Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Halloweeny Afternoon

It's been a good day....a high of 45 degrees wasn't troublesome in the slightest. 

Things started early today, an audiobook and coffee to begin.  Before and during refills, our owl was hooting up behind the barn.  Once daylight arrived, I was out working on the plow truck's charging system.  A plow truck that stalls and abruptly dies when the electric winch raises the front blade isn't really very winterized.

THAT problem now solved; the past couple of weeks' troubleshooting finally paid off.  These machines work really well when everything is shiny and new.

While in town to pick up some odds and ends, the empty cat food bin outside forced a town trip today that I'd hoped could wait one more day.  It's not like Percy and Moesha couldn't do with a week or two of fasting....but now they won't have to.  Chad, his wife and son were there for a very chance meeting.  I had no idea that they keep a boat in the local marina.  Nice to meet your lovely family Chad and the kind customer refilling everyone's cup I'm sure enjoyed Michael's "thank you."

Early afternoon there was an almost unheard of nap and I'll make no apologies for it.  Often thought about but very seldom executed.  I decided that today would be special.

The garage has been a disaster, I've not been kidding when I've justified which bike to ride based on how close it is to the big door.  The shelves are again doing what they were supposed to be doing and our dumpster is a lot heavier than it was this morning.

I've got it in my head that the TW200 will see some slow, most likely very cool miles yet this season so a couple of hours ago, I kicked it twice, it ran and I did a very slow exploration of the property's perimeter, riding on some very soft ground and trying to stay in between the harvested corn row stubble.  Another week and the creatures will all be hiding.

So the machines are shuffled, the TW200 right in front as is the ST2 which hopefully will get me to the Swan event next Sunday.

It was pumpkin carving day, I was fortunate enough (stuck with the task ) to carve Peg's and my own  She went with a more conventional design which I did my best to carve, mine was a simpler and more efficient little green man that was orange.....a space creature.  I'm getting a lot of pushback from the family disputing both my choice and artistic definition.

Lauren's owl was a lot better than mine in every way......

One of the Harry Potter's was on in the background, I have no idea which one.  I do know that there are little Harry Potter's and big Harry Potter's.  Today's was kind of an in between Harry Potter if I'm any sort of judge.

The seeds are and soon will have been quite tasty.

Have a Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Would Have Been A Shame to Waste It

No way was I going to let that happen today!

We had an end of October afternoon at 70 most wonderful degrees.  I managed an early and productive morning, cutting that priority project a bit shorter than I would have had we been living with a more normal almost-November day's weather.

Conditions were near magical; the strong SW wind made distant valley views almost gauzy with the warmer and wetter air.

Stopped for coffee at the Co-Op, just happened to grab this photo when there weren't trucks and wagons dumping corn.

The last time I was here, Hootie, Eric and Ben were along......way too long ago.  I've got to make sure this is a more frequent destination.

On gravel here, my road ahead down in the dip and climbing the corner on the other side of the valley.

Another distant corner in my path........

From the far east end of Blank Hill Road......

What kind of a magnificent afternoon would it be without a Rum Cherry??

Time to get home....on the Minnesota side of the river.

Not sure if I'll get out again this weekend or not.  November 6 is the MN Swan Ride and it's mandatory that I make that one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

VJMC Annual October Gathering

Chip was kind enough to once again host the MN VJMC October event in Mpls.  Once again fooled by the predicted weather, Sunday dawned bright, windy and with the promise of low 60's.  It was that way when I mounted the '82 Honda 400A but before I got very far, a dark and very solid bank of clouds blew in and blew in they did!  A strong wind from the NW (headwind) was almost too much for the Honda and was the exactly wrong type of riding condition that promotes good fuel economy.

I left home with 67 miles on the trip meter which would have been about a gallon's worth based on our sedate Slimey Crud riding conditions.  Sunday into the wind, the roads had higher limits and the wind was relentless.

On top of that I had foolishly neglected to not only wear but bring an additional layer.  Why was that necessary on a sunny 62 degree day between the hours of 1-4??  The 'Bib would have done me nicely and I actually meant to bring it along.  I was at the end of the driveway, a total of 970 feet from the garage when I remembered, then told my self, "not necessary."

Big mistake.

Though it wasn't like I would be making the 75 mile trip in one swoop.  It was the wind that guaranteed that.  I filled in Red Wing, 10 miles from home and about half way there, had to quickly flip to Reserve.  Stopping in Hastings, 23 miles later, I had to tack (and quite literally tach) my way to avoid heading dead into the strong wind.  .7 gallons for a truly economical not quite 33 MPG.  I stopped again right on the border between St. Paul and its Twin, Minneapolis at 34 miles for another fill, this time taking .9 gallons for an improved 38 MPG.

That fill took me home, wind at my back, I'm sure an average speed of 60-67 MPH.

I didn't stay long, just long enough to say hello, get something to eat, snap a few photos and get WARM.  There was a quiz once we broke up into groups about historical Japanese motorcycle facts and figures.....I was totally out of my league around those many experts.  Now if they'd have asked me the best, not necessarily the shortest route between Alma and Arcadia, I'd have ripped that one off in seconds.

It would be another strong hour and a half home which took a bit longer when I stopped once more in Hastings for a 20 ounce very hot coffee.

Some images......

Thanks Chip!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Squeezing In Some More.....


I was out after work again......I'll bet only the 3rd and possibly the 4th time I've done a weekday ride all season.  Another "it was too nice not to" justification.  This was Tuesday.

The KLR only because it was right in front and more minutes wasted moving, air pressure checks (certain adjustments), etc. only would have wasted the quickly falling temperatures and precious daylight.

Saturday morning I had to 'open' Diamond's all by my lonesome......Mike and I normally wait for and watch the door unlocking process but he abandoned me this week for a trip to Omaha.

My brother was there with his brandy new '17 HD, Stage 3 kit already making the required extra brake horsepower.

I didn't stay long; we're still busy getting mom's house emptied and organized.  October afternoons STILL allow time for riding however, so that's what I did.

Not sure the last time that I stopped here but it was many years ago.  A Public Boat Landing on the Zumbro River, these old bridge abutments once upon a time carried very busy Highway 61 traffic south from central Minnesota.

Much if not the vast majority of computing power in the Coop household will soon be dedicated to tabulating this season's Pie Chart.

Stay already mentioned, "I'm not done yet."

'might even be some more additions today.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Some Autumn Riding

The structured Rally Weekends have reached their end and now that we're in October, it's every ride for itself.  Last Saturday I got out for less than a couple of quick hours, Sunday a week ago I did a bit better.  Yesterday's ride topped last Sunday's and today's adventure beat them all with not only the longest amount of time spent on the bike but with the nicest weather by far.

If I could blame the infestation of Nasty Beetles upon our political season I sure would but that won't work; the bugs have been with us these last few years and are pain in my proverbial butt.  We've had our cool weather and now some really nice warm weather.  Somehow, some way, the little pests are out seeking moisture, or so I'm told.  I'd be riding with my face shield open but time and time again today, I was reminded about how futile that can be.  Stopped for coffee in Independence and a woman there complained that she had tried "laying out"  (resting prone in the yard to soak up the last of the seasons rays of sun) and literally ran for the house.  I simply don't get how you helmetless riders can even stand it.

OTHERwise, it has been fantastic riding!!

The 2nd weekend in October's rides were both on the black Yamaha scooter, Saturday's miles around Lake Pepin.  On Sunday I wandered across the river towards but not quite reaching Baldwin, then west to River Falls and home again.

Now you know.....

This round barn is (was) one of the few remaining in the neighborhood.

Yesterday (Saturday the 15th) I was again on the Morphous, the area explored primarily Buffalo County and never very far from the Mississippi River.  Today I had the KLR probing further north and east in Buffalo County, duplicating some of the roads that had been run yesterday.  I discovered more than once that totally by accident I was running some of my favorite ones from the other direction.  I'm sure that I'll say it's amazing how different they look doing them backwards.

From the bluffs above Lake City (hadn't crossed the river yet), Lake Pepin wrapped around the two points that jut out into this wide spot in the Mississippi, Point No Point and Frontenac St. Park and our neighborhood on the horizon.

Now Wisconsin.....

Buffalo River near Tell.....

Had the DSLR today with only the 50mm lens....swans on this flooded area of the Buffalo River.

I didn't try but there are truck tracks between the sign and green bike.

Bedding already baled.....

Steeper here than it looks....

The harvest operation here caught my eye......corn is a row crop, at least here in the Midwest it is.  Normally as the combine/cornhead are moving through the field, the stalks are as obedient as soldiers, all tipping forward in unison as the points on the cornhead sneak between the rows.  He's not going with the grain here, rather against it.  Moving slow, the head's points are establishing their own rows and the dried stalks are jumping willy nilly in every direction as the gathering chains snap off the stalks.  As I remember it, some machines (designs) were more adept at this than others.

Another 'caught my eye' here and I saw it most everywhere.....This cornfield was chopped which means the corn was cut before it was dried; a certain amount of moisture is still present and the corn intentionally ferments (is not supposed to happen with much drier shelled corn) as silage.  Silage takes the entire plant, corn harvested for grain separates the stalk, cobs, leaves, etc. from the tiny kernel, keeping only the grain.  With our very wet fall season, most all of the chopped fields are growing healthy crops of very green grass.

I had time to wait and didn't mind taking it........

County "Q".....If I had to pick 5 of my favorite 20, this one would be in that group.

See my road tipping up just to the left of the barn's top?

It would seem that I need faster, more powerful machines.  I must be stuck in the 30's though I did manage to surpass my last reading of 35......

Autumn is by far my favorite season, this Post shares some strong hints as to why.

I'm not done yet for the season and I say that with serious conviction.