Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Prizes, But . . .

I came across this article today. There is an advertisement that has been deemed offensive to Christians. The thought that angels would give up there heavenly place for the (artificial) scent of a man seemed sacrilegious to at least one person in South Africa and the South African authorities banned the ad believing if it upset one it probably would upset many. I'm not sharing this link to make any comment about the banning. No, rather it is because the makers of the commercial have mistaken the object of the angels desire. So, click here and watch the video. See if you notice what I noticed. It ain't the guy these fallen beauties want, it is the ....?.....

The answer I'm looking for will be in the comments. Sorry, no prizes but I do hope you get a chuckle.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Iowa Again Or Heather Learns A New Word

Iowa again:

Look familiar?

It was the last day of our trip. We were expecting to just take US-61 straight home, but there was a detour. The detour took us into Fort Madison, Iowa. We were surprised.

A locamotive!
A reconstructed fort.

A very busy bridge carrying . . .

. . . trains and . . .

. . . more trains.

There were wonderful old buildings.

And, there was a museum.

I grew up using Shaeffer fountain pens. I admit I didn't know they started in Fort Madison. Click here to learn about the Museum.

We asked one of the volunteers about a good place to eat and she suggested Ivy's. It was next door. When we went into Ivy's they were getting ready to close, but they stayed open to make us a sandwich. It was just a very nice experience. The whole experience of Fort Madison was pure serendipity, which was a new word to Heather.

I suspect we will find our way back to Fort Madison.

Monday, November 14, 2011


We left the Twin Cities committed to meandering, to stopping to take photos whenever we wanted, and to taking our time. Chris had suggested we take Rte.35 along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi river. 

It was a great suggestion.

We began stopping at each of the roadside historical markers located along Rte.35. It seemed like a good idea at first, but there were so many. We eventually stopped stopping.
Here's the bow and arrow.

Both Heather and I tend to get in the car and head for a destination. That's not how it is when I ride the Symba. Heather has heard me speak of this different quality of experience. I think we were trying on doing the drive home differently, trying to bring to it some of the wandering childlike wonder I experience when riding my Symba.

We really did turn around and try for that photo that would have just gone by too fast to catch (even if the photo didn't quite work). 

We enjoyed spending some more time on the shores of Lake Pepin. This time on the Wisconsin side.

But the treasure of the day was Fountain City.

The place that drew us was just a boat launch.  But this day there seemed to be a magic about it. This day it was Brigadoon. I suspect we will never be able to go back again. The little islands will still be there. The dock will still be there. Still it will never be the same as it was for us on this singular overcast Autumn day.

After we left Fountain City we didn't stop until we stopped for the night. It was well after dark.

And, we were back in Iowa.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

Scenes from Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

Twin Cities, Part 2

We looked at stuff.

We rode three up on Chris'Ural around St. Paul and Minneapolis for much of a Saturday afternoon. Even though it was the end of October we were plenty warm enough with our gear on . . . and thanks to even warmer temperatures than the forecasters had predicted.

We looked at courthouses:

The Supreme Court of the the State of Minnesota.
Here is the Ramsey County Courthouse. 
We looked at the Capitol Building of the State of Minnesota:

The grounds were sporting a hi-vis look, no doubt,  just for us.
The famous horses on the Capitol.
We traveled down tree lined streets and looked at some magnificent old houses:

But mostly we looked at the River and at Bridges:

I was impressed with all the parks and streets along the riverfront.
There were lots of bridges. It is much easier to cross the Mississippi here than in St. Louis.
I loved Chris' photos of this stone arch bridge in his post about the National Ural Rally Day. Now, I've seen it!

We looked at this:

We even looked at a construction site:

And, we ate very well.

All you need do is check out another of Chris' blogs, Everyday Tastiness to know Chris loves food. Yes, we ate very well indeed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Twin Cities, Part 1

Here's the Heather version of Day 3 of our trip:

We Rode.
We leaned.
We looked at Stuff.
And, we ate very well.

We Rode. We leaned.

Heather wasn't at all certain what she was getting into when I suggested we make this trip. I knew why I wanted to make this trip. I wanted to meet Chris of Everyday Riding in person. He and I share a passion for riding year around and have developed a blog friendship. When people would ask me why I was going to Minnesota my response was, "To visit a friend I've never met." I, also, wanted to experience a sidecar rig and I wanted Heather to experience a sidecar rig. I ride most days, but snow still stops me. Chris' solution to riding in the snow has been his Ural sidecar rig. Heather had some reservations about sidecar rigs. Another possibility was a Can-Am Spyder, but when she and I test rode one back in May, neither of us were terribly impressed. I wanted Heather to experience a sidecar rig first hand. I'm not sure what her reservations were. I know when I mentioned to my sister about maybe getting a sidecar rig someday, she immediately said she wouldn't ride in it. Why? From all the cartoons she'd seen where the sidecar would separate from the bike and then come back. She just didn't think she could trust them to stay together.

I already ride all but about 15% of the year. If Heather wasn't interested in being part of owning a sidecar rig I wanted to know. It would make a major difference in my plans for my future riding. If there was interest after our time with Chris, I would explore taking a sidecar class. If there wassn't interest I could begin to look for another bike/scooter to compliment Billie, my Symba. Yes, I had an agenda.

We lucked out on the weather. It was a wonderful day to be out and about. Brave Heather went first.

Heather had her own helmet, gloves, and jacket. Chris lent her a pair of pants and she was set. I think she looks great.
Ready . . . Set . . .
It wasn't long before they were back.

When I asked Heather what she thought of the ride, she responded, "I want to drive."

I had hoped Heather would ride pillion with Chris on his BMW R1150GS. And, she did.

Mrs. Everyday helping Heather with her visor.
Off they go! Heather made Chris promise no freeways.

It seemed like they were gone only a few moments. Is Heather doing her happy dance?

Heather said it was fun, but the leaning was weird. She felt like she was falling.

Then it was my turn. Of course, I don't have any pictures of myself, but if you click here you can get Chris' version of events and see more pictures of Heather and some of me, too.

What was my experience of riding in the sidecar? It was more comfortable than I expected. What about piloting the tug? Well, I'm definitely curious to get some real training in it. The Ural fit me better than I expected. I felt quite comfortable on the bike. I was pleased I didn't stall the bike out. I've not used a hand clutch since my Basic Riders Course. I certainly liked it better than the Spyder . . . and so did Heather.

Later Heather, Chris, and I rode around St. Paul and Minneapolis looking at stuff and just enjoying the ride. We were out for at least a couple of hours. It was great fun. Click here for Chris' post on riding three up.

And, what did Heather think of all this? I'm not sure how enthused she is about the sidecar, but something happened that pleased me very much. A couple days after our "Motorcycle Day" she commented she now got what people saw in motorcycles. I have no idea if there will be a sidecar rig in our future. I have no idea if she will be a rider one day. What I am sure about is she now understands the possibilities and has a sense of why this obsession, oops, I mean hobby, has come to mean so much to me.

(to be con't.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


On the second day of our trip we became tourists. We did some sightseeing. On the recommendation of Mr. Everyday, Chris Luhman,  the author of Everyday Riding and Everyday Tastiness we stopped at Lake City, Minnesota.

Lake City is on Pepin Lake. The town was pretty deserted the day we were there.

But, from looking at the boats that were being prepared for winter I imagine it is a pretty busy place in the warmer months. I was grateful to be here on a day when it was just pretty.

I'd never seen them shrink wrap boats for storage over the winter. I didn't even know they did such things now. I remember canvas and tarps tied around the boats in dry dock along the Great Lakes. I was fastinated watching the fellow using the blow touch to tighten the plastic.

 When we filled up the Yaris with Gasoline we asked about a good place to eat. A place called Bronk's was suggested.

After driving the road from Lake City into the Twin Cities I suspected in the summer there would be a whole lot of Harley-Davidsons and other cruisers parked around this place. Later Chris confirmed my guess.

My favorite thing about the place was the sign on the men's room.

When we had finished eating we spent some time walking by the lake.

This flock of ducks was quite entertaining. They'd be swimming near the breakwater and . . .

Anytime someone walked by they would take themselves out into the water. They would then float back until someone came walking by again at which time they'd repeat the process. We saw this happen a few times.

I admit I love being by the water. On water is okay. In the water I don't enjoy so much. But, next to the water is very dear to me. One of the things I miss living in St. Louis is the Great Lakes. There is something that feeds my deepest self about being next to such large bodies of water. I'm impressed with the power of the great rivers I live near, but they just aren't the same.

Eventually we pulled ourselves away. We headed up the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River to the Twin Cities. As we went one could still see the signs of agriculture . . .

This field once was filled with Soybeans, but they have been harvested. I had to include a soybean field for Brady.
but we were definitely back among the bluffs along the Great River.