Here we go, it's a new ride and a new spring season. Time for a little weekend warrioring!
This year's spring ride was early due to the warm weather and a recently vaccinated family. I haven't seen my dad since June 2020 and on Sunday May 3rd that was going to change. I'd be meeting up with Todd and my dad in Lansing for breakfast at the River View Cafe. If I was going to make it to Iowa for eggs and coffee, that meant spending a night in our new-to-us 1960 Coastline camper trailer that's parked at a friend's house outside of Chatfield, Minnesota.
Saturday was a full day, complete with a neighbor birthday party barbeque. Again, thanks to the vaccinations rolling out. After tasty pork tacos, with all the fixin's, I hit the road at 7:00 PM with the goal of rolling into the camper at 9:00. There were big thunderheads everywhere, I had to stop to pull on the rain gear. I somehow managed to miss most of the weather and only rode through sprinkles.
I did manage to get to the camper by 9:00 which gave me an opportunity to test the headlight on my new ride. I have to say, I'm very impressed. It's a couple miles of gravel roads and driveways to get back to the camper, the highbeam was very helpful. Howeverm the traction control was not so useful on the steep gravel driveway. It felt like the computer was cutting the power to the rear tire as it spun, like a car would on glare ice. I quickly, without a shred of grace, figured out that I could feather the clutch and get the bike moving.
Home sweet home. A book and a whiskey, then lights out.
Highway 52 to 30. With a stop in Chatfield for gas and an ice cream.
It's been in the 40's and 50's for the past few weeks. I got up at 6AM on Sunday to bright sunny skies and 70 degree weather, which felt tropical. It was a peaceful morning drive down 16 to The River and then down 26 to Lansing. I'm having a hard time remembering it now, a few weeks later. We did a ton of riding on Sunday and this was just the beginning.
The River View Cafe (and Inn) is a gem, the food and coffee were both fantastic. Built in an old grain house, the bottoms of the wooden grain bins protruded from the ceiling. We found some outdoor seating overlooking the river and got on with the business of catching up and plotting the day's ride.
Mississippi River backwaters, below Lock & Dam #8
the Black Hawk bridge in Lansing, Iowa
First up was to head east to Richland Center and then on to the Slimey Crud run in Leland, west of Madison. Once in Wisconsin, we took: C - X - H - 171 - E - Q into Richland Center. Or that's what my notes said anyway. The next bit of notes says, "N - Wikson" and "E - A, 22 - O", whatever that means. I was happily following my dad, an experienced road hunter.
We made a few stops south west of Baraboo before making "the crossing" back to Hartford Wisconsin, our final destination of the day. The first was for a short walk at Pewit's Nest that took us back to a beautiful swimming hole and slot canyon. There were kids swimming in Skillet Creek so I don't have any picture of the terminus of the canyon. The air temp was in the 70's but the spring water must have been cold.
Our next stop was at Dr. Evermor's Forevertron
. Maintained by his wife and daughter, this is a must stop art park off of highway 12, south of Baraboo.
Being a Guzzi rider, this bust caught my eye.
The Forevertron with Triumph for scale.
I made this map the day after the ride, it stays true to my cryptic notes.
From the Forevertron, we made our way back east across highway 16 to Hartford. I got to hug my mom, have some dinner, and a good night's sleep. In the morning, I'd be heading back to Saint Paul, only to come back to Hartford the following Friday with the rest of my family.
It's good to be back.
- Ride North
May 2nd | 106 miles | 2 hours | 80f dodging thunderstorms
May 3rd | 280 miles | 8 hours | 70f and beautiful
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