Yes Steve railroaded me into helping out with the routing----but he didn't have to twist my arm very hard.
I have so appreciated attending the 2 previous Loose Nuts rides and----well----------it's an honor.
Actually---he bribed me with Peach Cobbler----Ala-mode no less !!!!
Mrs. "Nuts" so graciously made the Peach Cobbler last year.
Mrs. "Dog" will make a couple Apple Pies this year.
This years ride will start and finish each day in Fern Cliff State Park---just 1.5 miles South of Goreville, Illinois.
People wanting to Motel it can go about 10 miles North to Marion, Illinois at the intersection of I-57 and route 13 where there is a huge
pick of Motels, Restaurants---Wal--Mart------whatever you might need.
The route difficulty
as with the 2013 Loose Nut ride is easy for good riders---especially on smaller bikes.
Big bikes probably will have some trouble in places---especially if your a little new to offroad riding.
I recommend a 650 or smaller bike with a 21" front wheel---maximum 400 lbs. But you be your judge.
Knobbies will be a big advantage in places.
There are 2 places where a very big adventure bike might have trouble.
One has lots of mud and water holes---but can be easily by-passed.
The other you will be riding in a creek for a mile or so in river rock---I rode a 950 KTM thru it without much tadoo----but a big BMW might bury itself.
I will have a route around that also.
I've had people ask me if they could make these sections----It is impossible for me to answer that question. It will be up to you and your bike.
There is zero single track or what I would call trail riding on this ride. Trail riding (single track) is illegal in all of Illinois except on private ground.
$20 for Class A electric sites with an available shower in the Deer Ridge Campground----sites 1-59.
These can be reserved online at http://reserveamerica.com
I've used this site to reserve campgrounds before----------it works and shows you availability of each site.
Class A sites 24-59 must be reserved 7 days or more in advance-----Sites 1-24 cannot and are first come first serve all year.
You cannot reserve these sites till about 6 months before you want them. So reserving these 7 months or more in advance is not possible.
Tent sites are available too for a lesser fee---along with walk-in sites----these sites are in a different area than the Class A sites (electricity).
Or----you can just come and claim a site when you get there which I'm sure is what most people will do.
Showers open till Thanksgiving.
Firewood brought into the campground has to be local and cannot contain the "Emerald Ash Borer" which has killed a lot of ash trees.
Also----even if the firewood you bring in is OK------you have to burn it or haul it off.
Dead fall can be taken out of the campground woods--no chain saws.
Also--this is confusing
----reserving campsites ends Oct. 31st.---then it becomes first come first serve for "all" sites. So to reserve a spot for the weekend---just reserve it for Oct. 31st only---and you'll be in the site and nobody can run you out of it for as long as you want. Do not try to reserve a site after Oct.31st-----it won't let you.
Availability Of Campsites-
-----This time of year is prime camping season for folks--the reserved sites were almost full when I was there in November of 2013. I recommend you reserve sites early.
Firewood--your suppose to bring local wood and burn it up there---and you can gather dead fall in the woods if you like.
No chain saws.
Alcohol is allowed--local laws apply.
The park is beautiful with big nice rolling hills---lot's of things in the park including this waterfall.
Places to picnic---take a walk--a nice lake to visit with huge shelter--hiking trails.
Restaurant In Goreville
Since organizing this ride----one of the restaurants in Goreville (Delaney's)
will not be open on weekends--------a real bummer.
So just one tiny, tiny restaurant for breakfast----it's called H&H and doesn't even have a sign---but it's behind the gas station on the West side of the road. This place cannot handle all of us---or even half of us.
--at the North end of town is open at 7AM both Saturday and Sunday and has breakfast sandwiches.
There's also a great Bar--B--Cue place not far away---7.5 miles away called Triple E Bar-B-Cue-----and they serve a fine breakfast.
It opens at 7AM both Saturday and Sunday and is more equipped for a crowd.
Go North on route 37---go 4.5 miles turn right to stay on route 37.
Go .3 miles turn right on Lake Of Egypt Road.
Go 2.7 miles East to Triple E Barbecue on your left (North).
GPS File For The Ride
A gps file for the ride will be provided in a .gpx format.
There will be 2 tracks for each day----all 4 under 500 points.
There will be many waypoints on the file for the campground, shower at campground, Gas, Food and neat stuff.
Pay attention to the waypoints as they come on to your screen-----you may ride right by something really neat.
People without gps's can always follow someone that does.
Be sure and inform the guy you are following you don't have one so he can keep an eye on you at turns. If you get lost----it's not your group leaders fault------it's the fault of the guy that was riding in front of you and was suppose to be watching out for you. Ride with people that ride your pace.
Don't expect real fast riders to wait on you--they probably really don't want to.
There will be no maps or rollcharts for guidance---just gps tracks.
There will be no "gps routes" provided---just a track log. Routes that are made with one version of gps mapping software can't be shared with a person with another version--------it doesn't work. If you want a route in your gps you will need to create it yourself for your gps----that's what I will do.
When do kickstands go up each day ????
Whenever you like----we will not be riding in one group--I expect people to break up into 20 groups or so.
In downtown Goreville there are 2 small gas stations with snacks.
On Saturdays route there is gas available out by the interstate in Golconda about 32 miles in to the
the ride--get off route to get gas there----but most people
can probably make the 143 miles to gas in the town of Grand Tower----this station is on the route and it has snacks.
42 miles to first gas---just barely off the route---pay attention to the waypoints.
102 miles to next gas---and lunch if you desire.
Then it will be another 70 miles to gas in the town of Vienna.
Food on Route
After breakfast in Goreville---there are snacks and the typical gas station food available at the 2 gas stops.
But if you can hold out for 160 miles--there is a cool place to eat called the Bottoms Up Bar and Grill after you leave Grand Tower
which the route goes right by---looks like an old barn----but it ain't. It's in a little town called Nunert----population 6.
Don't eat too much-or you won't want beans that night.
Me---I'm eating a big breakfast in Goreville---and just light snacking the rest of the day in anticipation of beans---and cobbler back at the campground.
About 90 miles into the ride just North of Cave-In-Rock there is a waypoint "Gas/Food/CaveInRock"----eat there if you like----she will make you
a sandwhich just like your mother made you when you were a snot nosed kid---or throw you out if you don't behave.
or continue on the route for about 15 miles and there are more opportunities to eat in downtown Cave-In-Rock.
There won't be another gas station till the town of Vienna about another 70 miles.
Saturdays route is 226 miles long----start very early to make a nice leisurely day of it.
Sundays ride is 204 miles long.
Too many miles for you ????? Want to get home early ????
I don't believe in cutting a ride short so you can get home and mow the grass or get your beauty sleep before work the next day.
So----just short cut the course however you like. You will be disqualified however
For non gps users----I'd bring a map.
Will be provided by "Nasty Ned and His Nine Nasty Nose Pickers"
Food For Thought
For you poor guys with jobs-------why not get Friday and Monday off of work-------or at least Monday.
That way you can enjoy this ride and being with friends without being in a hurry and worrying about hurrying thru the ride or short cutting the ride just to get home.
Lake Tree Inn & Suites
9600 Lake of Egypt Road
Marion, IL 62959
A waypoint for this motel will be on the gps file.
It's actually not even close to Marion--but has a Marion address.