Trans Wisconsin Trail, Porcupine Poo and Lake Superior

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ajayhawkfan, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    My brother-in-law, Pete and I were talking about getting together and riding somewhere. It is not that easy because he lives north of St. Paul, MN and I’m in Kansas City, MO. About that same time we were discussing getting together, I read about rokklym’s Trans Wisconsin Trail. I sent Pete the link to rokklym’s RR and asked if he was interested. He was! We agreed to meet in Dubuque, Iowa on August 13 to start our adventure.
    The night of August 12 I was so excited I could not sleep. I left early, in the fog to ride to Dubuque to meet. [​IMG]

    I rode gravel most of the way.

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    In Dubuque we were going to stay at the Hotel Canfield at $40 a night including tax. [​IMG]
    I arrived first and checked the place out. It would not be worth $40 if they cleaned the sheets. It was a flop house. However, if you are ever looking for a $3.00 hooker I believe you could find one there. I went down the street to the Holiday Inn and booked a room. Pete took one look at the Hotel Canfield and knew to look for me elsewhere. For dinner we went to the Brickhouse Brewery for some good food and better beer and a lot of excited talk about the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail (TWAT) and more beer.

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    #1
  2. Rasbutan

    Rasbutan Unnormal

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    :lurk
    #2
  3. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    Before I go any further here are pictures of our bikes.
    First mine all loaded and ready to go.

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    Pete's, notice how clean his is. It had less the 3000 miles and was over 10 years old.

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    #3
  4. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

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    Lets get this straight......For $30 you coulda rode the TWAT?:rofl And you went to a Holiday Inn instead? And your friend knew ya would?

    This RR is starting out Great!:ear

    :lurk
    #4
  5. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    For $30 you could have gotten one with a tooth.
    #5
  6. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    right here on my thermarest
    That used to be an okay place, but I guess that was 15 years ago or so...


    Great picture of the fog.

    :lurk
    #6
  7. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

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    :ear :lurk
    #7
  8. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    I rode a little of the first part of the TWAT last year when I did the Great River Road from St. Louis to the headwaters of the Mississippi. I stopped at the Dickeyville Grotto then and stopped to show Pete. The Grotto is one of those places you need to see to believe. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2242 [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    From the beginning the trail was scenic and the roads showed some the best of SW WI. Pete thought the first 100 miles were the most scenic of the trip. I can’t disagree.

    Does it look like I am going fast? [​IMG]

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    The mandatory TWAT picture from SW WI. This area is along the Mississippi and beautiful.

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    We had to do a little re-routing and came acorss the restored Dutch Ridge School built in 1887.

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    I though this was one neat place! It was built in 1903. [​IMG]

    If anyone know the exact location of this old farm house please let me know.

    Towards the end of the first day we started hitting sand. That was my first taste of sand on my heavy loaded PIG and the last time Pete was on sand he had a “get off” that cracked a rib. Needless to say we were both quite tentative.

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    Pete on sand.

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    While in the sand I kept telling myself, “speed up, stay on my pegs, lean back, power through it, you will be OK”. At the same time I kept hearing “speed kills”. I made it though and with every mile built up more confidence, something I would need later in the trip. Pete also made it though without incident except I had to pry his hands off the grips when we finally hit gravel.


    That night we stayed in Black River Falls. At dinner the restaurant had a delicious ale brewed just for them. We had plenty. (Are you noticing a pattern?)
    #8
  9. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    Thank you. This is my first RR. I'm not much of a writer but I took a lot of pictures.
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Lookin' good :thumb

    :lurk
    #10
  11. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

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    You're showing a side of Wisconsin I haven't seen. The lake shore South of Green Bay is straight and almost flat.

    You have found some Great scenery!
    #11
  12. codys

    codys Lost in the Vizcaino

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    :lurk

    Rock Chalk!!
    #12
  13. Lance Hardwud

    Lance Hardwud Long timer

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    is there a site that shows this route?

    ready to see more...:lurk
    #13
  14. Claybuster

    Claybuster Been here awhile

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    #14
  15. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    Chad Berger (rokklym) created this increadible route. You can get all the information here: http://www.lonewolfexpeditions.com/twat.html
    #15
  16. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    The ride report is looking great so far! I'm glad you had a good time on this route, it kind of shows a good cross section of the different areas of the state.

    I'm hoping to add some more info to the webpage soon. I talked a bit with Cannonshot last weekend ( He is the GPS guru behind this route ) and I told him that there were alot of people that had different GPS units and issues using Garmmin files, so he made up a mapset that I can email too.

    Can't wait to see the rest of the pics!!
    #16
  17. rcniss

    rcniss Not that way!!

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    Mapset AND a gps. . . . .now that's the way to go :wink:

    My TWAT launch date set for September 19th. Hope we have some fall color in da nort woods by then.
    #17
  18. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    There was a slight bit of color up nort already.
    #18
  19. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    redheads along the twat? :lol3

    :lurk
    #19
  20. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    In the morning we started at the Orange Moose in Black River Falls, WI [​IMG]

    hit the sand trails soon thereafter. The experience of riding sand yesterday sure helped today.

    After a short time the trails became mostly solid. We were able to pick op the pace a little. This part of the ride was some of the most enjoyable. The route was solid with lots of twist, turns and elevation changes.

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    Taking a moment to enjoy the area.

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    It is hard not to have fun on this part of the TWAT.

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    The scenery was wonderful where ever you looked.

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    Not far from the Yellow River, [​IMG]

    I was coming around a curve and there was a dead porcupine on my line. I swerved to the outside hoping to miss it. I nicked it and it popped like a ketchup bottle being squished by a Hummer, blowing porcupine poo everywhere! That included all over my leg, bike and hard bags. It caused puke waves because of the stench! Now, I don’t have a weak stomach, I have been around stink all my life. I worked on a ranch and was around all types of excrement that never bothered me. I have been around dead rotting animals, not a problem. I have gutted 1000’s of animals, nothing. Once I changed my daughter’s diaper, which was bad but still no puke waves. Porcupine poo was the worst thing I have ever smelled and then it started cooking on my exhaust it got even worse. I damn near lost it. At 40 MPH I could still smell it and poor Pete rode through the smell for the rest of the day.

    A while later we stopped for lunch at in Hawkens at the Rusty Nail. [​IMG]


    We were not too warmly welcomed but that could be because of the stink that entered the bar with me. They bartender slid the food to us from the end of the bar. I may have single handedly killed the welcome of all future dual sport riders at this establishment.

    Later in the day the trail started getting sandy again. It was worse than yesterday but we handled it better than we did the day before. I made a wrong turn that put us on an abandoned RR bed.

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    The RR bed was a joy to ride. It ended abruptly at a river crossing-no bridge.

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    We stopped at the Plywood Bar. I have been to some unique places before in this country as well as other countries. I have never been in a place quite like this before. The bar had no windows just gaps between the plywood. The floor is dirt or cement covered by dirt. The counter behind the bar had the cheapest of all bottled liquors along with the necessary oil cans (opened of every weight), grease covered tools, worn fan belts, used radiator fluid, old news papers and magazines, etc. etc.

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    Note the sky light. It adds a special ambiance to the place.

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    I walked in being a little self-conscious about the horrid porcupine poo smell. I felt right at home when a man with a dread lock, not dread locks, a DREAD LOCK sat down in the stool next and overpowered the poo. I needed to move.

    If in the area you need stop by for a drink......BTW, ask for the clean glass.

    Can you tell Pete ate dirt all day?

    [​IMG]


    We rode into Ashland for dinner along a will maintained trail. By the looks we were getting it might have been a hiking-biking trail. I’m from Missouri, how was I to know? We had dinner at the Deep Water Grill and South Shore Brewery http://www.southshorebrewery.com/, a brew pub. The food was wonderful the beer fantastic. I really enjoyd the IPA. After dinner we purchase a growler of IPA and brought it back to where we were staying.

    The TWAT is much better then either of us expected we are both looking forward to tomorrows ride and finish.

    I had to leave my riding pants outside with my bike.

    #20