Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A Quick Trip To Iowa - 2024/06/22

The trip I actually took was an abbreviated version of what I'd originally hoped for.  A counter-clockwise loop around the western edge of Iowa, then back to the central region of the state and home.  Not so surprisingly, it was the heavy weather predicted that kept me from leaving home on Monday, June 17...I'd hoped to be riding for 4-5 days.  When that didn't seem reasonable, I moved everything back to departing on Friday the 21st.  Finally on Sunday the 23rd I left with plans to just be gone overnight.

That very weather that kept me home has now resulted in the region's flooding disaster.  Down through central Iowa I did see much evidence of water standing in saturated farm fields, many crops with wet 'feet'.  Rivers looked a bit high but over my weekend, none of the heavy IA/SD/MO/MN rainstorms had reached the center of Iowa at that point.

Here's where I went....

Not that far from home, the flooding Zumbro River

Breakfast in Spring Valley at Big Bob's Eatery...

South of Dysart...

Only recently did I learn about the Iowa Freedom Rocks.  Each county has one so I decided to stop at any of them I might pass by and on this trip, it looked like I'd be going close to 3 of them.  The first one was in the town of What Cheer in Keokuk County.

West side in What Cheer...

I used my points for a free room in Oskaloosa....expecting a Queen room...   I was very comfortable!

Later that very warm afternoon I visited Forest Cemetery to find my grandmother's infant siblings that didn't make it.  Grandmother Beatrice was born in 1904, she grew up with 2 sisters and a brother.  There's a lot more to their story, part of which was their move to central Montana when Bea was 12 years old, that story told in my Vananda, MT Post. 

I spent another hour searching for some of grandmother's cousins, also in Forest Cemetery.

Later (still hot) the evening light was calming down the day's bright sunlight, a time I picked to go out to the old homestead to get the drone up.  There was no expectation of old buildings being present and I don't really know enough about what buildings had been in existence in the 1900's.  But, there was as you might know by now, a lot of curiosity about that C&NW track running right through the Beard farm, literally bisecting the acreage.

So up the drone went in the hopes of determining some remnant of roadbed, contour...a reasonable topographic location for the old track.

Based on the rail line shown in the 1920 Plat Book, I believe, with a certain amount of imagination, that I can see where the line was likely to have laid. 

Regardless, it's beautiful country!

Back into Oskaloosa for another Freedom Rock....


Monday morning it was time to head home....

 .....and to stop at one last Freedom Rock, this one in Montezuma.

Hot Pork Tenderloin in New Hampton....

It was a good trip even if it was a shorter version.  This week was a good time to not be in western Iowa, prayers for those that are.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Steamboat Days Car Show, Winona Minnesota - 2024/06/15

While we were at the Hiawatha BMW Rally a couple of weeks ago, breakfast was being enjoyed in Peterson when a heretofore unknown fellow motorcyclist walked in amongst the patrons and magically picked me out of the crowd as "the guy who's riding the Himalayan".  Himalayan Mike (they need nicknames cuz the stack of Mikes is getting high) shared info on his collection of unique and special machines but we really connected over our shared enthusiasm for our Himalayan's.

Himalayan Mike will have future presence on the blog I'm sure but he's being mentioned now because of his invitation to attend the Car Show festivities in Winona.  After a busy morning in wet Minneapolis, I hustled down to Winona to see what I could see.



I didn't pay much attention to the cars....this was for the Mike that you all know.

Thanks Skip for sharing your shop with us!