Saturday, January 7, 2017

Another Very Cold Saturday Coffee

We're "enjoying" some typical January weather these days.  When I climbed in the van this morning at 5:15, the thermometer read -15 degrees F.  Out the driveway and down through the hollow before hitting the Big Highway, it dipped to -18.  Everyone will be relieved to know that by the time I made it to North Minneapolis, temps had soared to -1 and then later after the sun came out, when we were all full of coffee, the ambient went positive.

Note this lovely sunshine and how deceptively beautiful it looks there on Central Avenue.  Not sure why, probably due to the Urban Core location, but there's no snow.  Quite possibly Richard's boat-of-a-wagon and his surfboard on the top rack frightened all of the snow that was in the vicinity.

Richard's ready for the longer question about it!

I brought something for Show and Tell today; I won't call it funny but I can call it interesting and no, this was not from last week's newspaper.

 So I brought the newspaper clipping (found in dad's March 1951 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast Magazine) as my contribution.  Mike R. brought in this fantastic photo and we were told that it had been found in a 1913 camera catalog.

As you can tell, we accomplish a great deal with coffee mugs in hand.

Been a very busy time getting all of our extra merchandise peddled on the Auction Site....what a TON of work.  Researching, photographing, documenting, actually Listing, packaging, documenting and very finally, shipping.  Mom's (and my) Packratitis is at least partially paying off.  I almost don't have time to go to work, let alone spend time out in the shop.  That will have to change and soon; days are getting longer!  Eric's got his bike almost completely kitted out and I've not even changed oil.

While getting some of dad's old Enthusiast mags ready for auctioning, I came upon this story.  There's a lot of pretty cool old info in those '50's publications, especially some of the many "Club Gossip" notes that get published from M/C clubs the world over.  Even so, as you might guess, the travel stories are my favorite and this one really caught my eye.

Young Lee Davidson left Pittsburgh, PA......."What started merely as a fishing trip to New England and Canada, worked itself into a cross-country adventure through 28 of our fascinating states, covering some 10,500 miles over scenic highwaays and byways.  It all began with my discovery that my trim, but husky Harley Davidson 125 is truly built to "take it."

"Little time was spent in Philadelphia or New York City because of previous visits....."

"....It was in the Haliburton Highlands, a fisherman's paradise, that I enjoyed two weeks of fine fishing."

This part especially endearing......"pass alongside Lake Pepin and ride on into St. Paul, Minnesota.  By now, I realize how convenient it is traveling on a motorcycle.  With my 125, I just pull off the road and investigate anything I find interesting."

"....Also in Billings we visit HD Dealer Fred C. Olson, chiefly to replace a faulty spark plug.  Mr. Olson lends encouragement in my plan to try the new road over the Beartooth Mountains into Yellowstone Park."

"....a black bear is nonchalantly munching a box of raisins from out of my pack.  Yelling at the bear has no effect so I drop back to sleep."

San Francisco, L.A., the Grand Canyon, Raton Pass, Dodge City, K.C., Hannibal, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh.

"And the 125 is economical: For fuel only I spent $25.48 in traveling 7,737.1 miles."

Just imagine what he'd have accomplished on a 200!

The coolest part of all....his license plate reads B52.


Finally, we get to the wildlife secion of this Post, today in our Crab Apple tree...
No turkeys, no deer beneath but instead, two very pretty pheasants.

Hope your January is going well and stay warm!!


  1. -15°F and no snow. Something is wrong with your weather.

    1. Richard,
      We've only got a few inches around here. Over the holidays a couple of above freezing days with rain made most of what we had go away. I'm sure there will be more soon.

  2. The almost 70 year old travel story hasn't lost its attraction to this day. Who would not want to go on such a great adventure... great find!

    Getting hurt or killed by target practicing... scary!

    1. Sonja, I think that HD was always more than ready to publish stories about their small machines; the big ones were taking care of themselves. In only a couple of years worth of these Enthusiasts there have been a few 125 travel stories, one story where 3 guys left the Midwest, 2 of them on 125's and one brave young man on a motorized bicycle. The bike made it west as far as the Black Hills.

  3. I couldn't imagine riding along minding my own business and getting shot. Damn.

    Thank you for always sharing these old stories.

    1. Luckily we aren't hearing about this sort of thing any longer. I know the area there quite well and for it to be an accident seems very implausible.

  4. Great stories from back in the day....not quite ATGATT back then, were they? :)

    As to that rider getting shot while just riding by....what kind of fool shoots towards a roadway?

    1. Dom,
      If those shooters were in fact just target practicing, it's hard to imagine that any of their trajectories would have reached the bridge. The Mendota Bridge mentioned spans high and long above the Minnesota River Valley. In other words, shots hitting the roadway would almost have to be pointed up rather than over.

      Millions of people have crossed that bridge since then and I don't remember ever hearing about any shootings. Much of that area along the river is now a State Park and shooting there is verboten.