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  1. #1

    CA/WI loop

    My boys signed up to attend a hockey camp in Brainerd, MN the last week in July. I was going to drive out with my 8-year old daughter and camp at all the great National Parks on the way but then she got selected to be on a competitive gymnastics team. My wife informed me that her season begins in July and that the team was strict about practices and she couldn't miss the 3 weeks I had planned on to make the trip. I say " great......then I'll ride my moto". Nothing was said as she knew I was really looking forward to the camping with my daughter. I had done the same trip twice with my boys when they were that age. As time went by, I heard my wife on two or three different occasions mention to her friends, that I was going to ride my motorcycle..........

    Plan was to have 6 days to get there, 10 days at the Breezy Point resort on Pellican Lake, with my wife and daughter, and then however many days I was "allowed" to get home. I left my house and immediately turned away from the freeway, taking backroads to one of the best backroads in CA. Quincy-LaPorte road. I was here in June and in still wasn't open due to snow. I've stopped at this place every time I've been on the road.

    It was pretty hot, found a spot along Lake Almanor where I could take a dip and still keep an eye on the bike

    Susanville, CA

    Into Oregon

    I was on OR 395. You can really fly, not much of anything all the way to Burns. The landscape was barren, coming from the Sacramento area which is the urban sprawl capital of the US, I find " nothing" is beautiful. I didn't take any pictures, the riding was fast and fun. Night time came and I beached at an RV park in Burns.

    It was a beautiful night, no need to set up the tent. I ate the rest of the food I'd brought that needed refrigeration for dinner, not the best camp meal I've ever made but it was good enough.

    The next day I headed across Oregon and into Idaho, heading north from Boise on I95. I think it was the Salmon R. that I was following...

    Oregon sunrise

    then onto HWY 12, aka. "Lolo Pass". The only reason I have any pictures of it is because I stopped for a swim. This road is really laid out well, very, very nice.

    the water was shallow, fast, and the softball size rocks covered with algae......... not so great for swimming, probably world class for fly fishing.

    It was getting dark as I found a place to camp in Ronan, MT. Another clear night, no tent needed, big Sky, big stars.
    Last edited by franze; 08-16-2010 at 03:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Idaho sunrise, approaching Flat Head Lake

    I was heading towards, Glacier Nat'l Park. A few months ago I was reading, with mild interest, a thread on the forum about this park. Then SheRidesABeemer, posted a picture of the main road through the park. It's called "Going-to-the-Sun" road. Yes, it's hyphenated, and yes, it sounds like a Beatles song. I PM'd my friend Rinty from Calgary about this ride and he sent me some info that sealed the deal for me. Thanks Gail and Rinty for the inspiration.

    Then it was HWY 2 across the top of Montana. At Rudyard I headed south across some smaller roads............ not sure if they have names or numbers

    this was one of those times that ATGATT didn't work for me.......really hot and no traffic.

    I saw a lot of beauty in the Big Sky

    At Ft. Benton I crossed over the Missouri Breaks. Did not see Marlon Brando dressed up in a dress and bonnet hunting for rustlers.............

    I got a motel in Lewiston, MT as my nice weather was looking like it was coming to an end.
    Last edited by franze; 08-16-2010 at 03:41 AM.

  3. #3
    the next morning it was time to wash the bike......the fun way.

    This pretty much typifies the eastern Montana roads.......... bring the paver.........leave the grader at home.

    1hp all-terrain vehicles

    must have seen 50 signs like this throughout Montana. None in all the states that border it.

    you've got to be up on your Wild West history to understand this one.

    took the back way into N.Dakota

    I took a detour to Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park. My boys and I camped at this exact spot when they were 5 and 7. We crossed that river ( the Little Missouri ) and climbed to the highest peak (to the far right ) on those bluffs. I don't think my wife would have allowed it, but she wasn't there.....

    Reluctantly, I headed towards the interstate and ate some miles. Taking time to do a quick tour of Spiritwood, N.Dakota, a small farm town where my grandmother grew up.

    this old pioneer dwelling

    was right next to the school............ at least one classroom on the 3rd floor is cool in the summer.....

    I kept riding, into MN, and then another small detour in Underwood, MN, to pay respects to my dad's grave. I was there with my boys on one of our trips. Had a hard time finding it in the dark wearing my fading headlamp. It would have been a lot more emotional for me if my daughter had been with me.

    I eventually stopped for the night.....midnight......... in Alexandria, MN. Both my grandparents lived there when I was growing up in PA and we visited every summer. My paternal grandparents owned a resort on Lake L'hommedieu and I have a lot of good memories from then. The other grandpa owned a grain elevator in Miltona and that was always fun going out there. At that late hour none of the motels in town were open. I saw an Alexandria policeman and pulled him over : He directed me to the south end of town, near the airport where I found a room at the inn. That was a long day for me, over 700 miles. Oh yeah, the only 24 hour restaurant was cleaning it's carpet. I had to settle for 6 muffins.......... not fun.

    The next day I went to Minneapolis to ship a chair from my wife's uncles house back to CA. It's part of our dining room set that my wife has that was her grandmothers. I stopped off at a very special place for me. 9 mile creek in Bloomington.

    I said " will you?" she said " yes".........

    Leaving Bloomington I got lost in the freeway maze, eventually ending up north of St. Paul, near Stillwater, MN. That is a great town along the St. Croix river. I was hoping to make it to Houghton, MI as that's where my early memories begin.......but the 700 mile day beat me down. About the middle of northern Wisconsin, the rider ran out of gas. That happened about the same time my moto was also out of gas and the guy at the gas stationed directed me to Brunet Island State Park. I'm a big fan of Beer Team's Wisconsin homage and this campground turned out to be a good memory.......well, it did cost me 29$ for one night of camping.......... I needed a camping permit, a park permit, and and non-resident use permit............. I'd rather throw money at a parks and recreation budget than anything else though, so I didn't let the cost put a damper on my mood.

    I made about three trips through the campsite loops before I decided on this spot....wasn't a lot to choose from.

    I walked about a mile down to take a picture of this site. It was on a small point, plenty of shade, sandy beach at your tent door. Really incredible.

    I talked to the guy and he said he picked the spot "on-line" and was wondering what was wrong with it...........

    well, it turns out my spot was pretty good. Meet my neighbor, Bernie, from Green Bay.

    Bernie was one of those pro-campers. Electrical lights out at night, mosquito smudge pots burning, bikes for all his kids. Anyway, while I"m setting up the tent he comes over and asks me if I could eat a fajita. Says, he made too much and if I could eat one, it would really help him out so he wouldn't have to put any left overs away. I say "sure" and he returns with a huge fajita. Dinner problem solved for me. Later on we talk about Brett Farve as I am a huge Vikings fan and he by geographical selection, is a Packer Fan.

    Next morning, I'm packing up and he walks over with a plate of bacon, sausage, and hashbrowns. Doesn't even bother asking, just brings me a hot plate of Good Morning. After I'm all loaded up I ask if I can take his picture and find out where he's camping the next couple of nights. I invite him to park his rig at Breezy Point while I'm there but he's got other plans.

    I head north.

    I miss a great opportunity to get a picture of a doe, chest deep in a stream in a forest with the sunlight on her........gorgeous!!!

    make it to the Apostle Islands and then turn west, back towards Duluth.

    Last edited by franze; 08-16-2010 at 03:52 AM.

  4. #4
    My first time to Mecca: suits waiting for repair

    part of the shipping dept. you can see the postal meter on the front desk.

    the showroom

    This is really worth it. You get 10% off as a walk-in customer. No sales tax on apparel in MN, and no shipping charges. I got some Combat Touring Light boots for about 244$.

    due to some road construction.........I end up taking the back roads to Breezy Point

    I check into our home for the next 10 days. I like it!

    the next day the tribe arrives. Brothers, sisters, friends, and cousins.........

    after 3 days, the boys went off to camp a few miles away at Pequot Lakes, and my daughter got full attention. My friend let her drive the boat......she's a natural!

    lots of fishing

    I didn't know water lilies had flowers

    After I'd been 'relaxing' for a few days, I realized I managed to lose one of the top clamps for my sidecases. I was going to dump the sand out of it, started to take it off, then figured I'd be getting more sand in there, so didn't take it off..........and didn't put the clamp back on. This is the piece I lost running errands around Breezy Point.

    I had some time on my hands and hit the local hardware store to see what I could find to cheaply fabricate one. Here's what I returned with.

    workbench and tools

    the caveman goes to work. By the way, this rock was awesome. Flat on all sides, I brought it back to CA.

    I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.........but would it hold up for the ride home???

    Vanessa caught this bass , by herself, off the dock on our last day. One of the guys at the Marina said it was the biggest fish he'd seen caught from the dock. Girl Power!!!

    Last edited by franze; 08-15-2010 at 10:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Thanks for sharing, Franze. Your ride reports are always fun to follow.
    Karen Jacobs
    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  6. #6
    Very nice! Thanks for sharing your ride.

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