Saturday, June 6, 2009
It was a beautiful day if a bit chilly in the morning. We were 12 Fossils strong as we left the city but had a high attrition rate in that only 4 of us were together as we re-entered civilization in the afternoon. But not to worry, this was not due to any calamaties such as Swine Flu or any unplanned catastrophic vehicle exits. Most Fossils just had places to go and people to see before the ride was done.
Because of that "places to go, people to see" thing mentioned earlier we met quite early at 7:00 AM at MGCC. Some quick instructions on the dynamics of group riding, a scripture reading from Colosians 3, a prayer and a song and we were up and ready to go. Greg had volunteered to plan the ride this year and since Lloyd had it plugged into his GPS gizmo he was elected the leader of the pack. Greg would take up the rear on his new-to-him Venture (nice bike Greggy!). The plan was to head north, follow the Rum River and enjoy breakfast in Cambridge, MN. Then zoom over to the Taylor Falls area, jump across the St Croix River to Wisconsin and follow WI 35 down the river to the Stillwater area. Then on home. This would have been a full day of riding and was a good plan, but, as it turned out we didn't follow the plan.
The ride up to Cambridge was nice. We stayed on county roads, some nice and twisty. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly we were out of the city and driving through trees and by farm fields. I also noticed how the further north we went the colder the wind became. The restaurant in Cambridge was small and full of friendly town folk. Obviously a popular breakfast place for Saturday mornings. We were able to find three empty booths. Divided into groups of four we could enjoy each other's company, re-acquanting some old relationships, glad to make some new.
After breakfast some of us needed to head back to the city. We bid adieu to that 3 which left 9 of us willing to take the next leg of our adventure, a ride up to Rush City and a visit to the Dennis Kirk Scratch and Dent Store. This ride was also on interesting county roads. It became even more interesting when, unbeknownst to anyone, one of the nice paved county roads suddenly changed to gravel. We braved on for the few miles of gravel until we were back to the familiarity of pavement. The Scratch and Dent Store was a nice diversion but only one Fossil bought anything. At the end of this leg we then lost three more riders to the real world in that Jim G. and George needed to head back to the city and Mark was heading north and east to his Wisconsin home in Siren.
From Rush City we headed east and south with Taylor Falls, MN on the St Croix River as our goal. Nice roads again, of course, and now the weather was finally starting to warm up a bit. Taylor Falls has an old time drive-in which we stopped at for root beer floats and similar. The newer Fossils were surprised we were stopping to eat again and we gladly explained to them that the Fossil Apostles Motorcycle Gang never drives past an ice cream joint without stopping. It's in our by-laws, you know.
After finishing our ice cream it was time to plan the last leg of our epic journey. Dick and Lloyd were heading across the river to Wisconsin at the Osceola crossing. Dick to pick up another chromed part for his Harley and Lloyd to visit a friend. The last four of us would take some side roads back towards the city. And that's what we did. We waved to Lloyd and Dick at the cross road, then Jim L, Larry, Eric and I rode on to Hugo where we split again as Larry and Eric live in the western suburbs and Jim & I are southern boys.
All in all, it was a great day of riding and enjoying each other's company. It was good to welcome three new Fossils (George, Jim L, and Dick). We are all looking forward to our August trip to northern Wisconsin. See you then!