Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wisconsin Trip, Day 5 Monday, August 17

This, our final day of our Wisconsin Fossil's trip started sunny, but somewhat cool. Actually feeling pretty nice after the hot weather a couple of days ago.

After breakfast we needed to clean up the huntin' shack, pack the bikes and head out. Our plan is to take the "scenic route" home, heading east in the least direct route. Again, on alphabet roads whenever possible.

I had noticed an interesting road on the previous day's trip south that we decided to head for. It was called county O and ran east and west from the Bruce area to Rice Lake. To get there we headed down County C south to Exeland and then WI48 east to WI40 south (past the gazebo-on-silo farm) to County O west to Rice Lake. Then WI48 to Cumberland, onto two more Rustic Roads, East on US8 to some county roads into Osceola. Then across the river into Minnesota, south on MN95, west on county 4 to I35E to home.

County O was indeed a fun, twisty road. The finding of two more Rustic Roads with the needed picture taking was an added benefit. Bill had us stop in Marine, MN for some ice cream that turned out to be closed. So we headed on home. Bill came to my house in south Mpls where I served up some baloney sandwiches and watermelon. Bill was planning on heading over to his families house which is going on the market soon. We had waved goodbye to Jim at the 694/35E split as he headed on over to Maple Grove.

This was a very pleasant day for a ride but it was good to be home. We had a busy five days and I think all agreed it was great to get out for the ride, fellowship and "alphabet roads".

thanks guys,
God bless.

Day 4, Sunday, August 16

We woke to the sound of rain on the roof. This meant we were in no hurry to get out. I made breakfast and then took a morning nap.

Around 10:00 AM the rain stopped and we decided we'd head out on our ride. The plan is to head east and south and then loop around north and east on twisties. County C north to WI70 east to WI40 south to US8 west to County F north to WI70 west to County B and M south and looped around Long lake. Lloyd and Greg would head west from there back home while Jim, Bill and I would take more county roads around and around until we found our way back to my shack.

We were reading our bike side scripture out of a Psalm when the drizzle started. I finished reading quickly and slipped the bible into a plastic bag while Greg fished out his rain gear which he optimistically had hoped he wouldn't need. (the rest of us had already geared up). The rain kept picking up as we headed over to Radisson for a quick stop at the gas station. From there south on WI40 was a great, twisty road that we had to slow way down for because it was now pouring causing poor visibility and water on the road reducing traction. The rain was starting to let up a bit when we stopped at an unusual farmstead where the farmer had built a gazebo on top of his silo. A very unusual sight and a good photo op.

By the time we got to Bruce WI on Highway 8 the rain was done. But, of course, the roads were still slippery because of the wet. County F, north from Wayerhauser up to Birchwood is a great road which I had never taken before. I will definately get back on it someday when the roads are dry. By the time we got to Birchwood the sun was totally out and it was pretty obvious that the rain was done for the day. It was turning into a great day for a motorcycle ride. We hung out at the gas station for a bit, drying out and talking to other motorcyclists wo came by also out for a Sunday afternoon ride.

We then headed further north on County F up along Lake Chetek. The roads were now dry and we were able to fully appreciate the twisties on this great road. We then headed over to the town of Stone Lake for lunch in a bar and grill. The Hazeltine golf tournament was on the small TV with a NASCAR race on the big screen. We almost got into a fight with some large Wisconsin women over what to watch on the big screen (kidding). They won the argument when they pointed out that real bikers don't watch golf. (Plus, I think they could have taken us).

Our after lunch ride was around Long Lake south and west of town. Greg was most familiar with this ride in that his family vacations on Long Lake every year. We stopped at the resort where he stays and had a quicky tour. The place is very nice as well as the ride around the lake.

AFter the trip around the lake it was time to split up again. Lloyd and Greg needed to get back to the cities to go to work the next day. This left Bill, Jim and myself up to our own devices.

Us three headed back up towards Stone Lake where I had noticed a "Rustic Road". Rustic Roads are so designated by the state of Wisconsin as roads of some beauty, historic value and, as mentioned, rustic. The state has developed a program to encourage motorcyclists by giving them a patch and a certificate. All a biker needs to do is send in a certain number of pictures of him and the respective signage on each Rustic Road. I decided this was a perfect time to start the process. I had Bill take the appropriate picture and we headed on down the road. It was not terrible long in that it just wound around a small lake north of town. It wasn't very rustic either in that it reminded me of a typical suburban cull-de-sac with all the fancy lake houses. But, it was a start, one road down on my list.

From the Rustic Roads we started back onto our alphabet quest, taking various county roads east from Stone Lake and around the south side of the Chippewa Flowage. Then back south into Couderay and then back to my place.

Supper that night was hot dogs on the grill. We invited my neighbors over, Charlie and Rachel, my brother and sister-in-laws. Discussion that evening was reminiscing of motorcycle rides gone by that Charlie and I took up to 30 years ago. A fun evening, a fun day.

Day 3 Saturday August 15

Woke up @ sunrise to another beautiful, sunny day. Revenge would have us rev our collective engines in front of the camp site of the revelers' who kept us up until 3 in the morning. We resisted temptation, however, broke camp and packed our bikes. Breakfast was to be at 8:00 back at Grandpa Tonies in town. We prayed with our new found friend, Ed before heading out. This is another instance where I wish we had something to give the people we meet so they can know who we are and, more importantly, who our Lord is.

After breakfast we had a bible study on Acts 28, Paul on the island of Malta. This took place in a shady lot next to the restaurant. After the study we hung out waiting for Mark from Siren, WI who was coming to join us.

Once he showed up we gased up the bikes and headed up to Jamie's house. Jamie's house is an old log cabin that is un-habitable at the moment. He lives in a camper on his property for now. The plan is to sell the logs from the house and someday build a new one. For now he is quite happy in his simple summer abode. He only summers here and spends the winters in Montana going to college.

After looking around Jamie led us on a tour of the island on his old Honda Rebel. The roads were busy with tourists on rented bicycles and scooters. Up at the end of the island on an indian reservation was a beautiful beach with delicious wild blueberries. The breeze of the lake was very refreshing as the day was turning hot.

We then headed back to town and decided to split up. Some of the guys wanted to visit the local museum, Larry and Jamie were going to spend some time together and Greg needed a nap. I hung out at the park where Greg napped and read and rested. Our plan was to meet up at the dock to get back on the ferry at 1:30. This worked well but Larry was almost too late but he did not miss the boat.

By now it was getting quite hot, up to around 90. We hadn't eaten lunch yet and voted on whether we would eat back outside of Ashland or head further inland and eat later at Hayward. The winning vote went to Hayward and a late meal. Our route would be WI13 south to US 63 south. Not a bad ride but direct as we had no time at this point to spend any time on alphabet roads. Fortunatly, it clouded over so it cooled down a bit. Even a couple of rain drops out of one dark cloud.

Supper (late lunch) was at Coops in Hayward. A nice restaurant with good food. I have been there before with hunters and Mark had been there before as well.

After supper we bid adieu to a few of the fossils who needed to get home. Keith, Larry and Mark headed west on WI 70 while the rest of us headed south and east on WI 27 and County C to my place. We were now 5 fossils strong: Lloyd, Greg, Jim, Bill and myself.

I quickly set up an impromptu shooting range in my back yard with a card table, targets and pop cans. We then broke out the hardware. I had a .22 rifle and handgun on site while Lloyd was packing some more powerfull handguns. Some quick lessons and we all took turns shooting holes into the targets and making the pop cans jump.

We did this until sundown and then talked around the great room before hitting the sack.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Trip, day 2

Friday, August 14, 2009.

A beautiful sunny morning. Breakfast of french toast and bacon.
Bike side scripture: Psalm 138.

County C north to WI70 east to County CC north to County B east to County S north (best road of the day) to WI77 east (all road construction) County M west, County D north, US63 north to county B&C east to WI13 north to Ashland on Lake Superior. All the "alphabet" roads were great. Nice weather, nice scenery, nice twisty roads.

We found a city park in Ashland on the lake which was a cool relief from the 88degree heat of the day we had gotten up to. We ended up eating at Arby's after Lloyd's GPS sent us to a hardware store where a restaurant was suppose to be.

After lunch we headed up to Bayfield on US2 and WI13. We got into the town just in time to buy a ticket for the ferry crossing. It was a short wait dock side until we were able to motor up onto the boat for the ride across to Madeline Island.

Docked at LaPointe then headed up county H to the Town Park Campground. Larry's son, Jamie, had saved two sites for us, 27 & 30. The rest of the campground was totally full. Site 27 was small and rocky with barely enough flat land for a small tent. Site 30, however, was large so 5 of us went unto that site and we left 27 vacant. Larry and Lloyd went to stay at Jamie's place. Shaun decide to go visit his father in Bemidji so got back on the ferry and headed back across the bay.

After a walk to the beach and a swim, we all met at "Grandpa Tonies" for pizza and ice cream. After supper we headed back to the campground and started a campfire. We met a lone biker named Ed who had no place to spend the night. We invited Ed to join us at our large site since we still had room. Ed was from the Lacrosse area and seemed to spend a lot of time on his bike since was just back from Sturgis.

We had a nice evening around the campfire. It was hard to sleep, though, because of a loud party nearby in the campground.

August 2009 Trip day 1

Thursday August 13, 2009.

We meet at the Mill's Fleet Farm parking lot in Blaine, MN @ 5:30 PM. The plan is to head up to Wayne's huntin' shack in NW Wisc, hopefully before dark.

We were eight Fossils strong: Wayne, Greg, Lloyd, Larry, Jim, Bill, Keith and Shaun. The weather was somewhat hot with threatening storms in the SE. Fortunately we were heading NE and stayed dry though we saw a rainbow at St Croix Falls, WI.

From the northern metro we took county 23 north to MN 97 west to MN 95 north and east across the river to Osceola WI. WI 35 north to St Croix Falls then US hwy 8 east to Turtle Falls for gas and DQ.

The stop at DQ took us up to 8:00 Pm which meant our hope of not riding in deer country after dark would not be realized. Not a pleasant anticipation. From Turtle Lake we headed north on US63 to Cumberland and then WI48 east to Rice Lake, US 53 north to Haugen, then county V east to WI48 north to County C north.

It was dark by the time we got to Birchwood and we still had a dozen miles to go through deer country. I (Wayne) was leading and seeing deer occasionally. Honking my horn at them would turn them and they'd run back into the woods. So good so far... until on County C almost to my place a deer appeared from my left and began running along side of me as I braked. He then cut in front of me and I thought for sure I was going to hit him and probably go down. I did hit him but amazingly and thankfully was able to keep control of my bike. Greg told me the deer somersaulted head over tail more than a few times before running into the woods.

My front tire had clipped his rear leg. At impact I had instictively pushed my left foot down which seemed to have hlep stabilize the bike (but hurt like crazy). I would have been under 30 MPH by then. I put the bike in neutral and rolled along as I tried to assimilate all that just happened and verify that all was right with me and my bike. Realizing that all was well, I put it back in gear and kept going the last couple of miles to my hunting shack. I pulled up the hill to my walkway and was still so shaken I dropped the bike on it's side! But, we got our gear off and picked our respective beds.

Bible study this evening was about Paul on an island. Acts 13.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

August trip

Hey, Fossils, a reminder about our trip coming up:

August 14-17 to Wisconsin.

Our plan is to leave town Thursday the 13th after work, heading to my cabin near Hayward, Wisconsin. The next day we will go up to Bayfield and Madeline Island in Lake Superior. Stay over night on the Island Friday night. Then back to my place where we will take day trips on "alphabet roads" .

Some are taking Monday the 17th off of work and we will travel back to the cities then. If you need to get back you may certainly come home Sunday or even Saturday. It's a three hour trip home.

I'd like to get an idea of how many are coming so please let me know ASAP. I have beds for 8, after that you can pitch a tent or sleep on the floor.

We still need to work out some details such as a meeting place, where we are staying on Madeline, etc. I will make those of you who are coming aware of all of that once it is figured out. Also on

Please forward this to any biking friends who may be interested.

Fossil Wayne
6 one 2- 7 two 9- 5 zero 31

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spring Ride, May 30, 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!

Fossil Wayne.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 meeting and ride dates

We held a meeting of Fossils today, Saturday, February 28, 2009 at OCB in Maple Grove. Those attending were Dave, Keith R, Lloyd, Jim, Larry, Tim, Jeff, Greg, Steve and Wayne. A special welcome to our new Fossil, Dave!

In addition to a hearty breakfast buffet and spirited catching up all around we settled on some ride dates:

1. Spring Ride: Date will be Saturday, May 30, which is the Saturday after Memorial Day. Exact plans are still to be determined but the scuttle butt is that we will let Jeff find the roads and we will all attempt to keep up. Stay tuned for more details.

2. Summer Trip: Dates are August 14-17. Plan is to leave town Thursday afternoon after work and head to Wayne's hunting shack in Wisconsin, up Hayward direction. Once there we will set that up as HQ for the long weekend and head out from there on day trips. One idea that was received well is to head north to Bayfield via some twisty roads. After getting there we can take the ferry across to Madeline Island, ride around the loop, perhaps stay over night at a park or a B&B or maybe Larry's son's property. Again, details forthcoming.

3. Fall Ride: Saturday October 3. Tentative plan is to head up to Tim's cabin on Friday night the 2nd and stay there. Stay tuned...