What a weekend!! Managing to get out every day for some riding miles, today's ride was a fine way to cap off the weekend. It's still August but the last few days have looked and felt awfully much like early October.
A ride today was in my head yesterday, the planned machine today was the 250 KLR but a look at the forecast had the "blow" symbol and the thought of fighting high winds mixed in with my desire to not compromise on routes/directions/rate of speed kept the Kawasaki in the garage. Instead the reliable Ascot was put into service once again. It's just about the most flexible and adaptable thing I've got. The shaft drive makes it a mostly 'fill with gas and turn the key' kind of ride.
So, the windy forecast was allowed for, the predicted 0% chance of rain would be easy. Up early, a cup or two and some correspondence that needed to be dealt with, the clouds outside not a problem. My Weather Channel current conditions of "Cloudy" matched perfectly with what I saw early outside. The barn cats fed (so I can sneak the bike out without them sneaking in) and helmet on, the mist and drizzle started. A few little fuzzy drops would be one thing, but looking up the valley brought a very solid looking wetness.
Ducking back inside, I checked the Real Time weather radar, not a single patch of green for hundreds of miles. Phone away, ear plugs in and off we went. The first 40 miles down to breakfast were in the rain, soft, but rain nonetheless.
Wisconsin is across the lake here but you can just barely see it because the "Cloudy" is thicker than it really should be. The splotches in the photo are parts of the "Cloudy" that made contact with my camera lens.
"Romance and recreation......" Yahoo!! I'm for all of that, who wouldn't be?
After my breakfast stop, it was time for a break on Montana Ridge. My gloves kept blowing away.
Too steep and rough to be work land, pasture fringed with a thistled fence line.
Witt Hill looking at Whitehall in the valley.......
While waiting for my lunch to be prepared in Blair, I texted Eric, no idea what or where he might be for the weekend. His response....."Parade in Ettrick 1:00" Ettrick is 9 miles south of where I was dining. My very friendly waitress got paid and a nice tip, I suited up and headed to the next town and found Eric w/family with prime spots for parade watching. Handed a cup of coffee, I was there in time for the Color Guard to pass and the first units of the procession.
Barney Fife was there.......
I'd promised Peg that my return would be mid-afternoon, so I didn't stay very long and headed towards home. Eric reminded me of a favorite though recently neglected gravel road nearby and I'm glad that he did.....I took it. Thanks Eric, so nice to see your lovely bride again and to meet the rest of your family, that nine week old granddaughter especially. Seemed she was enjoying what I have to believe was her first parade.
Hovre and Stenberg were even better than I'd remembered.....
The Kwik Trip in Arcadia is a common place to stop, not only for me it seems. I'll bet that roughly half of the time I stop there, old friends are seen or new ones made (remember Eric?). Today it was Greg, his fine XS650 and yellow helmet his trademarks. Greg will once again be attending our Wildcat Mountain Rally in a couple of weeks.
Leaving Arcadia, another trip up Pretzel Pass and Alligator Slide, Cty G and Eagle Valley and then on to Nelson for a Rum Cherry cone. Warren and Dan were there, two very pretty Triumphs having brought them down from the Twin Cities.
Out for a ride each day this weekend and other than the strong winds today, a little moisture wasn't that big of deal. Lovely grey skies, cool weather making layers very comfortable. Early October weather (some of my favorite) but it's still only August which means we're far from done for the season. Hopefully there will be enough more days and weekends like this before the snow flies.