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Old 08-05-2010, 01:50 PM   #1
knybanjo OP
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Location: out in the clover patch
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Cool2 WF CDT RMAR aUIB? more than 2 weeks of pure stooopid.

WestFest, Continental Divide Trail, Rocky Mountain Adventure Rally and an Unofficial Iron Butt

17 days, 6726 miles, 2 annual rallies, 1203 pictures it'd be hard to be any more stooopid.....even for me.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #2
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Back to the beginning........

I had dreams of being able to ride out to a WestFest, but alas, I only have 25 years of employment with the outfit I work for....not enough to get any vacation time in July.

November '09 rolled around and the time came for me to bid my stooopid vacations for 2010......again, nothing left for July.


...but.....just but....there was one glimmer of hope. Nobody had signed up to "stand-by" for the last two weeks of July yet....yet. :fingerscrossed

I found out about two weeks prior to departure that it was a go!! ..and not just one of those weeks, both of 'em!!

blah, blah, blah...I got the bike all ready..blah, blah..tires, brakes, chain, sprockets..blah, blah, blah...fork seals, fresh fluids and filters....blah, blah, blah....


That's enough yammering...stand-by for the stooopid pics.......
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Sunday, July 18th, T minus zero (whatever that means)



Rolling out of the neighborhood with the sun rising over my shoulder.



In less than 2 hours I could attest to the fact that the Smokies were indeed smoking.



A reverse view of Buzzard's Roost before entering Tennessee, already state #3 in less than 3.



Today would be the first of only two planned Interstate days.....sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.



Not all super-slab miles are boring.....something of interest usually presents itself.



Kentucky.....it was hot and humid, the bike was running a little flat. I'm hoping that I just got a batch of bad gas.....



Lots of horses in the bluegrass state.



I thought that I may get caught in some storms between Louisville and Indianapolis.....but I somehow split the gap and rode into cooler air and sunny skies.



I like these big steel bridges of old......



Here's that sunny sky that also had cooler air.....



I never knew that they shipped them by the truckload!!!



I admit that crossing America's bread basket can be a bit monotonous at times.....you do strange things to stay interested sometimes.

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Old 08-05-2010, 04:48 PM   #6
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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Indiana, Illinois......all those "I" states look alike, don't they?



Is this where the "Tinman" was from?



After a while I found myself talking to my shadow....."Hi Mr. Shadow."



Yeah, I know...you're getting about as tired of looking at corn and soybeans as I was!!



....but there seemed to be no end....



I made it to my planned camping spot on the Mississippi just East of Moline before sunset!!



Home Sweet Home



After setting up camp I took a sunset ride along the river.....









...and at last....dinner is served!



It included some interesting conversation with some locals, one of which was a commercial fisherman on the Mississippi. I should have gotten his pic as he was quite the character!
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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Well day one went relatively well for a super-slab day. 904 indicated miles in about 14 1/2 hours and getting camp set up before dark!

The flattness on top end and under hard acceleration never seemed to fully go away though. I began thinking about an article I had read online awhile back about the fuel pump/filter being an integrated unit. The symptoms were consistent with a clogged filter but I didn't want to have to wait for parts or risk being stranded.

Anyway I had 3G and posted up a request for a link to that article and tpak on stromtrooper came through with the goods! CLICK HERE Thanks again man! I wouldn't have time to read the article or consider it as a possible fix until the end of day 2...if I made it that far, I was still hoping it was just bad gas that hadn't been fully burned out of the tank yet.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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stooooopidd ??!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:56 PM   #10
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I actually slept pretty good for the first night in the tent, unfortunately that's not always the case for me.

The still shiny clean Wee Strom in the rising sun.



This was a scene along my walk to the bath house.



The plan today is to just follow the great river upstream.....Minnesota is up there someplace!
.....but the roads didn't all hug the river so Iowa corn would be companion this morning too.





I did try to follow the river as close as I could and crossed it several times....





Train! train!!....I love that song!



Then I found exactly what I was keeping an eye out for. A ratty looking little cafe with a parking lot full of pick-up trucks.



My omelet would be accompanied by the sounds of the old timers talking local politics this morning....there was big money involved, I think the Mayor made about $20 a year!!



Back on the bike watching the birds fly over the bordering marshlands....



Love these bridges!!



It's cool the way your tires wiggle and roar over the grate!



Even though this was a scenic backroads tour today....I still had about 600 miles to cover so on the fly snap shots of the neat little villages along the way will have to do......



You'd never get anywhere if you took a proper picture every time you seen an interesting subject..... it's always a conflict!







There is NO escaping the corn!!

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Old 08-05-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:49 AM   #12
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Rolling away from the corn and back down to the river in Dubuque my pics totally suck...sorry.



I really should have stopped for a good look at the river boats....



Even though I didn't care enough to stop and check it out...I can't help but wonder who wanted a mansion on the bluff above the tracks?



OK...y'all can thank Klay for this next series.
He's the one that mentioned the Dickeyville Grotto to me....I'd have never even noticed it otherwise.



That looked like a driveway to me...so I rode in.



It's quite the funky little shrine, to be sure.



It was about here that I realized that I was riding on the sidewalk....but nobody was around and nobody said a thing to me.





This place is pieced together from all sorts of stone.





As I left there and continued on the Great River Road (GRR shoulda been part of the title) I seen a contrasting site.
I had a co-worker by the same name fired for spending time in a similar establishment while on the clock....it struck me funny and I took a pic.



I really am following the river...I swear I am!!



SEE?!




These signs would serve as my map and GPS as it zig-zagged along backroads...









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Old 08-06-2010, 09:19 AM   #13
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blah, blah, blah let me try to get this moving along before I'm charged with boring somebody to death....

Eventually leaving the river behind and heading up through central Wisconsin....there's more corn.



...but at least it's a little bit hilly....





...and before you know it I'm at Lake Superior. Barker's Island Marina, I spent some time there as a teenager on a friend's boat.



A tiny old ore ship



Shutter happy as I cross over the harbor into Minnesota.







The Enger Tower above Duluth, Mn....no I didn't stop at the 'stitch factory.



This is still the way all the ships have to enter the harbor, none were in sight this day though.



Looking back to Superior, Wi and the bridge I just crossed with all the grain elevators along the waterfront. Grain and Iron Ore are the two big commodities shipped out of here.
(looks like I just missed a storm too)



Tourists are welcome....



...but I'm too sure about that guy!





You did know that I would have to ride across the bridge, didn't you?





U-Turn...do it again!



Nope, nobody waiting so we won't get to see it in action today....





I did get to see a cute amish girl with her horse and buggy though.



Central High School



..and my parting shot of the waterfront and the storm that I just missed...



Stopping for gas I see that my brand new fork seals are leaking badly. The kicker is that the old ones were'nt leaking before I changed them. The left had leaked, been cleaned and quit leaking. The right side had never leaked before this....and I have not even seen and dirt, rain or rough roads yet!

1,500 miles of street and they're already junk!



Anyway it's just a short run from Duluth up to my parent's house on Da Range...



The stats....note clock remained set to EDT

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Old 08-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #14
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Day 3, Tuesday July 20th

It was to be a rest day to just hang out with family...but I decided that to do that fuel filter mod.



All you have to do is take the pump out of the tank and drill a hole in the right place in that black thing there...



All finished.



I won't bore you with the family pics but my sister and her family came over and we ate a meal fit for any holiday! It was good times!

Later that afternoon when it was time for them to head for home I decided a longer test run may be a good idea so Dad loaded up one of my nephews onto the Burgman and away we went.



Then my sister and brother in law joined us for a spin around the local lake.





I had the honor of escorting my niece!



Dad and I heading home at sunset had to watch out for deer......you always see 'em up there!



I used to catch catfish in this pond as a kid...

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Old 08-06-2010, 12:49 PM   #15
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Wooo-hooo! A stooopid ride report by stooopid ol' Banjo!

In. Even though he left WestFest without huggin' me goodbye.



Chris
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