BigDog--Tales Of The "Trans Wisconsin America Trail"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BigDogAdventures, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    This ride started from my hometown in Southern Illinois.
    I would be following a dirt route from the Illinois Wisconsin border to an overlook on the south shore of Lake Superior.

    The route was courtesy of Chad Berger (Rokklym on AdvRider) a good friend of mine.
    Of course I have to get there---then I have to get home--and that's where the Adventure really came about.

    You'll see later in this tale that I faced some horrific weather and missed a National weather disaster
    that was on nationwide TV by hours---------I was lucky. More of that later.



    I made the best of traveling thru the flat grass and farmland of central and Northern Illinois,
    on the Road Less Traveled of course. I did make a day stop at my Sons house in Champaign, Illinois.
    Me and him are very close, but sadly don't get to see each other very often.

    You can see I was packed heavy----I would be camping and cooking all I could on this ride.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. LeeU

    LeeU Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Casa Grande,AZ
    Let the adventure begin!! I've noticed you have been really lucky on most of your rides to dodge wet & severe weather. I have a feeling that was not the case this time!!!:wave :clap


    Lee Ullmann
    Rogers,AR
    #2
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,505
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    I hope the Husky didn't run away from home while you were gone. :deal



    :lurk
    #3
  4. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Hi Lee and Larryboy,

    I did ride in some rain---but the really bad stuff---and it was real bad--I barely missed.

    Yep the Husky is still there---I had to chain it to my 950 to keep it down (and I don't think they like each other--you know how those orange bikes are). The KLR was perfect for this ride, as the riding was easy and I wanted to pack a tent and my JetBoil to cook with.

    I have big plans for the Husky in a couple months---for now it's a secret.

    GasPipe was supposed to go with me--I rode for 2 days before I realized
    he wasn't behind me--or was I behind him ??
    :rofl :rofl
    #4
  5. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    People who know me know that I have thousands of gps waypoints in my computer all over the US
    and Mexico. A lot I been to of course---but a lot of them are places I've heard or read about.
    I'll find out where it's at and mark it. This is one of them I just happened to get close to.
    Approaching the Illinois town of Amboy I saw the waypoint on my screen "Carvings".
    What the heck could that be ??? I probably made that waypoint 10 years ago--and here I was !!!

    Welcome to the city park of Amboy, Illinois.
    By the way, most of these are about 10ft. tall.
    Enjoy !!!!!!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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    #5
  6. ywr969

    ywr969 Ye Wilde Ryder

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    680
    Location:
    Casa Grande, AZ
    another big dog adventure -- subscribed! :clap
    #6
  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    On North
    It was very warm and very humid---so much green from the tremendous and relentless rains
    the midwest has been having. It would get worse------much worse.

    [​IMG]

    I was truly overwhelmed with the rolllings hills and greenery Northern Illinois provided.

    [​IMG]



    This is the starting point of the Trans Wisconsin America Trail.
    It was at this point I just realized GasPipe wasn't behind me.
    He was suppose to be ???? Where was he??

    Oh--now I remember---poor guy got hung up on a job.
    They just wouldn't let go of him....so alas......he couldn't make it.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The next day in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin I met up with Mr. Rokklym........err..Chad Berger.
    Great.........I was going to get to ride with a guy who knows these backroads like the back of his hand.
    Chadd is riding a DR650 well set up for adventure travel. So down the road we go---this is going to be great !!

    Me and Chadd have ridden together before and have talked a lot about riding but have never really gotten to know each other
    that well. I was hoping this would be the opportunity. At least we got to spend most of the day together.
    A call to his house was all it took for him to meet me here to ride together some.
    The weather looked soupy (rainy)---but we took off in the dry.
    [​IMG]

    I guess me and Chadd know each other best by reading each others travels on the net. I think we both felt like
    we knew each other pretty good. This was obvious to me right off as Chadd pulls over for me to eyeball one
    of my favorite things !!
    An old bridge----------thanks Chadd !!!

    [​IMG]
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    It started raining---not to bad---then got harder and harder. I was eyeballin' every old barn for a place to
    get under and prepare for the worst. We finally came into the nice little town of Cataract and I found
    a nice little shelter in the town park. I bet we spent and hour and a half here relaxing to the pitter patter
    of the rain on the metal roof and enjoyed lunch cooked up on my Jet-Boil cook stove.

    [​IMG]




    The rain finally subsided some and me and Chadd went our seperate ways.
    I headed into nice dry weather on damp dirt and gravel roads and poor ole'
    Chadd got pounded on all the way home. Thanks for joining me Chadd, and
    thanks for providing me with a great scenic route to follow.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,735
    OK lets ride!:D
    #9
  10. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,618
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Hasn't really got rolling and I'm already hooked!

    :lurk
    #10
  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I think this is Hatfield, Wisconsin. Snowmobiling and ATV riding were the big thing in this area.
    I couldn't believe all the marked trails to accomodate most everybody's offroad riding skills.
    I rode on many ATV and snowmobile trails--usually one and the same. It was very wet out
    but there is no mud up here. It's mostly sand with a few rocks thrown in here and there.

    [​IMG]

    Usually the sand wasn't too deep---I think it being wet made it easier riding for me--it packed down nicely.
    Sand doesn't freak me out at all---after riding in Mainland Mexico, Baja, Arizona and New Mexico as of
    lately---------I have pretty much gotten used to it. Granted I could have gone much better
    on my KTM 520EXC--well maybe not better---just faster !!! My new rear Kenda K270 was hooking up
    nicely---but my chain and sprockets were fading fast.

    [​IMG]

    I was confused by this sign---I guess cause I've never rode in an area that would allow ATV's
    but not a motorcycle. I didn't go past the sign even tho there was nobody out here.
    The weather forecast was bad---and the weather had been really bad the last few days........
    I think everybody was at home on the couch.

    [​IMG]

    The route went thru here and crossed this creek. I bet the creek was an easy crossing on a normal day.
    This wasn't a normal day---the area had been barraged with rain lately and the ground was saturated
    and the creeks and rivers were flowing heavily. It looked to be about 5 ft. deep. I saw a vehicle track
    that came right to the edge---but they must have backed out as there were no tracks on the other side.
    I wasn't going to risk this at all.

    [​IMG]

    Thorpe, Wisconsin
    Gotta love the small towns----one firetruck and one ambulance and you have a parade !!!
    I stayed here in a motel and it rained very hard all night long up till about 9AM the
    next morning. They had a nice old fashioned carnival going on in town, but the
    weather washed it out. It had been raining heavy for a month and there was
    no end in sight.

    [​IMG]

    I took out the next morning after breakfast at the "Dairy Bar Cafe".
    Breakfast was good that Sunday morning---as the nicely dressed older Christian woman
    going to church that morning were getting their faces all scrunched up at the young waitress
    with her but crack showing and her red G-string sticking out :huh

    Or at least that's what I heard :D

    [​IMG]

    Big Falls county park-----the skeeters here bout' carried me away !!!!
    I never did find any falls---but maybe the water was up in the creek so much that they were under water.

    [​IMG]

    Logging is one of the main business in Wisconsin.
    I was constantly running thru areas of logging.

    [​IMG]

    Most everywhere I road the land beside the road was a virtual swamp.
    I was really surprised I wasn't stopped constantly with water over the roads.
    Oh---that comes later.

    [​IMG]

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    I couldn't get around this no matter how hard I tried.

    [​IMG]

    It'd probably be safer to not be in town when this was going on. I'm sure there would be lots of blood spilled---and beer !!!!!

    [​IMG]

    Yep---nother one of those places I've had a waypoint marked for a lot of years---it was very near my route
    so I stopped by and they wereClosed. This is a 1940's rebuilt diner near Delta, Wisconsin. It's only
    open Wednesday thru Saturday. I was going to eat here whether I was hungry or not.
    Just because.

    [​IMG]



    I passed a bazillion of these signs.

    Never did see a snowmobile.

    [​IMG]

    My first glimpse of Lake Superior.
    I felt Lake Superior way before I saw it. You riders know how it is with temperature changes, as you can
    feel the slightest change. This however was a slap in the face and almost scared me.
    I came over a rise and in one second-----yes one second the temperature dropped 25 degrees.
    I had never felt anything like that in my life. It was absolutely amazing.
    I found out later the water temperature on Lake Superior was 40 degrees.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

    Joined:
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    GB-Wisconsin
    :thumb :thumb :lurk

    BTW, Chad and a few other ADVers are riding this trail right NOW!.

    or what parts are somewhat dry. it has been ridiculous wet here lately.

    :lurk
    #12
  13. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Yes it has---and was---and is !!!

    My story is no where near over----and I had my worst trouble coming home less than 150 miles from my house---at one point I thought I was trapped--with no way out. I had to backtrack a bunch to get around the huge flooded area.
    #13
  14. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    :lurk :thumb
    #14
  15. roc104

    roc104 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    291
    Location:
    Reno NV
    Nice! Love BigD ride reports :clap

    Like the Jimmy Johns hat too, I am a big supporter of them :D

    Is brand of camera is that on your helmet? ChaseCam's BulletCam maybe?
    #15
  16. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Hey StovePipe----man I bet you are getting stir crazy to go riding.

    We'll get a big one in soon :D :D
    #16
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Hi Roc,

    My son works in the corporate office of Jimmy John's.
    He has a really great job--he's much smarter than his sickle bum dad :D :D

    My helmet cam is a POV.1 by viosport. Pretty neat system. The best part is I have a remote control button on my handlebars to start and stop the thing----no wires.

    http://www.vio-pov.com
    #17
  18. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    :cry The plants are dead, and I've run out of dishes.....

    Can't hardly wait for a good one :augie
    #18
  19. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk
    #19
  20. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    You'll suffer severe consequences for the plants.

    But the dishes---duh---go buy some more :D
    #20