RTW the Jamie Z Way: California is the place you outta be.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    July 11, 2021

    Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

    Screenshot_20210713-104255_Chrome~2.jpg

    https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/fad5-5fe4c-4716/view

    I left my sister’s place mid-morning and stopped in the town of Hayward for gas. An older guy came over to talk to me about my bike and asked where I was headed and how long I’d been on the road. He said he used to ride quite a bit and knew how dangerous it is. He told me that only by the grace of our Lord have I kept safe on my journey and he encouraged me to add prayer to my daily routine.

    I stopped for a photo nearby. There is a lot of this kind of scenery in the area.

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    And then it started to look more familiar. I lived up in this area after I graduated from high school for a few years.

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    My parents bought a property up here around the time that I was born, and some of my earliest memories are of coming “up north” to our cabin.

    Our place was a few miles away from Duxbury, a crossroads frequented by hunters, snowmobilers, and the few locals. The Duxbury store was run by a couple for somewhere around 50 years, but I heard that they both died some time ago.

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    I was last here I think in 2007. It’s closed up now. I don’t know if anyone continued to operate the store after the owners died.

    Down the road a couple hundred yards a man was doing some yard work and waved me over. He asked me if I was looking for gas or food. I told him I wasn’t, but that I used to live here and was checking out the old place. He told me he was opening a new store nearby and he gave me a flyer and a business card, and spent several minutes telling me about his store.

    I turned south until I got to what we used to call “the logging road.” I really have no idea if there was ever any logging going on here.

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    Around the age of 10 my parents got me an ATV and I spent days riding up and down all the roads and trails in the area. The logging road was one of my favorite spots. There was a network of other trails that connected, and one particular spot that was fun on the ATV.

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    This place was unrecognizable to me today. This used to be a large gravel-filled clearing. When I was about 12 years old, I collected a bunch of large rocks, and spelled out my initials in three-foot tall letters. I wanted to see if I could still find my initials.

    Today the clearing is completely overgrown. A snowmobile trail passes through. I have GPS coordinates of the location of my initials. I came here in 2007 and found them. Today… I found a few large stones in the general area, but there was no way for me to know if those were mine or not.

    Returning to the main road was a strange experience. I’ve never seen these roads paved.

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    I followed another favorite road which goes around a lake.

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    When I lived here I had my first “real” girlfriend, and on one of our first dates, we drove up and down some local roads, and I took her back on this trail where I joked to her about running out of gas.

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    I stopped by a property which was owned by one of my good friends at the time. Today it’s disused and overgrown. I don’t know if my friend still owns it.

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    ...and I went by the old place. I lived here for three years after high school before moving out of Minnesota. My mom sold the property a while back.

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    Looks pretty much the same! The road is still gravel.

    There’s a lake down the road and as long as I can remember, you could go out on the lake all day and be the only person. I used to paddle out here often. I rarely saw anyone else.

    Today, there was a wait to put boats in the water.

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    A little story here. This guy took three tries to launch the boat. First he backed the trailer into the dock and ignored everyone yelling for him to stop. On the second try, he ripped some part of the trailer off because the pontoon wasn’t fully disconnected from the trailer. Third time’s a charm. And I couldn’t help but think that this was some sort of sister-wives situation. The group consisted of a guy, three young women, and several small children. One of the young women was wearing a long dark blue dress which I’ve seen worn by Mennonites.

    It was strange to see this hidden lake from my childhood filled with people.

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    A guy pulled up with his dog and spent a few minutes throwing a stick into the lake for the dog. He asked me about my bike: “Where you headed?” I told him South Dakota. “Black Hills?”

    He told me he used to ride and the Black Hills were his favorite place and offered a few suggestions. And then he started talking some nonsense. Really, I couldn’t figure out what he was saying… something about God and those above us, and I’m not quite sure what else. He brought up Jesus and prayer a few times, but he wasn’t making sense. I told him I had to get going.

    Around this time I received a text message from a cousin who I haven’t talked to in several years. She lives an hour away and invited me over.

    When I arrived, the whole family was there, including her husband’s cousin Todd who is a member here and rides a KTM. You here, Todd?

    Todd took a group picture.

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    My cousin lives in an old farmhouse filled with family heirlooms and antiques, including this working rotary phone! It no longer dials out; the phone system doesn’t recognize rotary dialing. That phone number printed on the phone is my grandpa's old number.

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    I stayed a couple of hours and then got back on the road toward St Cloud, Minnesota where I had something I wanted to see. With the long days, I still had a few hours to make it.

    I stopped to pick up a sandwich; I checked iOverlander and freecampsites.net for somewhere to stay nearby, but nothing showed up. Maybe the Lord was watching over me because I ended up at a rural church and set up my tent on the edge of the parking lot.

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    While I lay in bed, I read a book written and given to me a few weeks back by my friend Jerry, “Come Hell or High Water.”
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    I think they called it "apple pie." Probably Fireball and Apple vodka or something.

    I hope I can do a gear update, and especially talk about the gear which hasn't failed!
    I think cost was the biggest factor. A lot of the wood was in bad shape, especially the ends. My sister started dividing the lumber into good stuff, and fire pit wood. The place is going to be called "The Shack," and in keeping with that theme, my nephew wants to use some of it for backwoods decor.
    Link doesn't work.
    Not at all. This is exciting times!
    My understanding is that it's something like that... though I've seen them all over, and definitely not just in dry counties. But it probably kept them from having to meet (and pay for) certain liquor licensing regulations.
    The updates for the past few weeks have been a bit more sporadic, so you should be able to catch up.

    On the contrary, I'd absolutely love to be in Cuba right now to witness what is going on.

    Yes, I drank a lot of Spotted Cow while in Wisconsin.

    I'm glad I got to go to Cuba, but I'd love to be there right now to see what's happening. I suspect if I were in country, I wouldn't even know anyone was protesting. I'm sure it's just a few small groups in a couple of the larger cities. To the average Cuban, they probably don't even know anything about it.

    Thanks John. I'd live to meet up sometime... I'll be at the ADV rally on Saturday, and I haven't looked to see if there are any big events that day.
    This is good thinking, but I really need to have a good look at the hinges. I'm not sure the pins are bent. Next time I'm stopped for a few days somewhere with a decent garage I'll probably look into it more.

    I didn't see that sculpture, but we did go to the Mocassin bar.

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  3. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    Nope. I'm a Tim, but reside in Memphis
  4. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

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    Hey @Jamie Z !

    On this taco Tuesday, the food company known for its spices officially announced the new, four-month contract position, which pays $100,000 (or $25,000 per month). Applicants must be 21 years of age, a U.S. resident, be available to sign a contract by the end of August and work up to 20 hours a week from September 2021 to December 2021.

    The role will require the ability to work remotely and attend virtual meetings, while 10% of the role will require the newly-named director to travel across the nation to visit "famous taco restaurants and chefs," and McCormick's headquarters in Maryland.

    McCormick is hiring a taco czar, offers $100K paycheck for 4-month 'dream gig'
    liv2day, ROAD DAMAGE and Jamie Z like this.
  5. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    You lost me at "work up to 20 hours a week..."
  6. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

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    I had a girlfriend whose parents had a little cabin near Duxbury. We'd go up there from the Cities to snowshoe.
  7. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

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    But just think, you work four months then you're rich! You then buy the Stahlratte and become the new Captain Ludwig. "RTW the Captain Jamie Z way".

    Then again, if something sounds too good to be true, .....
    canuckrider likes this.
  8. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan Me caigo, me levanto

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    I’m with you re:Cuba. Would like to be there to witness this time although there would be certain hardships and personal risk.

    On your grandfather’s old phone you might try entering a number on your cell phone such that the tones are heard through the handset of the old phone. Maybe y’all tried this already.
    Animo likes this.
  9. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    Right - "We'd go up there from the Cities to snowshoe" good story, did her parents buy it?
  10. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    July 12, 2021

    Jacob Wetterling, 1978-1989

    Screenshot_20210713-223929_Firefox~2.jpg

    https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/fad5-5fe4c-4716/view

    I came to the St Cloud area for a specific reason, something I wanted to see.

    In 1989, 11-year old Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped near his home by a stranger with a gun. I’m just a few years older than Jacob, and the kidnapping deeply affected me as well as people around the country.

    His disappearance sparked one of the biggest searches in US history, thousands of volunteers, hundreds of officers, and tips coming in from all over the world. I’ve probably seen his picture and heard his name on the news tens of thousands of times over the years.

    For most of my life, the case has been unsolved. Nobody knew what happened. For decades, Jacob’s name would pop into my head and I would wonder what happened, sure that nobody would ever know. Jacob’s killer was caught in 2016 and he led police to Jacob’s remains.

    So I wanted to see where it happened.

    Jacob’s family lived in the small town of St Joseph, near St Cloud. They had a house in a wooded cul-de-sac on a dead end road. On the evening of October 22, 1989, Jacob along with his brother and a friend rode their bicycles a mile away to a convenience store. On the ride back, a masked man came out of the darkness, told the boys to lie down in the ditch, then asked them their ages. He told two of the boys to run away as fast as they could, and when they eventually looked back, Jacob and the man were gone.

    This is the road where it happened.

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    I’ve been listening to a podcast about the case, about the abduction, and the investigation. Specifically about how the investigators repeatedly missed clues, failed to interview the right people, and had the right man in custody, but let him go.

    Jacob was taken from this spot, about where my bike is parked.

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    It’s much more rural than I was expecting, and it looks like it hasn’t changed much in the 32 years since those events.

    I wondered if there would be a marker or memorial nearby. There wasn’t, but some flowers tucked into a signpost nearby.

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    I rode down the dead end road and went past what I believe to be Wetterling house. I understand Jacob’s parents still live there. Again, I wondered if there would be any signs or any other indication, but there wasn’t. I didn’t stop. The houses are set back far from the cul-de-sac, and well hidden behind large trees.

    There’s not much to see out here, just a quiet, rural neighborhood where you’d think is a great place to raise kids. If you didn’t know, there’s nothing remarkable about this place. But it’s a reminder of how delicate our lives can be.

    For 27 years, Jacob’s remains were buried near a farmer’s field in Paynesville. He was reinterred at St John’s Abbey Cemetery in 2016.

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    I thought it was cool that quite a few of the grave markers here were inscribed on the back.

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    After a few moments of reflection I continued on my journey. I was amused to see this sign in western Minnesota, a perfectly flat and straight road marked as a “scenic byway.”

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    To listen to Jacob’s story: https://features.apmreports.org/in-the-dark/season-one/

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    Jacob Wetterling, 1978-1989
  11. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    It's unlikely I know them, but I'd be curious what the family's name is and where there cabin was located. I spent a lot of time roaming the area when I was a kid.

    Of course that would work... but I found it interesting that pulse dialing is no longer supported.
    Andyota, y2blade and SkizzMan like this.
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Thanks for the podcast link. I found it in Podcast Addict too searching for "In The Dark"
  13. CuberBob

    CuberBob Lurker/roamer

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    Another great podcast "Sh!t town" it's from some NPR producers, great characters, and some interesting twists to the story. Should eat up 12+ hours of ride time!
  14. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

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    Any Minnesotan was caught up in the Wetterling story. If our children weren't safe in the Minnesota countryside, where were they safe? Just an awful thing.
    The cabin near Duxbury was owned by the Christofferson family from Roseville, MN. As to location, it was a lifetime ago. They were very kind to me allowed their daughter and I to live in their second story while we attended the U. of M.
  15. canuckrider

    canuckrider Adventurer

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    Jamie said - "After a few moments of reflection I continued on my journey. I was amused to see this sign in western Minnesota, a perfectly flat and straight road marked as a “scenic byway.”"

    I have noticed this previously as I much prefer backroads and will even seek out "scenic byways". My theory is that these unremarkable byways are an attempt by state officials to drive tourist traffic past areas that could use the commerce...specifically Native Reservations, Casinos, etc. I'd be curious to know if your "scenic byway" included any of those?
    Sunday Rider likes this.
  16. wpward

    wpward Stalker

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    Whew, finally caught up. Wish I'd read all this before we had lunch, I'd have had a million more questions about Cuba. :)

    As an aside, not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but if you want to see the ENTIRE trip on spotwalla, just add a 0 to the numDays at the end of the URL like this:

    https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/fad5-5fe4c-4716/view?homeActive=1&showAll=1&numDays=300
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  17. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    wpward and Cal like this.
  18. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    I stopped to see Jamie this morning, caught him breaking camp.
    20210715_081035 JamieZ Breaking Camp.jpg

    We chatted fore a few minutes before I had to leave for a Medical appointment, caught up with him again at the Sturgis McDonalds , and had coffee and chatted some more. Looking forward to a ride with him early next week.

    This is an amazing map:

    JamieZ the whole view-2021-07-15-13_26_33.png
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  19. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Big John is the best tour guide. He spent 2 days touring us around last summer and helped me in his garage to do some much needed maintenance. A nicer person you cannot meet.
  20. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Anyone know where I can get an EBC (or other) part number for rear brakes?

    I'm in Sturgis; my rear brakes need to be replaced... This would be a good place to do it, except I can't find any reference for the 2019 model.