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.