Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Trip Day 5

Day 5
Last day. It feels like I blinked and it was here, we were going to be home before the day ended. Funny thing about the last day is that you are sad that the trip is over but at the same time excited to be home again. The thought of sleeping in your own bed is the best thought in the world sometimes. Both of us were being late risers and late packers, so we decided a nice walk in the park would be good for us. There was a sign for the In Yan Teopa rock that we saw, so we started hiking to check it out. Found the lookout point and took a couple of pictures of this rock.

There was a trail heading down towards the river that we thought might be fun. So we made our way down the treacherous face of this steep hill and came to the bottom. It was your basic river shore. 

Then we had to climb back up this hill, no, cliff. We didn’t have rock climbing gear but we were going to have to get back up there somehow. It was some of the roughest stairs I have ever had to climb.

It took us three breaks to get to the top. Three quarters back to the top and we got a different view of the rock which made a much better sight.

 Back at camp we are both sweaty and looking forward to getting on the bikes. 
Our original plan was to follow the Mississippi River all the way down on the Minnesota side to Prairie Du Chen, then cross over to Wisconsin and head home. We stopped at a lock on the river to checked it out and decided to head into La Crosse, WI, for some lunch. By the time we were done with lunch we were both ready to head straight home. We stopped at the Guadalupe Church on our way out of La Crosse. It was interesting but a little too much religion pushing from the lady at the front desk.

The rest of the day was spent plugging miles away. We jumped on the freeway to head down to Portage. Stopping in Portage we ran into a guy who started telling us about his adventures on his own KLR. We chatted for a half hour or so while drinking a couple of cokes. 

After that we didn’t stop again until we got home.  

Memorial Day Trip Day 4

Day 4

Woke up after a great nights sleep and I could hear that Isaiah was already moving around outside. I got up and headed for the bathroom. When I got back Isaiah was practically ready to go and I was slacking. Suddenly there was a gust of wind from the lake and it blew hundreds of moths into our site. Everything was covered in moths. Isaiah didn't notice at first because he was already packed up but I still had my tent up with the door open so of course it was filled and covered in moths. I had to toss moths out if my tent and shake them off the outside before packing it up. After slowly getting everything packed up and getting the moths shook out we were pretty much ready to go. One last shake of my jacket to kick all the critters out and we were off. While the night before the campsite was a party town, this morning there wasn’t much movement. I think I saw a total of four people the entire morning as we left. I was a bit disappointed not to say goodbye to Camp Captain but he wasn’t as early of a riser as we expected. We figured he would be up at 7 in the morning bumming coffee off everyone.
We hit the flat roads and started making our way west towards Minnesota. Riding through fields, birds were popping up everywhere out of the ditches. It didn’t take long and BAM!, Isaiah takes out a duck with his helmet. I couldn’t even tell what the bird was I just saw an explosion of feathers and a large body come tumbling off his head. We chuckled about it for a moment and continued on. Riding for a while I started getting bored, so I thought I would pull out the camera for some riding shots. For obvious reasons I couldn’t look at the screen to see if my shot was any good, but I thought I would share them all, the good and the bad.

While taking pictures something caught my attention in my peripheral view. Something crawling in my helmet. Of course it is a moth. Wearing a modular helmet I knew how to get rid of him fast; I opened the helmet and let the wind do the rest and continued on. We stopped at a gas station and got a snack and a drink. Isaiah was getting a kick out of me because two days in a row now I ate breakfast and I usually never eat before lunchtime. It seemed to be the difference from what I was eating the night before, since we weren't eating as much at night as I would if I were sitting in front if the TV at home.
Sitting at the gas station we could see the hills off to the east of us and knew that the riding was going to get much better soon. We were off and sure enough within five minutes the hills and curves started. Riding through deep valleys and the climbing hills that would let you see across the land forever. Cows everywhere and the land made me think of Steve McQueen from The Great Escape tearing across the land on the motorcycle to get away from the military. I so badly wanted to know what it felt like to go ripping through the fields, but of course I didn't. In the movie, Cycles South, they are riding down the road and just randomly decide to turn and ride through the open land. I want to do that some day. We stopped and took a couple of random pictures, and then we came across a public tower and stopped to take a couple more photos.

While up in the tower we noticed a dirt road leading up into the hills and figured we might as well go check it out. I'm not sure how long the road was but it was one of the best roads we were on, and I think we got some of the best photos from it.

Moving on, we rode into Minnesota. We stopped in the first town at a gas station to take a small break. I went into the station for the bathroom and a coke. As I am walking out the door I hear gunfire. Thinking I am going to see some action I quickly make my way back to the bike only to notice that the towns Memorial Day Parade is happening. This was the entire parade.

Leaving town I snapped a few more shots from the bike.

We were both getting hungry but noticed that all the local diners were closed for Memorial day. We started seeing signs for Country Kitchen and decided that is where we would eat. It was in a town called Montevideo and it wasn't a Country Kitchen anymore but a local diner. I thought it was pretty clever for them to leave all the Country Kitchen billboards up on the way into town which  just leads you to where it once was. Happy to find any place to eat, we went in and got a couple of burgers. It was strange that all the waitresses had pink or blue hair. Didn't matter though, as it was the best food I'd eaten in a week. Onward through Minnesota, we started getting back into the flat land and the winds started picking up again. The wind was coming from the west so it wasn't bad heading east, but sometimes we had to head south and it would buck the bikes side to side pretty hard. We were heading for Red Wing, MN, but really had no idea where we were going. Running low on fuel we pulled into a gas station, filled up, and parked the bikes off to the side. There was a guy on a Harley taking a break also, leaning on the front of the store.

 Isaiah struck up a conversation with him and turns out he was on his way home from a club ride. He belongs to a club for recovering alcoholics, but I can't remember the name of the club of course. He suggested a State Park for us to stay at near Red Wing. He gave the name of a city that was actually in Wisconsin but after looking at a map we figured he was talking about Frontenac State Park in Frontenac, MN. So off we were, zig zagging across Minnesota. You find out how lucky you are to be a motorcyclist living in the state of Wisconsin when you travel to other states. In Wisconsin there really isn’t a bad area to ride in. Everywhere you go gives you some sort of motorcycle fulfillment, where in other states you have a lot of flat straight roads. Each state of course has its great riding areas but Wisconsin riding is not great but good everywhere.

We got into Frontenac State Park and had our choice of campsites. We asked which one was the best and he directed us.

Got to our site and I started setting up camp while Isaiah ran for firewood. Once he got back I was getting ready to cook some dinner but realized I was still full from lunch, so I skipped dinner. We got the fire going and sat around while eating astronaut ice cream.

After enjoying the fire for a while we set off to bed. While getting my things together I noticed Isaiah outside his tent shining the light around up and down side to side. I asked what he was doing and he only replied with "they're everywhere". I walked over to see what was everywhere... his tent was covered in spiders! They really were everywhere. I went over to inspect my tent and I had the same thing except, I left my door open so they were on the inside and outside.

After flipping a few out the door I went to sleep.