On Saturday I took some pictures of the site at sunrise. It's a ski hill, so almost everything is uphill or down. The view is just "Wow!". This was taken looking East from the lodge.
All weekend there were 'trials", which I am told means a competition for people who like to ride motorcycles where mountain goats wouldn't go. These kids were fearless!
This photo is from the Very Boring Rally website. See what I mean about the mountain goats?
On Saturday morning I went for a ride through Jay Cooke State Park ( MN ) and along the St. Louis River. Beautiful scenery, lotsa turns and elevation changes. If you can zoom in on the GPS screen, you'll see that the triangle showing where I am is at the center, pointing down.
Speaking of the GPS, I saw on the screen something that looked like a Really Fun Road! So I went to check it out. I didn't get very far in before seeing a sign that read "pavement ends". I decided to keep on for a little while anyway and see how I handled it. The road became more of a patchwork and less of solid pavement, then got a little better.
Then, rather suddenly, really, it did end as far as I'm concerned. The road was now totally gravel. Being on a much larger bike than I was used to, I didn't want to risk a spill, so I very carefully waddled through about a 5-point turn ( on a tilted road, no less, with poison ivy on one side and a respectable hill on the other ) and went back the way I came.
I was proud I'd gone past the sign to see what was there, knowing I was on my own and that there would be no pressure to keep going past where I was comfortable. I was also proud that I did indeed come to a point where I decided it was beyond my comfort zone, even the stretched zone that had gotten me that far. I turned around with no regrets.
Later, when I told Karl about it, he just sighed. I firmly believe that if a road's not paved it's not really a road. Karl is comfortable riding on all kinds of surfaces, even making purposeful off-road detours on a bike with street tires. Not only is he comfortable, he actually likes it! Oh well.
Anyway, back to riding along the St. Louis River. On that ride I went across the Oliver Bridge. Actually, I went across it 3 times 'cause the first time I didn't see the photo turn-out 'til it was too late, so had to come back. This is a double decker bridge with a 2-lane road on the bottom and a single rail line on the top. It's 1900 feet long. The bridge was originally made of wood but it's now steel and connects WI 105 to MN 39 almost due South of the rally site.
Back at the rally Steve Thompson talked about his new book Bodies in Motion and I thought it such an intriguing concept that I bought it to read. I'll be able to tell you more about it when I wade through it. Basically, though, his premise is that people like certain kinds of motion because of what we were exposed to in utero and from when our ancestors were arboreal. The kind of motion you get on a motorcycle is often similar to what our ancestors felt while moving through the trees.
Peter Hoogeveen spoke about endurance riding ( read: The Iron Butt Rally ). He's competed in 7, I think, and was a finisher 5 times. Of those 5, he came in second for most of them. If the numbers are off, it's my memory that's mistaken. Peter talked about his experiences and answered audience questions, including things like stupid mistakes. ( Hint: pay attention to time zones! ) Ask him about getting the road in Canada opened.
Saturday afternoon brought the group photo, done by Doug Grosjean with an old panoramic camera ( 1919 Cirkut ) that took about 20 seconds to scan the group. I didn't see anyone run from one end to the other to get in twice, but it might have happened! I was sort of in the middle, and these people were to my left. I was kind of surprised that so few people wore their Aero gear.
Saturday dinner was included with the rally admission, and it was very good. Famous Dave's BBQ set up several tents and the line wound among them to pick up bits of dinner ( ribs, chicken or pulled pork, cornbread, cole slaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, and watermelon ). I wheedled seconds of the grill-roasted corn on the cob ( yes, after everyone else was through ) because it was SO delicious.
The evening's entertainment was also 2 acts: The Conquerors and Junior Brown. I didn't stay for either one, but I could hear them fine from the other side of the lodge.
Sunday morning breakfast was also provided. Some of it went in my saddlebag for later consumption, but the fresh cinnamon rolls didn't last long!
( Coming up next, the conclusion: The Ride Home )
Miles and smiles,