Sunday, December 10, 2017

Banner Year For Riding - 2017

Here it is, ciphered, broken out, tabulated and finalized totaled.  At first glance, it might seem obvious that with my 2 week vacation (haven't taken that many days at one time in years) I'd have a huge number of miles for the season.   Keep in mind that those roughly 1600 vacation miles on the KLR spread out over 2 weeks/3 weekends could have and most likely would have been weekends when I'd have potentially done a couple of 500 mile weekends.  In other words, 1600 miles over 2 weeks wasn't really that big a deal so Wyoming can't really be credited with upping this year's increased miles.

We'll do an inverse here and give each of them their due.....

Appropriately at COOP WOODS Rd too!......

The Show - 2017

We got there right away at Saturday's opening hour and waiting in line to get in, the socializing started (THE reason that I attend) and continued on from there.  I did manage to get a quick look at a few bikes and wander but by far the largest proportion of my time spent was gabbing.

Jeff, Joanne, Darrel, Ron, Karen, Lissa, Steve, Greg, Rick, Pat, Mike, Colleen.....good to see you all again.  There were numerous other familiar faces seen going past that I didn't interrupt conversations for, folks I never caught up with again but would have if I could have.

The Show, downsizing and downsized, still a nice place to be inside with like-minded folks when it's cold outside.  Based on fewer cities being served, I'm feeling fortunate that we were still on the list.

Our future??

I spent a lot more time talking than I did looking and am very satisfied with that choice.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Early Family History - Told By Gramp Allen

Dad's dad had numerous stories published in Good Old Times magazine.  He liked to write, document things and correspond with anyone that would correspond back.  Throughout his life, he gathered, saved, commented and shared what he'd learned about places that he or his family had been as well as many of their experiences.

I've mentioned before that some of my fondest memories of spending time with him was sitting on the davenport, he leaning into and over me, sharing maps, train schedules, photo albums and later, letters.  He loved knowing about history in general and especially so when it bumped up against anything that had to do with family.

There are literally boxes I'm going through of his letters in longhand, but if there was ever a typewriter nearby, he'd find a way to use it.  One of the things I've stumbled upon and remember very well are photos of his time spent in West Baden Indiana.  He served there at US Army General Army Hospital #35 (mentioned in the letter that follows) in 1918-1919 at the end of WW1.  There's an arrow on one photo pointing to one of the nurses....."Taught me to type".

The historic hotel near West Baden/French Lick was once called the "Eighth Wonder Of The World" due to its 200 foot clear span dome over the atrium.  Gramp was fascinated with the structure, made friends with one of the maintenance men and had access to catwalks, towers and corners of the building that few others had. 

After his stint patching up fellow soldier's that had returned from Europe, he "bummed around" and there were numerous stories about his time riding...."the Pullman's with the big doors on each side..."

Here he is with two sisters, one of which would become my grandmother, taken near where the girls lived in Vananda, Montana.


The letter that Gramp wrote back to his mother in Wisconsin.....making good use of the corporate typing machine at his place of employment.

Below written in 1943 by Allen W Cooper, my grandfather describing the family on his mother's side.  By the '40's he was back in Wisconsin, carrying Rural Mail for the US Postal Service.  These pages include a summary of his grandfather, Henry Hulburt's time spent in California during the Gold Rush.  The highlights of w vhat I remember being told, his first trip was taken on a ship "down around the Horn" and gold was found.  There was another trip, that one less successful riches-wise but there was adventure 'cutting across' at Panama.  Hawaii and even China are mentioned as destinations.  I've been looking for Henry's diary from those days but still haven't found it; I know that dad had it stashed somewhere.

Gramp pulled excerpts from the July 1856 entries down in Page 4 and I've only included the first 7 pages (of 20) that end upon Henry and Lydia's arrival in Sparta, Wisconsin.

This was something that continues to fascinate me; locations on each of his many birthday locations do you remember??

3 generations benefiting from another story in the back yard.

2 generations getting ready for a ride....the best and longest riding one that we shared was our trip to Aspencade in Riudoso, NM in October, 1978.  I don't remember where the SP and GS took us this particular day.

And finally, Gram and Gramp enjoying one of their favorite Senior pastimes...making music together.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Sunday and A Saturday - December 2nd!!

Both last weekend and this....some riding....and it hasn't been all that tough or demanding!  Last Sunday, mid-40's for a temperature in the afternoon, some hazy sun but when it shone bright, wow was it nice!

This just across the river, across into Wisconsin from us.  I didn't travel far, made the ride w/o the GPS (felt like I was almost naked....had to keep looking down to confirm that I hadn't gone out minus my pants), something I don't do very often.  These late fall afternoons almost end before they start; Old Sol has its downward arc planned before it even reaches that day's apex.  It was a time constraint that made me head out the driveway before making one more trip into the house to grab the nearest GPS unit; I needed to get on with it.

I will share that it was only a 35 mile ride but knowing that it might be my last one for the '17 season seemed to make the mileage feel the equivalent of many more.

Coffee this morning in Mpls., a Can-Am Spyder, CRF 250L Honda and an Ultraglide the machines brave enough for an early December hot cup trip.  After that, some time spent at mom's house and some help from our VJMC club members with the dispersal of dad's collection of 80's and 90's motorbike magazines.  There's still a large pile of 70's and 35 years worth of RIDER magazines remaining.

Thanks guys - glad someone can use them!

Back home early this afternoon, it was simply too nice to not suit up; notice we're still a bit shy of 50, my normal threshold for easy fun.

Nick doing some fall tillage; this field adjacent to the ones my mom tramped about in while a young girl.

The long way to Red Wing.....a 55 mile loop when done most properly.

The Pie Chart is done (for the second time) and will be published soon.  However, I'm thinking there will be another family history Post before the tallied numbers are made public.  The 10 day outlook shows that we'll be lucky to break 25 degrees, so this just about does it.

There will be time for the results...the potential for a long winter is great.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend - 2017

The legacy thanks and the current's all been good.  We had two of the girls home, Hanna was home a few short weeks ago and just knowing that Ben is back from Kuwait and now in Texas is good enough for us.  So many things, so many of them good with nothing that we have to or will complain about and more than that, a holiday to remind us to take none of it for granted.

Black holiday shopping expenditures for the day; 1.8 gallons of gas, biscuits/gravy in Nelson, 2 cups of coffee and a Pulled Pork sandwich from the Blue Coconut BBQ vendor.

120 very pleasant miles.

Lost Creek Road.....

Elberg Hill Road...the Mississippi River in the furthest valley.

Hunter On The Cliff....quite the deer stand. His orange stood out a lot more yesterday than in this photo.

One of 5 water crossings on one of my favorite Wisconsin Rustic Roads.  To the guy on the bagger that I met at my last/your first are a manly man!!  The water had been higher and every water run had patches of ice on the entry and exit.

I regularly listen to the farm reports and this week heard, "....95% of the MN corn crop harvested...".  That might be true statewide but definitely not true in our area.  The season got late and crops have been slow to mature; grain dryers are steaming everywhere getting the corn down to the mid-teens in moisture percentage.   There is a LOT still standing.

A fabulous day for all, an amazing day for riding and I was far from alone on the bike.  As lovely as the day had been, the sky almost cloudless, I honestly enjoyed the late afternoon dark and November-like grey more.  The sun gone, still 61 degrees.

 No sun and much more appropriate for this time of year. ;)

It DID rain, somewhat threatening our evening plans for Red Wing's Holiday Stroll, but it happened and very successfully.  Peg not feeling well and Lauren working, I started the evening on my own.  It was still lightly raining when I got out of the car at 4:45 though the skies were clearing and the radar definitely looking hopeful.

The sky brighter to the west....

Just in time, a peek of sunshine illuminated the very top of Barn Bluff.

Lined up at the Sheldon Theater to get a photo with Santa....

Some lambs in the Cornerstone Community Church.

This is a very good place to spend time, any time, in November.  I passed it dozens of times all evening and not once did I enter, that for one and only one reason....the line only got longer.  Speaking of dozens.....

 Santa was busy on the Sheldon stage....

Divas Through The Decades...

I waved at mom.....

 After the parade as everyone was Strolling back to their cars and homes....

Today (Saturday) we harvested this year's centerpiece....

I very sincerely hope that your holiday weekend was grand.