Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 4 - Change Of Plans

Monday evening (Day 3 of 4), I was diligently Route planning for the 2 GPS units (more on this in a later Post) that I had along, redundant Routes so that I could use/compare how each satellite receiving device would handle my zig-zag exploration.  Through the course of Monday afternoon, much thought was given to which direction I'd head, destinations that I'd seek out, etc.  Many things were considered and then finally, I buckled down and created my next day's ride.

That was at slumber time on Monday.  By wake time on Tuesday, plans were altered.  Considering my location in SW (almost South Central) Wisconsin, heading east to visit a couple of friends between Madison and Milwaukee (SE Wisconsin) was suddenly the new and improved ride plan for the day.  Gene and John are old rally friends that I see off and on each summer at the various brand rally gatherings.  Now that the end of our riding season's are coming up, it may be a long time before I get the chance to see them again so a personal visit was decided upon.

First a call to John, and then to Gene got things organized.  I rode east, into a bright but I'm-not-complaining sun where I was to meet John in Waterloo.  John picked a rendezvous time perfectly based on my called-from position and I nailed our meeting time.  From there, I followed, he in his TDI to Gene's place in Watertown.  This is a section of Wisconsin I've spent the least amount of time riding in.  It's typically more urban, less hilly and the roads much straighter.  I think we'd all agree that the riding is better to the west.

Based on Bob's and Dave's (two other guys that I mingle with at these outings, both close to Gene and John) suggestion, I rode through the Roxbury crossroads to stop at the Dorf Haus.  A German-themed supper club that serves, according to Dave, the world's finest pancakes, the place was very quiet at 10AM on a Tuesday.  Sunday's are breakfast pannycake days so my timing was off for the delicate monsters, soaked in honest-to-goodness real maple syrup.  Instead of a Sunday Coffee, looks like we'll have to arrange a Sunday Pancake.

It was great seeing, sitting down with and discussing the same sort of things that we talked about last time and will talk about the next's just that letting the gaps between those same discussions get overly long is less than ideal.  Guys, I'm happier than you know that I called and made the trip over; glad that it worked for us to get together again.

Following John's advice, leaving Watertown, I went north up to WI #60 (that didn't quite go as John advised) and then following State 60 back to the west, I blended perfectly into County PF as John did advise, a road known to any and all decent Slimey Crud attendees.  Thinking I might seek out Martha's nearby Lodi wilderness hiking area on the way, I changed my mind and kept on going, my next stop at a much quieter, weekday Leland.  One of the bar owners was out spraying the exterior for box elder bugs; a few cars in front of his establishment.

No people, no motorcycles....well, one motorcycle.

The pond is still there....

An empty parking lot....

Across the road, another park area beyond the pines and where the "Beer Here" sign was on Sunday.

The pond from the other side of the barn.

Peek-a-boo farm; in a couple of months it will easily be seen from this spot on the road.

The road through the cut....

and a bit to the left, a natural amphitheater, the picked corn on stage.

Almost back to Richland Center; I'm still behind the distant load of hay after following from up on the hill.

Just outside of downtown Neptune on Dogwood Hollow Road.

Back to the car, the Honda soon to be tied down and moving under something else's power.  My stay at the Starlight Motel (sign across the highway) was a very pleasant one......I hope to do this again.


  1. The Lodi spot is wonderful, but there is so much just as wonderful all over SW WI and NW, too, just as you already know.

    So where's my Romance photo?

    1. As I understand it, there are romance images all over the Internet.

      I was through Romance a couple of times this summer, almost a third time but never took any photos in the valley. That area was a bit further west than I rode through this time. I'll get a mid-May photo at our BMW GR3 event for sure.

  2. Coop:

    we don't have roads like this. All of our farmland is in the Fraser Delta either in the Fraser Valley or in Richmond. All formed by the silt from the Fraser River so we do not have your rolling hills. Most of our roads are in square grids so you are fortunate to have terrain and roads like in your photos.

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob, Scandinavian and northern European immigrants moved into these hills and farmed them, the best that they could. Where once there would have been a dozen small diversified farms in each valley, there may now be one or even none; the workland being run by a larger farm just as likely to be located up on the ridges. So, fewer farmsteads, fewer people, just as many roads.

      Part of my exploring is looking for and finding roads that once went through and no longer connect; the land reclaimed for crops or just left to return to woodland. Horse teams found value in steep, narrow shortcuts. Our cars and trucks don't mind the extra distance of minor go-arounds. Using old maps and clearings, I discover many driveways in adjacent valleys that once were connected up and over the top.

    2. The European immigrants must have felt right at home in Wisconsin (well, except for the strong winters, I guess) but we have these rolling hills as well, and you're backroad trip sometimes reminds me of corners in Germany I have traveled.

    3. Sonja, I'm sure that a big reason my German ancestors arrived here was because it was an environment that reminded them of home. Not everyone would have been comfortable, or able, to survive and prosper in these wooded hills and valleys.

  3. I love the rolling hills. It reminds me of riding our backroads in the fall or spring when the fields are all green. The new fall planting are sprouting up now so the fields look like chia fields dotted with sheep.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and trip report. It looks like you had a great time.

    1. I'm sure that it's not just me that finds these rolling hills comforting and interesting. At this time of year, the luscious greens mixed in with the drying browns and yellows provides a color palette that make these my favorite hues.

      I had hoped to take a week off in October but I'm more than satisfied with my long weekend.

  4. Great photos! I'm definitely going to need to explore more of Wisconsin.

    ...I suppose I should explore more of Minnesota first, though. ;)

    1. Thanks Lucky, you're well on your way. You've found Red Wing and seen what's directly across the river so you now know where the front door is. Next year you'll be entering the real riding.