I made it happen and when I stopped for this photo we were 20+ miles into the journey.
My very favorite time of the day is early morning and being able to be out riding, going somewhere at that time just that much more special. Normally by this time of our too-short riding season I've already been out for some dawn-ish rides .....but not this year....not until my trip to the Iowa Moto Guzzi Rally.
Until just a few days ago, the Breva (a real Moto Guzzi) was being prepared for this event. New tire, new windshield, fluids and pressures up to snuff. While in the garage, the black Morphous was way back in the corner, dusty and forlorn so I decided to change plans.
The early start had me in Elkader, Iowa at 9AM. This year's T-shirt, my choice was orange since that shade was all gone by the time I checked in last year. There were numerous, surprised but positive comments about my coordinated matching (Hiawatha BMW) Rally Cup.
J.P. and many others had arrived already on Thursday, some even earlier than that. On my way back down to the back end of the park area, the area we'd soon have our own small encampment, I stopped to see Dave and Dan, the Sidecar Guys. Both of the pooches were staked out and getting accustomed to rally life once again.
After getting setup, J.P. and I decided to walk downtown and while on the Riverwalk, noticed these enterprising and ambitious young men log rolling.
Back to the park, lots of new arrivals were in the common area.
I haven't caught his name but one of our enthusiasts does a wonderful job of both collecting and restoring these old Italian machines. This one is a Beauty!!
Bob was there with a couple of his machines, soon bound for Colorado and the MOA Rally in Billings.
John and Dave made it, I missed both of them actually arriving.
Our friend Rick couldn't make it for the weekend but was good enough to drive over from central Iowa for the evening, using his Jeep so that he could more safely drive home after dark and it was way after dark when he left our confab around the circle of chairs. We were all glad that he went to the trouble, thanks again Rick!
Saturday morning breakfast being lined up by the caterer. A pleasant morning, overcast and no rain.
Rodney readying the Green Hornet (his daughter's Pacific Coast) for our ride to the river.
Rick getting his Yamaha ready.....taking care of some communication as he worked.
Saturday's forecast wasn't the best though I don't think it ever got as hot as they'd predicted and that may have contributed to the gentler weather. Not sure how much rain had occurred in Elkader but our loop over to Balltown for lunch and to Guttenberg for ice cream turned wet.
On the way to Balltown we rode down to the river in Buena Vista, parked where we did last year but this time there was no train.
No photos of the amazing view from the Balltown overlook but we did get one of the wet machines from the porch at Breitbach's.....
and there was one taken in front of Joe's where we stopped for dessert in Guttenberg.
Back to Elkader, most of the rain had stopped. It was only mid-afternoon so I decided to suit up again and visit the Iowa Welcome Center on 13, south of Elkader.
A museum, Nature Center, arboretum, park, hiking trails, etc. I grabbed a winter's week worth of travel brochures to read for my next visit to NE Iowa.
This was fun.....just last week mom and I were discussing recent local stories on the decreasing habitat for Monarch butterflies and what's being done to turn that around.
Back to Elkader.....a cookie and something to drink. The coffee, lemonade, iced tea and ice water (plus cookies) are at the ready all weekend.
There were more bikes to check out.......like this MZ 500.
Before long it was time for our pork chop dinner, prepared by the local Pork Producers and the chops themselves served by the Pork Queen.
Thanks to Mike, I've photos of our Royalty to share.....that cooler was full, full as in was.
Ice cream was served once again by the Dairy Princess.
Barely after the evening meal had settled, we lined up for the Sheriff-led parade through town.
Ernie wishing me Parade success.......
The Opera House, no live performance for us this year......
Rodney sharing with me the fact that an observant young man had castigated him for being on a Honda during the Guzzi parade.
Back to our remote corner of the grounds.....
Mike later shared these with me......
Goosi was back this year......possibly an illness last year?? Maybe caught a chill.....stuff happens.
We posed in front of the sign before the engines had a chance to cool....proof of our attendance.
Back up to the Pavillion, I wanted to join the others in wishing Paul a safe ride home Saturday evening.
I don't think any of our group stayed up as late Saturday as we had Friday (the group is maturing). Sunday dawned cloudy though a bit sticky. We all were able to pack dry tents and gear.
George and crew put on a great show, always fun, good times for we attendees. I rode home in hazy and then bright sunshine, no rain.