Friday, January 30, 2015

Bet You Didn't Know

Up until a week ago, most of what I knew of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) I learned from Lorelai and Rory (Emily too).  A few Octobers ago I stopped along highway US 56, just a couple of miles west of Council Grove, KS to get a better look at this monument.

Santa Fe Trail   1822 - 1872   Marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the State of Kansas 1906

Early this week while on business, driving in northern MN I just happened upon this sign.  Already behind schedule on my way up, I didn't take the time to stop but did when business was complete and I was on my way back home.

Forests?  DAR Forests??

From the DAR Forests website.......
In 1939, the President General, Mrs. Henry M. Robert, chose the Penny Pine program as one of her Golden Jubilee National Projects. Each state was to have a memorial forest, beginning in 1939 and culminating in 1941 on the NSDAR 50th Anniversary. Each chapter across the country was to pledge, at the very least, one acre of pine seedlings. Five dollars an acre at a penny each equals 500 trees. The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC), under the supervision of the U.S. Forestry Service, would do the actual work of planting and care.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the CCC in 1933 to solve two problems. It would offer employment to Americans age 18-26, who were out of work because of the failing economy, and it would help the National Forests that were in deplorable condition due to over-harvesting, devastating fires, and little replanting. The CCC would revitalize our National Forests and employ millions of young people.
With new assistance from the CCC, the National Forest Service started its program of replanting and growing pines in National nurseries throughout the country. These pines would be sold to organizations and individuals for a penny each to help share with the cost of the project - hence the popular term Penny Pines. It was patriotic and popular enough that stores and post offices set up buckets for people to put pennies into, and that's how the NSDAR became involved. Some of the states could not participate due to prolonged droughts in their state and the National Forest Service recommended planting many large trees on private lands.

Each state's forest is described on the website, this for the forest I was standing in that day....

DAR State Forest was established in 1929 when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated 1,020 acres to the Commonwealth. Almost 750 additional acres have been acquired since then, including Upper and Lower Highland Lakes. The forty-acre Minnesota DAR Memorial State Forest is on the state map located in Pine City in Pine County in the quad known as Askov Lookout Tower.  The forest was dedicated in 1941. Today there is a half-mile road and overnight camping facilities.

I've been digging in and learning more about the DAR this week; an interesting organization and mission.

So there you have it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Wealth Of Riches

The other day a copy of an area newsletter was sent to me, jogging my memory of an afternoon I spent in September back in 2009.  It was a Saturday and a result of something I'd seen on my way home from work the day before.  South from the Twin Cities, just into Red Wing, I met 4 or 5 Vincent motorcycles.  Now meeting 4 or 5 (even 40 or 50) H.D. twins would have been a normal occurrence but 4 or 5 of those H.R.D.'s??

After some online poking around, I found out that a gathering was taking place a couple of towns away so on Saturday, I fired up the Helix and headed west.  A wonderful bonus that day was that friends Walter and Elaine showed up as well, they on another twin but theirs was a big V Yamaha.

This one was more in the spirit of things than my yellow one was.......

I have no idea how many parts make up a put-together Vincent but let's just say 1000 for a round number.  When I first arrived, 750 of them on this guy's bike were spread out on the parking lot.  Most everything by this time was back in place.

Leaning different ways.......


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Coffee And Ridin'

A mild January morning here, 29.7 degrees F as I'm typing, a flawless pre-dawn sky and as reported by the same people that are dividing our degrees up in to tenths of those smaller "F" degrees, a "waning crescent, 6% visible" moon.  Just back from getting gas in the plow truck, I can attest that it's a lovely morning.  It would be a lovely morning for a bike ride, other than the harsh reality of that 29.7 degrees F part and our very icy driveway.

My cup is here next to me, full, hot and after coming in from parking the truck, it felt really nice having my fingers wrapped around the big mug.  I've not felt well the best part of a week now and have spent far too much time lying down, staying warm and quiet.  Naturally, thoughts of (warm) riding and coffee are easy to come by, especially easy for me early on a Sunday morning.

Almost exactly three years ago I Posted about a Coffee Ride that happened 5 short years ago.  That one found a group of us gathering on Washington Island, just about the northern most point of Door County, Wisconsin.  It was officially a coffee gathering and truer by definition for my friends that rode up from the Chicago/Milwaukee area since most if not all of those folks came up for the day.  I went over for a long weekend (something I feel absolutely no shame about) and we all had a great time, day trip or not.

This morning though, my mind wandered back to C.R.'s that were more normal, i.e. out early and home before the rest of the family was awake :)  Memory took me back to August of '09, a lovely late summer day.  Of course my ride that day started before sunrise on the Helix, Ultimate Touring Machine.

At the Minnesota/Iowa border marker, New Albin, Iowa.  It was too early to stop for my favorite jerky, so that had to wait until I was on my way home.

Early morning, summer fog.....just imagining that warmer wet air is feeling good!

I pretty much followed my normal path to downtown Dubuque, Cafe Manna Java our destination.....  Hwy 26, Iowa Cr-X52, Hwy 76, X56, US 52 into Guttenberg.  No I didn't stop for ice cream but if it had been later in the day.....wait, I DID stop later in the day.  South on a short stretch of US52 before turning on to the world famous C9Y through Balltown to Sageville and finally to downtown Dubuque.  It seems that I've almost worn these roads out following the Mississippi down the east coast of Iowa but no worries, there's simply no danger of that.

We found it.  Surprisingly enough, many of those same characters that gathered on Washington Island for coffee back in '10 were thirsty enough to make this trip as well.!

Naturally the yellow one finds its place among the other Ultimate Touring Machines.

Filled with coffee, most everyone decided to swing north out of town and ride that aforementioned famous C9Y.....some of us quite a bit more rushed than others.

There was a stop at the overlook in Balltown.....

Another one at Pike's Peak State Park......

Most everyone else had come over from Wisconsin and Illinois; Don was the only Iowa rider as I recall and I the only one from MN.  Heading back north, I for the most part took the same route though did make more stops than I had on the way down.

Never stopping before at the Heitman Landing, this was the trip to remedy that problem.

This very green carpet is not really.

410 miles for the day and though I don't remember for sure, it was entirely possible that it was time for another cup.