Friday, October 3, 2014

Slimey Crud Weekend - October 2014

Jim and I had made plans to try a camping, riding weekend this time.  Last weekend we had temps in the low 80's and while I was hauling the TW200 down today behind the van, the radio folks were talking about sleet and snow for sections in central Minnesota.  A big cold front was coming through, bringing high winds and cold moisture.

Due to the weather we decided to pull the plug on our planned trip.  This morning I looked again at a forecast that seemed a bit more moderate and unwilling to cancel my entire plan, I booked a motel room and left home this morning.  Arriving at around noon, I checked in, unloaded the bike and took off.  Our camping area had been around Richland Center but the motel I booked is a place I've stayed many times before.  Planned GPS Routes had been created for the Richland area to the west.  Today I turned the old Quest2 on and followed my nose.  I hadn't gone very far before deciding that I'd cross Wisconsin Lake on the State of Wisconsin's Ferry at Merrimac.  I've used the DOT ferry before with various bikes but I don't remember ever having crossed before with the TW200.

North Freedom was one of the places visited on the way and once in town, I realized that though having been close before, I'd never stopped at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum.

Decorated for autumn.....

A popular tourist destination, the museum was very quiet this Friday afternoon.

The Depot........

An old SOO rail car......

Brilliant and bright leaf color on Freedom Road....

Happy Hill Road, the photo doesn't do this road's colors justice.

I wonder if Sonja will let me get away with calling these old Roman ruins.....on Happy Hill Road?

I crossed the Ice Age Trail numerous times and in numerous places today.

Waiting in line for the ferry at Merrimac........

The Big Yellow Line (Full Load) on the pavement 30ft. behind me, signifying the ferry's car capacity for each trip.

On the south side, after my crossing, the ferry full and heading back to Merrimac.

This Rustic Road, #110 came as a surprise.  When I last was pursuing the extensive list of Wisconsin Rustic Roads, there were only 109.

I rode down to Lodi, filled with gas and had a cup of coffee to take the chill off.  It seemed that every student in town was in uniform.....parents and families hustling everywhere and getting ready for a parade.  Must have been Homecoming?

Just west of Lodi, one of the afternoon's quick showers popped up, this one a bit more serious than those I'd already ridden through.  Harder rain, stronger wind and gradual cooling all afternoon were changing conditions quickly.  Wouldn't you know, just as the harder rain started, I discovered that I was on some thick pea gravel.  Visibility was not great and the pea gravel came as a surprise.

Chrisler and Van Ness.......

I took the ferry again, this time going north.....into the strong wind.....while another fast moving blast of drizzle dropped over the river.  I happened to end up right in front, into the wind, the ferry punching through the white-caps with lots of splashing.  Anticipating the spray, I left the bike and walked back two car-lengths.  It was almost but not quite enough; the wind was catching gallons of spray.

Another Ice Age Trail Crossing........this photo captured one of the bright blue sky moments.  There were a few,  making the afternoon a real mix of the darkest grey's and some very blue openings.

Back through Baraboo and a stop at The Meat Market.......another store's products to sample.

Rain and snow predicted overnight, low 30's and snow at 6AM.....might be a later ride start tomorrow.  It felt very good to get back inside late this afternoon.


  1. Doug that saddle doesn't look very comfortable for a long-ish ride. Nice bike though. I'm assuming it takes on pea gravel with sure-footed aplomb.

    1. David, you'd be right about the seat (my others as well) not looking comfortable. I guess I take them for granted in a way, probably because any of my long-ish rides involve lots of stopping to the point that I don't even notice uncomfortable.

  2. Beautiful ride, lovely fall photos although I seem to feel the chilly air coming through.

    And... there is no way that I am letting you get away with that, Coop. ;-)
    If you had said Vikings... well alright.

    1. I quit yesterday about 5:30; the cold was beginning to cut through.

      :) I have to believe that what we're looking at is the old foundation of a round barn and you are correct, Vikings way the Romans.

  3. Smart move booking the hotel room.

    It looks like a lovely day on the bike. I really enjoyed the rail museum pics.