Sunday, April 28, 2019

85 Miles Backwards

Well it wasn't 85, more like 60 today since I chopped the last part off.

Correction, I chopped the first part off.

Almost always, in fact, I don't think I remember a time when I did the "85 Miles of Gravel" ride clockwise before.  Maybe it did happen though certainly wasn't the norm.  It was because of that today's decision was made to do it the other way around. Only 3 Minimum Maintenance roads instead of 4, it was a good ride nevertheless.  I've ridden part of the ride more times than I've completed the entire loop and that's OK.  A process open to interpretation.

Gets the job done....

Another Minnesota County road "Pavement Ends"....

Too much glare....

The frost this winter was very hard on some of our roads.  These ruts and this huge soft spot could catch a rider unawares......luckily I was on a Trailways 200 Yamaha.

Hay Creek, a favorite with the SE Minnesota trout anglers.

Pavement for people, dirt for horses..... the State Trail follows an old rail right of way that followed the Hay Creek valley from Red Wing south to Zumbrota.  Plagued with washed out trestles and other market forces, the line was eventually abandoned.

Another State Forest area that we once upon a time rode our machines through, now hikers and horses ONLY.

The old kiln.....

In the old Red Wing Pottery factory building, this valve on top of an old boiler.

Once again (becoming a bad habit) I went with excellent intentions for fruit pie and then stopped with the Chicken Pot.  There quite simply was no room for anything sweet.

 I've mentioned numerous times that if only the TW's were 300cc instead of 200cc, they'd be perfect for what I do the most of.  Had they been a bit larger, my garage would not have been as full as it is.

Wait....wait, I take back that last part!!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Three More

Every day now and it's been quite literally weeks...."Severe Weather - Flood Warning - Mississippi River Flooding.....".   The river goes down then it creeps right back up again and this cycle has repeated I don't know how many times.

Yesterday we started getting 2 "Severe Weather" alerts, this new one a Dire Snowfall scare.  Thursday afternoon it was lovely, an afternoon doctor appointment was hard on any early evening rides.  Friday was definitely cooler and I was out on the Helix for a short one later in the afternoon, stopping up in Memorial Park (gates open now) to take a look at bridge progress.  The flooding Mississippi is making bridge work very challenging.

This morning.....there were a few wind-driven flakes but thankfully we never got the 8" they'd been warning us about.  Yes, the river is still flooding.

Wet and cool, I was in the garage a good part of the day.  This afternoon the wind slowed, the sun came out and the world wasn't such a bad place after all.

All three had been ridden hard and put away wet when stored last fall, the Hyosung was the next one in the stack.  Only a few cranks and it fired, then never faltered.  I'm old and fat but we'll be together at the very least one more season and I can't wait to get some real time on it. As I've said countless times, "I really like that motor."  It is a joy to ride the thing.

Next was Raggedy Anne; the old girl has had a hard life and it shows but it's such a blast to ride.  Uncle G had it, didn't ride it much and it spent the majority of its life in a humid milkhouse.  I kicked it through a few times first; it took a bit to get the gas flowing.  If I'd have known this morning what would happen this afternoon, I'd have turned the petcock on and starting would have been almost summerish.......I'm willing to wager the point.  My soft bags over the seat and a duffel, it deserves to see another rally.

Finally, the Mule.  Nearly a miracle, 2nd KICK and RUNning!!!  Sitting for a couple of weeks which is typical, it never starts that fast unless it has run yesterday.  If I'd have turned this one's gas on one earlier it would have been running before I had my slippers off.

Very strong possibility that tomorrow at least one of these will get some more of my attention.

It will not be Detailing attention.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Breakfast On Easter

We had plans but they changed, so a ride was in order....a food ride to be exact, something I've been trying to get ready for during the Off Season.  Since my new 2019 State Park Pass was fresh and new, I thought it would be fun to visit another park that I hadn't been to for a long while, namely Nerstand Woods State Park.

The secret is cutting it very thin....this from the Dollar Store.  I had some of the Minnesota brand at home, no detectable difference.  Hard to beat the convenience and no ice required, a major goal.

In my past, I've done a lot of cooking over wood'll come back to me; I know what to do, I just need to do it.  Fire Management is key with these stoves, even this larger size demands full attention.  My camera jumped in to some Video-all-the-time mode and I cannot kouldn't get it to stop....must have been a Function button that I have forgotten how to use.  Photography suffered as did my fire.  Finally a Factory Reset got us back on track but not until after most of the food preparation had finished.

It was windy and everywhere, everything was soaked.  We had 3.6" of rain the other day, neighbors not all that far away had 6".  Conditions were a factor. :)

There is NO better coffee than AeroPress coffee, especially so in the bush!  When I want it Grand at home, it's not Drip for me, it's AeroPress all the way!!

Pour in the water, not boiling, 190-200 degrees is just about right.  Boiling water burns the beans or so I'm told.  Pour it in, let it seep.....



Cap unscrews, filter and grounds dispose....

Stove, base, etc. folds up in the black pouch.

My first time and some lessons learned.  I had too much stuff along, redundancy intentional because I wasn't trusting myself to make it all work.  Next time, more focus and a smaller kit.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Minnesota Motorcycle State Park Annual

We had frost Saturday morning and I used it as an excuse to not ride, instead drive to coffee at Diamond's.

Mike was there at 7 as was I and by the time we left for our monthly Moto Guzzi Breakfast, there were many more machines out front.

Later, Brian's nice V7 in the breakfast parking lot...

Ron was there, feeling and looking good, anxious for his first time back on a bike after the incident.  He's looking forward to our Grand Marais rally more than any of the rest of us....a Good Thing.  After our filling breakfast and rally talk, I was anxious to take care of my loaded-van errands, get home and get on a bike.  There was no plan other than to stop at one of the State Parks to get my annual pass, something I've been trying to do, even when I might not plan multiple park visits during a season; the program deserves support.  Five dollars less than an Auto Pass, it's a card I carry in my wallet and works on whatever machine I'm using for that day's visit.

It brightens up my ol' wallet too, the Card I was after.

I stopped at Carley State Park but there's only a Self Serve stay for the day kiosk and that was Ok because I needed a good excuse to visit nearby Whitewater State Park.  We hadn't been there since a Mom's Day many years ago.

Explored this Dead End first though....

The effects of Logging and Agriculture on an already fragile valley floor.

Now one of the picnic areas, when I was a youngster, this was the campground.  Long since moved, the new campground is much larger and downstream a piece.  Back in the day, this was one of the State Parks that had a golf course, now out of fashion, even though it was a very Green golf course.

I remember well looking up at that sheer bluff from our campsite, playing and fishing in the river by the bridge just around the corner.

Outside of Elba, I've gone past this cemetery many times and thought it was a fine day to stop and explore.

Peg, this one could be ours!!  If I have a choice, I'd probably go with something other than a Bagger but....then again, whatever you decide will be fine with me.

Home in plenty of time to get a couple of the others out for a quick spin.

Our poor neighbors down in Old Frontenac, the river had gone down and now it's up again.  Cresting once more April 22. 

A great day to be on the rig!!