Sunday, August 18, 2013

Minnesota Moto Guzzi Rally 2013

It's been another perfect August weekend, a great weekend for a Minnesota meeting of Italian motorcycles.  Dave and I met in St. Charles for breakfast on Friday, then managed to find some dusty gravel, the shortcut but not really, from there to the Money Creek Haven Campground.

Jack arrived not long after we did, here at the registration tent.  No, it's not a Guzzi but if Guzzi made a 2-wheel drive rig, he'd probably have ridden that.

I've seen Jack and waved hello at previous rallies but this weekend finally was able to really meet him and discuss roads as well as common riding areas.  He knows the area roads better than I do  Hopefully we'll be able to follow through on a coffee ride or two.

Here's a Guzzi sidecar rig with accompanying camper trailer, a one wheel drive in this case and for most purposes, sufficient.

Louie showed up on one of his Victory's this time, though there's talk of something else in his future.  The question is and will remain, will his machine count remain the same or go up one??

Since Dave and I live so close, our ride, even with a late breakfast, put us at the rally site before noon.  There was a method to our early arrival madness.....some Friday afternoon gravel exploring.

We come upon "Road Closed" signs from time to time, not necessarily a barrier to our plans, though this weekend we were foiled more than once (and a couple of times that we should have been).

Here's a favorite "Minimum Maintenance" road that's been a favorite...we're both wondering if it will ever be again after this spring's various flooding.

No way were we getting through this one.....'course if it hadn't been for that big sidecar along, I'd have popped right through this minor obstruction.  :)

This one didn't stop us....this time....but may next time.

Since it was coffee time, or even slightly past, we headed for the touristy Lanesboro.  The Friday afternoon Tubers, Canoers and Bicyclists were showing up for a weekend of Root River Valley fun.

I thought this duded up, fender skirted pickup truck was pretty cool.  I wanted to center the truck in the shot but one hand was holding some exTREMEly hot coffee from the Pedal Pushers diner.

It then was time to head back to the rally site since our pulled pork Friday dinner would soon be served.  There were many new arrivals back at camp.

Mike showed up on his Moto Guzzi Norge, their Sport Touring model and he was a Mike I didn't know.  As it turns out, I used to work across the isle from his wife at one company and he works next to a life long machinist friend at another medical company.  Rides will soon be planned that will hopefully get the three of us together in one spot.

Saturday morning dawned cool, clear and foggy.  I walked down to the naturally spring-fed pool to prove there was moisture in the air.

On our way to Hokah for breakfast, we discovered this huge road improving project.  This one led us to a Minimum Maintenance road that wasn't, so we had to turn around and do this part twice.

Our Saturday morning breakfast spot in Hokah.

A potty stop and leg stretching spot.....for Justin naturally.....on a steep, almost-Iowa gravel road.

This frog simply can't possibly have a big croak, can it??  It was doing its best to hide on this milkweed leaf but I was too sharp to miss it.

The New Albin City Meat Market and Store....a necessary stop for my favorite smoked pork jerky.  John, I brought some back to camp for you but you weren't time.  Offered to a few other campers, they initially didn't care for any.....then..."well maybe I'll try some".  Not long after, "hey, could I have another chunk?"

I bought a pound and brought a couple of ounces home.

After making Dave, really, really dustier, we were back at camp.  He stopped at the car wash to make his bike black again; mine's still a dingy grey-brown.

This one was for sale, very reasonably priced but I tried not to spend any more time there than necessary or I'd have been tempted to......

Brad's eternally beautiful Triumph....Jack's GS isn't hard on the eyes either.

A Ural that had seen as much dust for the day as we had.

That Twin Headlight guy's KLR.........

Somehow I even got into this shot........almost too many cooks in this one.

Scott's "1000 hour" custom fairing, bags, snack box (on the tank), windshield, etc.

On the left, one of many rows of campers and full season trailers not connected with our group.

After our steak dinner, there was more discussion, more enjoyment of a perfect Saturday evening before bedtime.

Sunday morning again arrived clear, cool and foggy.  Dave and I weren't in any hurry, leaving just before 9AM.  Once again, many riders from further away were already long gone.  Since this is the closest rally for both Dave and me, it's hard to be in too big of hurry to head for home.


  1. The best part is the dirt road, the gravel road and the one that got away down the stream. I feel like a city gal now. I need to go find some dirt roads.

    I noted the petunias up on the light post. I'm glad all of our planters are on the ground...

    You sure do stack up good weekends.

    1. You are welcome for the back road inspiration. :)

      Many local municipalities are placing huge flower baskets on light poles, watered with hoses attached, fed by tanks on utility vehicles. Seems to be an 'arms race' to see which town has bigger and more pole baskets. They are lovely.

    2. Yeah...I know about water tanks. We have one but never get to use we don't talk about it. However, it takes much longer to do it by buckets and hoses, so I really do prefer the old way.:^ )

    3. Oh my face got chopped up!

      :^ ) There.

  2. Coop - it looks like you are having way too much fun (I'm glad!)

  3. My goal is to hover at or near that threshold. :)

  4. Another perfectly spent weekend.

    Good roads (even the ones you had to turn around) good food, and good friends old and new.

    Yep, perfect weekend. Thanks for sharing all the pictures. Sure is a pretty area.

    1. Trobairitz,
      I couldn't agree more....we're having great weather which only makes the rest of the activities all that much sweeter. It really is an area rich with the riding I enjoy....and so many choices!

  5. Definitely way too much fun. What a stunning set of pics, especially the gravel road bits. But the foggy morning is definitely my favourite. Thanks for taking the time to post this, it was fun watching.

    1. Thanks Sonja, again, if the fun I've been lucky enough to be having isn't coming through, I'm really getting it wrong.

      One more official rally in a couple of weeks, our Wildcat Mountain rally, the only motel-based gathering I do each year and one so easy to look forward to. Mostly a different group of friends, many of which only gather once each year.

  6. Looks like a hoot! You're getting me excited to get out and explore the Middle Coast some more.

    ...I've really got to get some new tires. Lots of big changes at the moment, and the bike keeps ending up at the bottom of the list for my budget.

    1. Happy to oblige Lucky. Get those other important issues dealt with, some new rubber and come on down for a ride.

      Getting ready for our Wildcat Rally next weekend; a season favorite!