Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Tri Trek on Thirty

I get better and better at my Titles...huh??

Here's the 'Thirty' part....Minnesota State Hwy 30. 

I've ridden the eastern section from its start in Rushford, MN and gone as far west as Hayfield, this back in 2009.

Discovering more of Hwy 30 wasn't the main goal however, only a means to that end as they say.  Considering all of the construction along the way, I did the best that I could.  The red line is Friday's trip west, most of it on or very near '30.  All day Friday, I only had to work so hard to limit my speed, the highest recorded on the Zumo was 57mph.  A few County roads but mostly State 30 and I never really was in anyone's way.  Today on the Interstates, speed went up, highest recorded for the trip 78.

Gas mileage went way down.

Here was my real goal with hopefully some other discoveries along the way.  The Tri-State Iron Post intrigued me and came as a bit of a surprise since it was something I'd never really thought of before.  You might not think that odd but it's out of character for me....the kind of thing I'd have wondered about or at the very least looked into.

I've been to the famous Four Corners out west and stood in all 4 States at once.  Too many of our crazy States come together in some sort of waterway making it really difficult for a guy on a motorcycle to get there.  Our very own Tri-Corner was something that I could get I went.

Not even 30 minutes from home.....

I stopped and walked around a short while at Rice Lake State Park, one of my failed destinations the other weekend when I had the flat tire.

The VStar's previous home was just outside of Ellendale!

 Not everything in small Minnesota rural towns is tranquil.....

I've seen detours on graveled roads, I've seen gravelly detours but I've never in all my born days seen a State Highway detoured onto a gravel road.  There was a sign warning so many words, if you need pavement, you should follow the Truck Route.

I took the graveled path least traveled by and have been forever grateful.

I've got a few friends that live in the vacinity of Ontario's Thousand Islands.  Farmsteads/woodlands in SW Minnesota resemble those islands in seas of soybeans and corn.  South Central Minnesota is 1000 islands, as I went further west, size of the islands went down, their frequency as well while they grew further and further apart.  By the time I got in far SW Minnesota, we must have been down to 100 islands.

Found some gravel....on the grid.

I knew the Visitor Center was closed but I really wanted to stop anyway....I've never been here.  My only time in Pipestone was for a sheep shearing class back in the late nineties when our flock was growing.

Another State Park visit....

 Kids....and summertime...

After Split Rock Creek State Park it was further south, right down into the Minnesota/Iowa/South Dakota corner to my destination, the Tri-State Iron Post Historical Marker.  I had big plans with the drone but it was way, way too windy.  All day long, a strong south wind made the windmills spin hard.  My poor little drone would have ended up in Fargo, possibly Winnipeg.

I had some fun with it, check this out....

It took me 323 miles to get there, a very warm, lovely prairie type of day.  I love traveling in this country!

Back up through Luverne and my last State Park visit, Blue Mounds State Park.


I checked into my Worthington, MN motel, tired, hot and very thirsty.  Boots off, shorts on, A/C on and it was time for dinner in my microwave.  I brought dinner, dessert, coffee and breakfast along, all made with hot water.  Things are different....

This morning I woke to lightning and hard rain.  I had really planned to use my preferred 'shortcut' home, Hwy 60 back up through Mankato and Faribault.  I always refer to it as the hypotenuse rather than I-90/I-35 as the legs of the triangle.  But today, the best way was determined to be the busy Interstate to hopefully not follow through the storm as it moved NE but to get out ahead far enough to sneak north before it got that far east.

The first 50 miles were very wet though I was moving faster than it was.


A coffee stop in Blue Earth....just ahead, just barely ahead of the rain that was chasing me on my way east.

Last year's Guzzi Rally provided these neck gaiters....very timely!

Some other events at home, a couple of big exciting ones but I'll fill you in on those very soon.  I'm back in Iowa for at least part of the coming week and then soon, some more time off, hopefully for some more Exploring.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Another Warm Week But Improvement

I spiffed up the Bullet sidecar rig...there was a lot of rust that needed to be dealt with from last winter's one single ride.

Saturday morning, another Coffee at Diamonds.  Masks inside, Social Consideration outside.

Paul's "Ready for Anything" Ural rig...I could have used a Jet Ski that one time.

A shout out here to Callie and Craig at Wild Ass.  Last winter at the IMS gathering in Minneapolis, I stopped by the booth and mentioned to them that my cover was showing real signs of wear.  Craig advised me to send an email and a photo...."...shouldn't do that.....".  I actually forgot about it and it just wasn't that big of deal.

Lately the bladder has slowly been losing pressure so I tried to seal the leak which made it better but didn't stop the slow deflation.  Last week while I was Many Days around Richland Center'ing Callie left a voicemail, wondering how I was doing with my Wild Ass Pillion Seat Pad.  A couple of photos, a few texts and a phone call resulted in a package arriving in this week's Post.  A new bladder and cover now installed.  More stickers to proudly stick in more places!

Thank you!!

More birds and wildlife....

Time for some more motorcycle content.  Due to vacations, the pandemic, conflicting schedules, etc. I consented to work a Friday in return for having Monday off.  Talk about conflicting, my destination choices for a quick overnight seemed to change with the wind; everywhere I planned to go presented everything from irritating challenges to downright impossibilities.  Finally I settled on a Vernon County, Wisconsin campground, a destination that would tie in nicely with a group of friends' plan to stop for pie Sunday morning in Stockholm.

Rustic Road #51....the Guzzi hadn't been there yet.  Plus, Eric said water levels were up and there were 4 creek crossings to confirm that fact.  :)

Everyone made it to Stockholm....except for Jeff.  A nice surprise, Terry, Gary and Bill were there at another table, all fellow rally-goers, normally seen in various locales and at our usual rallies, but not in rally-less 2020.  I saw them leave on Gold Wings and Gary's brand new Africa Twin.

My Blueberry/Peach....almost hidden by lumps of Special Goodness!

Down to the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge...

Minnesota bluffs in the distance.

Sidie Hollow, Vernon home for the night.

Eric freshly back from the Black Hills Sunday morning texted me, I shared my overnight location with him and he responded, "I'll be there before dark" and he was.

He took this photo of me after telling me not to move....."looks like you're thinking...."  So noteworthy and rare, I wanted to share it with everyone because that was in fact what I was doing .... this time.  I can make it look that way sometimes, just so you know.

 Coffee this morning....

Almost packed up....

A beautiful night last night, great riding weather, a bug-free campfire and I slept with only my bug netting between me and the stars.  We enjoyed breakfast in Westby at Borgen's, found some lovely early morning valleys and crests to ride through and then we split up at Coon Valley.  Home to mow our 2/3 of an acre lawn with the 21".

A 3 day workweek ahead.