Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
JackJack OP
Dulce Periculum
JackJack's Avatar
Joined: May 2011
Location: MN
Oddometer: 424
Minnesota Two Lane Tour 2011

Around a campfire in the dark of night, a young boy breaks a long, still silence, "Grandfather, sometimes in my heart, it feels like a good wolf and a bad wolf are fighting. How do I know which one will win?" The Grandfather placed another log on the fire. A time passed, punctuated only by the hissing and popping of wood on the fire. Finally Grandfather replied, "The one you feed."

This would be my meditation as I started my vacation. I should feed the Good Wolf before returning to the rat race. So with that I packed my bags, a map, and headed out to explore my backyard.

The trusty but decidedly bum-numbing Shakira (Shakes) M'Alloy:

So I took off heading North on US 65 toward the closest Minnesota State Park - Father Hennepin State Park in Isle, MN. Since my morning was spent changing oil, lubing the chain and installing a battery-tender adapter to charge my phone, I got a late start. Father Hennepin SP was attainable while still allowing me to set up camp before dark. My destination didn't matter as long as I could get away.

I found a nice little campsite at FHSP across from the shore and set up camp:

I even had enough daylight left to snag a pic of Mille Lacs lake before doing a grocery run:

Then it was off to grab some firewood. I was fortunate to find a bed of hot coals in the fire ring at my site. The Labor Day campers must have left a huge fire that morning when they checked out. It made starting my campfire easy:

It was a cold night, but the loons calling back and forth across the lake brought me solace. My peace was short-lived when dawn came and I woke to find I had all this to pack :

I had plenty of time to pack and peruse the map as the sun warmed the land to a temperature I found suitable for riding. I don't bother with a GPS, for many reasons, but the main one being that I like maps. My normal modus operandi is to memorize the next two or three roads and turns and just go. This has worked well for me for a couple decades, but when I came to the first intersection it suddenly occurred to me that I remembered the highway numbers, but not my final destination.

Before panic could ensue I spotted a sign on a cafe that read, "Breakfast Served All Day". Today, pancakes and bacon would solve my problem. After having my fill and visiting with some snow birds at Svoboda's Cafe, I motored on:

As the day wore on the wind picked up so I took a little break and a couple photos at Leech Lake in Walker, MN:

This guy was enjoying the wind:

I thought about the packing and un-packing of my bags and my cold bum during the ride from Walker into the late afternoon sun. I decided I needed a base camp so I could run around unburdened for a day. I called Sara at the Mississippi Headwaters hostel and found that they were open and I would be guest number 2 for the night. Yay! I wouldn't have to unpack my tent and I wouldn't have to share a room. No Stranger Danger!

Knowing I would have a base camp, the little worrying voice in the back of my mind was hushed and I motored on to Nevis, MN where I found this guy. Too many locals lurking about kept me from creating a grand photo of the fish slurping my Chartreuse, er, Hi-Viz jacket.

Unpacked at the hostel in Itasca State Park:

Day three of my little Two Lane Tour found me in the one horse town of Emmaville, MN where the locals have a fine sense of humor (or are incredibly bored during the long winters). It was at the Emmaville Cafe that I had breakfast and caffeinated myself for the day's ride:

And this canine fellow was reminding me what I am out here doing:

The next stop on my list wasn't too far off the twisty and scenic County Road 40 at Dorset, MN. I was surprised to find it a one block village straight out of an old Western movie (with the exception of the paved road down the middle):

The irony is that if you are standing close enough to read this sign, you can see everything it points to:

No pizza, burritos, or ice cream for me as the shops all closed at the end of the tourist season:

But what is this I spy?

A closer inspection is warranted. Hey BurRo! Your tire's looking a little squared off!

Since no one was around I decided I should spank that *ss!

Then I took a water break in the shade here:

As I sipped some water I contemplated the cleverness of a local hoarder. "I don't need to clean any of this up, I'll just throw up a sign claiming them's antiques I'm a sellin'."

Then I motored on over to Osage Beach, MN. It's a little less touristy than the Osage Beach in Missouri that I frequented as a kid:

I headed back to the hostel so I could enjoy the park itself before moving on. I hiked up to the Mighty Mississippi's meek headwaters where I met two nice fellows who get to haul this thing around the country:

On my hike back to the hostel I found these tracks on the beach:

And the Wild Rice being backlit by a setting sun finished my day:

End of day 3.

I woke up on Day 4 and didn't want to leave Itasca SP, but I had been there before and needed to see something new. Plus I really wanted to go to Aerostitch and get a pair of helmet speakers. So I decided I would ride the beautiful and near desolate Hwy 200 East toward Duluth, MN.

The riding was so nice that I only stopped once to stretch my legs and take a photo. Remer, MN:

I found a matching Soo Line engine in Two Harbors, MN, but didn't want to get eaten alive by hummingbird-sized mosquitos to get a good photo.

Research is normally my strong suit and I tend to find out directions to a place before I go, but not so with the Aerostitch Rider Wear House. I decided to try my luck with my new Android phone's navigation app. It worked beautifully and led me right to Aerostitch. Once inside I spotted a fellow inmate in an ADV shirt and struck up a conversation. We discussed roads to ride on the North Shore and parted ways.

A quick stop along the Scenic Route of old Hwy 61:

Having eaten a late lunch I decided to forego picking up groceries in Duluth and motored up Hwy 61 to Gooseberry Falls SP. I would later go to sleep hungry as I chose to stand out on the cliff and take photos instead of ride back to Two Harbors for grub.

These guys were pointing me in the direction home:

And this guy lit my way back to the tent:

Day 5 brought more glorious sunshine and a warm start. Packing the bike went much faster as I learned my lesson the morning of Day 2. And I was hungry for breakfast. But I did walk back to the cliff for a couple shots of the shore in the bright late morning light:

So I motored onward toward breakfast and home. That wraps up my Two Lane Tour for this year. If all goes right next year, I will explore the North Shore and Ely area and report again.

My Good Wolf has been fed.

JackJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: May 2011
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 152
Awesome ride report!

Great bike, great pics, good times!

Simple Mind! Simple Life!
VAKen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 11:42 PM   #3
dreaming adventurer
Klay's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: right here on my thermarest
Oddometer: 103,016
Very nice.
Klay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 12:14 AM   #4
Unstable Rider
Moto Fotografist
Unstable Rider's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Minn.
Oddometer: 2,669
Nicely done.
First the Earth cooled. Next came rats, cockroaches and KLR's... and life was good.
Unstable Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 06:26 AM   #5
sgtpaco's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Indy
Oddometer: 84
Nice report. Brings back many memories since my family started vacationing on Cedar Lake in Aitkin back in 1963.
sgtpaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
JackJack OP
Dulce Periculum
JackJack's Avatar
Joined: May 2011
Location: MN
Oddometer: 424
Thanks for the compliments guys! I wasn't getting notified of comments.

Originally Posted by VAKen View Post
Awesome ride report!

Great bike, great pics, good times!


JackJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:03 PM   #7
Studly Adventurer
Fly-china's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: zhengzhou, Henan province,china
Oddometer: 886
Hello Jack

Here to see you report, it's very nice!
Fly-china is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
JackJack OP
Dulce Periculum
JackJack's Avatar
Joined: May 2011
Location: MN
Oddometer: 424
Originally Posted by Fly-china View Post
Here to see you report, it's very nice!
Thank You! It's good to see you online! I was a bit worried when I didn't see your Piaggio trip conclusion. Hope all is well!

JackJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 08:32 PM   #9
WW( ;,; )D?
TraumaQueen's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: The Land of 10 Million Mosquitoes
Oddometer: 462
Hey, great report, JackJack!

It's not a BMW. It's a Kawazuki Yamahonda.
TraumaQueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
JackJack OP
Dulce Periculum
JackJack's Avatar
Joined: May 2011
Location: MN
Oddometer: 424
Originally Posted by TraumaQueen View Post
Hey, great report, JackJack!

Thanks, Cat! I was just trying it out and promoting MN. :-)

JackJack is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015