted a few blog posts ago. More cables are being strung and I was early enough that day to not see any whirlybirds yet up lifting them in place.
Totally outsmarting myself, a "shortcut" in LaCrosse found me down in the bowels of the warehouse district and between the railroad tracks and road construction, not even my skills with GPS were able to get me out of there efficiently. Finally I was on my way again.
At the campground, bikes unloaded, Eric was there early and patiently waiting for us to get our act together so that we could get suited up and on the road. Bill came over to welcome us to the facility, Colleen would be by later to get us checked in.
So, Friday it was Eric on the BMW, Steve on his Electra Glide, J.P. on his TU250 and me on the Helix.
Lunch in Hillsboro at Barbie's Kitchen.......
Both Eric and I noticed this silo right away.....observation deck and roof on top....we made our forts out of washing machine and refrigerator boxes. (Eric, did you get a 5 second capture?)
Riding through Wildcat Mountain State Park into Ontario, we followed (tried to?) this very zippy panel van. We agreed that the two guys in the delivery truck must have been on this section of road more than once before.
Gas stop in Reedsburg......2 of our manly men
More clouds later in the day, Eric decided to head back home so that he could be back bright and early Saturday morning, Hootie out of school and able to join us. J.P., Steve and I took off on another loop to the northwest, the Blue Goose and pizza on our minds. Ice cream was on our minds on the way there but no way could we do that and still be able to ride back to the campground.......another time.
J.P. (the only chain driven machine in the bunch) needed chain lube so it was off to the local 4 Brands + dealership. Of course some machines were straddled and priced but in the end, we left with only a new aerosol can of chain supplement.
Working our way south towards the Wisconsin River Valley, we stopped at Frank's Hill, a place I stopped a few Crud's ago. All of the effigy burial mounds had recently been burned, easily identifying the outlined sacred figures.
After crossing the WI River, we wound our way up top to Highland at Grandma's Kitchen for lunch. We barely made it in time before their early afternoon closing but we were fed well and more than adequately.
Back to Richland Center where we found Mike all checked in at the Parkview, his Swiss Army bike unloaded and ready to rumble. Riding to the south end of town for dinner, we somehow later found a place to enjoy some dessert. The place was busy, very busy with other early May dairy product aficionados.
Eric and Hootie retreated to their motel, Mike to his and we 3 headed back to the campground for an evening fire and our ember enjoyment.
Sunday, Slimey Crud event day, dawned partly overcast though much warmer than Saturday morning had been. We met at the motel and were off to Lone Rock Airport as is our custom, a planned breakfast at the Piccadilly Lilly airport diner. Busier than we'd ever seen it before, we had to wait for a table but it was worth it. Not only busier (maybe the reason why?) but there were actual air machines out on the runway. The 'Lilly had undergone a major facelift since we were there last....new parking lot, new sidewalks.....Disappointing though, the sign and weather vane out front were gone. I noticed but hadn't appreciated that fact until Mike said something and now we're both hoping that these important trademark items return.
On towards Pine Bluff.....passing near Spring Green, the land of Taliesin and Frank Lloyd Wright's work and influence. There are some very interesting structures in the area......and of course some not so much.
We made it, the latest arrival we've had to the Pine Bluff crossroads.
We left......when we were finally able to 'merge'.....
Arriving in Pine Bluff with 5 bikes, a brilliant yellow Honda 400F joined our group as we were leaving and he stuck with us until at one tight corner, Mike's Swiss Condor sputtered to a stop (didn't quite get to Reserve in time). Our visitor went on ahead and as luck would have it, when we stopped for gas in Arena to get Mike back on his main tank, the 400 stopped there as well. I hustled over and invited him to join us the rest of the way to Leland.
The brothers from Delavan ready to leave Leland just after we had arrived.....
Saw lots of friends, some I never got a chance to actually have a conversation with......look away a minute or so and they've moved deeper into the crowd.
Sprecher's Bar, where it all happens in Leland.....Junior passed away on April Fool's day and there was a short though VERY well attended memorial service for him on the steps of his bar last Sunday. I enjoyed one of his famous Cheese Sandwiches on a very quite May day a number of years ago when I stopped on a non-Slimey Crud weekday. He was a joy to visit with and be served by.
It wasn't all crowds and commotion though.....
Leaving Leland, we passed a couple more of our Labor Day Wildcat Mountain Rally friends....waving from the sidelines......
We made one more stop as our "5" group before getting back to Richland Center. Once back in town, Eric and Hootie headed north right away. Steve, J.P. and I helped Mike get his Condor back on the truck, sent him on his way, then we 3 went back to Alana Springs to load our machines on the trailers before heading home. There were big winds, hard rain and deep hail back in the Twin Cities but we didn't ride in any of it, avoiding weather all weekend long on the bikes.
Big thanks to our gracious and understanding campground hosts; they made it even easier to have fun and we're already looking forward to another visit this coming fall.
Mike was kind enough to bring me a spare front end for the Helix....
and while in our company at least, kept us safe and out of harm's way.
What a great way to spend 3 days riding (531 miles for me, way more than that for Eric) with good friends.