Sunday, February 23, 2014

What To Call This One?

Tired would be accurate; tired and still sore this Sunday morning.  Friday's effort with the driveway was humbling with the F350.  The rain that had turned to ice and then 8" of new blowing snow on top of everything brought us conditions that left our driveway in its worst shape in the 20+ years we've been rural.

Before we get to the bad news, here's the lovely sunrise good news, at least some very pretty news from yesterday morning.  Normally when our woods get this winter colorful, there are (and they remain) warm temperatures, either that or very heavy fog.  Thursday night's storm left us with a quick freeze and as such, even today, 60 hours later, our poor living woody plants are carrying loads they weren't meant for.

Saturday morning, sunrise time behind the house.  The doe was out, ready for some morning sun and waiting for her friends up in the woods......then never ventured out into the open, soon this one turned around and joined them.  I was getting coffee'd up and gathering courage to finish the rest of the driveway using the snowblower.

Even the moon came out to face the sun, funny how the moon does that......

Friday afternoon's snow removal effort managed to clear an area up by the house and I started down the driveway, but things didn't go well.  The rain that came early put down a layer that reached up and iced the first few inches of snow after it got colder.  (there are 3 vehicles in this image)

Walking down behind the snowblower in this photo and out to the area that I had to stop on Friday afternoon, retreating back to the house, this almost an uh-oh happened when I got the truck a bit off the driveway and into the pampas grass.......the truck got itself out.  It would have been a bad one.

50 feet beyond this one I did the same thing on the other side of the drive.  Trying to open things up and get wider, the truck got off the edge into a No Plow zone.  The truck managed to wiggle out of this one too.

Notice the wet spot ahead, water flowing under the snow that once exposed from the plow, turned to ice.  The little chunks across the width of where I'd plowed the day before are a bad sign for those of you that don't plow everyday.....little ice balls rather than a nice clean shear from the plow's blade.  Just barely around the corner ahead was where I stopped with the Ford F350 and will now begin with the Craftsman 9hp/28inch.

 I've worked my way around the corner, down across the concrete slab (where the wet spot is) and begun the slow and arduous notch up to the road.  I will let good old gravity help me once up there, working down the slope from the road and do small sections.  Notice that I'm not really able to scrape down to the previous hard surface; there's a couple inches of crunchy beneath that I'm leaving and will get later with the truck.  Those of you with extensive 'blower experience will know what this means and will understand the exercise I'm about to receive.

I looked back at the photo data and will time stamp these images, this one is 9:24

See those 4" thick sheets on top?  The ones higher than the blower housing that continue to crumble off and fall after I've passed??

Here we are up on the road at 10:10, me very proud, Gold Medal proud, though bracing for the worst part yet to come.  Note the snow fence down there, now a hidden decoration.


Back to the house for more fuel

I managed to disturb the Mode wheel on the camera getting it out of my pocket and picked a B/W shot.  11:44, feeling only a bit of relief.  This section is historically the very worst.

 12:24, no breaks or stops, now I'm down to the serious part.  It's a good thing snow removal is a hobby of mine.  My Forward/Reverse shift count at this point was 437, 687 +/- 20

Now it's 1:10, I've busted through the ditch area and gone back up to the corner where I had to stop with the Ford.  Tons of snow have been removed but the lane is far from 'clear' with lots of snow beside and still below.

In for lunch at 1:50 and then into the truck at 2:30 where I can sit down and my noodley feeling arms can turn a wheel, run a joystick instead of yank on handlebars.  It's a walk-behind snow blower but it's far from just walking.

Cleaning  off the access for our USPS Carrier, widening and scraping clean the rest of the driveway, opening up some extra width wherever I can get it.

I'm thinking about picking up a new hobby.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

We'll Miss You Gene

1943-2014.......Rest In Peace buddy

Lake Joy, the place where I first met Gene

Rallies just won't be the same

Friday, February 21, 2014


The Blizzard Warning was issued early by the Weather Service, early enough for me to head for work yesterday 3 hours early and to leave work 5 hours early.  Driving home from work before noon in some hard rain, I was home in time for the rain/snow to turn into real snow.

Our lights blinked, then we lost power for a bit last night.  Luckily, it wasn't for long.  A representative from the local power company was on the radio this morning reporting that there were 50K households at the peak of power loss.  There was heat and light through the night.  The wind is really blowing this morning and the wires are laden with ice......things could still go dark.

What looked like soft, pretty snow on the cars, the tractor, the railings, etc., etc. has the consistency of those freezer glaciers, the ones reminding us that it's time to defrost.  I got out one of our steel shovels; there's simply no way to scrape the top layer off.  If you can't get down to the base, there's no way you'll penetrate the pile part way down.

I was out after dark to give the kitties some 'desert' and in the short time I was out, heard pops up in the woods of tree limbs giving way.

Based on radio reports, what and where I walked around, I'm guessing we gained about 8 inches.  Without my meteorological degree, I'll have to guess; the drifting once again makes it hard to know.  I do know there are too many deep spots.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Feb 15, 2014 and even better, some Other

Our Valentine's Day was modest as celebrations go; my celebration started when I left work early Friday afternoon in order to make the appointment with my favorite doctor; that visit went very well.  Directly from there, I met Peg for dinner.

The chicken is good, maybe our favorite though now that I'm thinking about it, I'm a huge fan of the chops as well.  The ribs a few weeks ago while our Marine was home were a big bunch of delightful and last night's steak/salmon combo did what it could to challenge my past favorites.  We may need to return for a more final verdict; the Oak wood will still be burning.

Their phone number says it all.......651-388-YUMM

We've got some midday horizontal snow today ( that we absolutely do not need) so I've been busy in the heated shop working on bike #1, that number signifying the first one to get its winter 'check-up'.  The Yamaha is in getting warm, down on the floor unlike the lifted SL100, staged to be #2.

For the above mentioned "Other", I wind back my clock to a May 15 weekend in 2009.  The green on the old Honda is nice but I was desperate for some color shades of hues more Natural.  Here are some greens, some yellow-greens that will (hopefully) be returning soon.

Willow Springs Road

 Badger Hollow....

 My quest that weekend was to cover a small few of Wisconsin's Rustic Roads of which there are now over 110.  This is #70 just outside of Stitzer, WI......Liberty Ridge. 

Hill Road, heading east, the middle section of RR#70 (#70 one of my favorites so far).

A couple of good but jumpy videos were taken along Sleepy Hollow (no clutch noise, that only happens when the clutch is disengaged) but it's become too cumbersome to include them in the Blog.  After the lovely section on Sleepy Hollow, I stopped here at Lovers Lane and Lower Mifflin Road to smell the .......dandelions.  I knew there would be a Valentine's Day reference in here somewhere.

RR#75, Bromley Road

Moundview Road, West Mound in the distance.  This is Wisconsin Guzzi Rally country......Lake Joy campground is not far away.

RR#99 near Potosi.

Downtown Potosi at the brewery.

 Potosi Point that juts out into the wide Mississippi River; Iowa in the distance.

Out at the end of the Point, looking back towards Potosi and the rest of Wisconsin.

Another one....Rustic Road #66.....Kennedy Road

Apple River, IL at the ball field, stopped for a snack and a some water.

One last RR for the ride, # 94 Skinner Hollow and County J

So, it's May and this is rural Wisconsin......I stopped for coffee and a cookie, then noticed a guy carrying these plastic bags from one of the coolers out to his car, this a part of 105lb harvested on that Friday, kept in the cooler at The Natural Bridge Country Store in Rockbridge.  These were to be packed in one pound Ziplocks, then Sunday afternoon were on their way to Madison, each bag for sale at $15.  Need to add that these were all picked by one guy and his son, not an army of hunters the way I seem to find them.

Come on May......the two wheelers and I are ready for you or will be soon!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Miles Ridden 2013

My mileage was way down last year and in looking back it seems that I mostly did my usual rallies.  While at those rallies for the most part I rode less and talked more.  I'm hoping to ride more next season while not changing "talk time" and will leave it at that as explanation.

Something I will take pride in is the fairly equal distribution......I have a couple favorite machines but that doesn't really pop out on the chart.  :)

Here's the data intensive breakdown........

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Almost Key West

This weekend is the annual Cabin Fever event at Scooterville in Minneapolis.  Tradition has it that we gather as usual at Diamond's for coffee early and then head downtown to be tempted by a warm showroom full of new and colorful scooters.

It felt mild this morning at 5:30 when I climbed in the car to head up to Minneapolis.  The thermometer in the car said +2 and I just knew it was going to be a good day.  Our new car (the one with the heated seats) has satellite radio and during what's left of the Sirius free promotion, I listened to the Jimmy Buffet Channel all the way to the city.  I'm not in actuality much of a Land Shark but hey, a guy can dream.....and I did get to feel quite warm, what with the lyrics of "Let's Get Drunk and ......".  I even started imagining that the piles of snow everywhere might just be sand.  So yes, the miles went by quickly and with a smile, parts of me at least very toasty.

I stopped for gas and for the first time in a few weeks, the car got washed though too much of the 6" of new snow we plowed through Thursday in the driveway on the way home was still stuck in the grill.  I guess "Touchless" wasn't meant to handle packed in grill snow.  I went out to once again in what has of late seemed like a daily ritual, open up the driveway right after we got home that evening and laughed about the dragging tracks the car had left on the entire 1000' of our private road.  At least I had been able to park the car where I wanted it.....out of the way and in front of the garage.

Enough about snow.....back to Key West and other warm subjects. This is what the parking lot at Scooterville looked like when we got there.

But first, it was 7AM coffee Diamond's and turnout was good.  As Mike said, there were even some new lies today, I'd guess probably due to it being a new month.  Of course Paul rode, it is February after all.

Early turnout was light at Scooterville when they opened but it did get better as the morning went on.  My car thermometer at that time was reading a very balmy +18, affirmation of my ensemble today, my trusty Scooterville T-shirt.

This lovely Italian woman was sort of there.....we're always glad that she is.

and naturally Flo was there; she shows up most everywhere there are 2 wheels it seems.

There were Stella's, both 2 stroke and 4, Buddy's, People's, Downtown's....there were a bunch of these and others.

Don't tell anyone but this used 200i Like really caught my eye.....I did NOT bring it home however.  Three years ago, a Hyosung GT250R did follow me home from this event.

The Vespa's were lined up along the front window.

Just as I was walking out, Dick showed up.  Rick, Tim and Kraig not long before had arrived together; these guys all members of a Twin Cities scooter group that I've ridden with.  Rick was the former owner of my black Morphous.....he's now got another scooter for sale, an Italian one but I'm so far saying "no".

Bright and shiny things everywhere.....Mike was there as well.