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Joe Frickin' Friday

Dances With Shawn - yet another Wisconsin Ride Tale

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Joe Frickin' Friday

If you opened this thread expecting another multi-page saga from me, well, sorry to disappoint; this will be shorter and more casual than most of my tales of yore. :wave:

 

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By the end of this summer, I hadn't seen Shawn in a year and a half, and it had been fully three years since we had ridden together. We had been trying to plan a Wisconsin moto trip for sometime this season, but we never did manage to fit it in, so we were really looking forward to FARTing together. So as you might expect, I was kinda bummed out in August when Shawn announced that he wouldn't be able to FART at the end of September. And then…

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-71.jpg

 

I had an idea for a way to cram in a very short trip to Wisconsin that wouldn't require Shawn to take leave. After discussing it, we firmed up the details and got everything in place. The obvious choice for timing was the same weekend when all of you hoons were FARTing up the roads of northern Georgia.

 

As far as the commute goes, Shawn had the easier time of it. Living in Milwaukee, all he had to do was wait for me to show up. Not that I had it terribly hard; as with previous Wisconsin trips, I opted for the Lake Express instead of riding around the bottom of Lake Michigan (never heard of the Lake Express? Check out Day 1 of my Dances With Cows ride tale for a detailed description and pics). The difference was that this time, the weather was less…hospitable than in the past. High in the mid-50s, cloudy, slightly rainy, and…windy. Really windy.

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-03-XL.jpg

 

 

That's what I saw at the pier in Muskegon while waiting for the ferry to show up. After boarding and departing, people enjoyed the sedate cruise through the strait out to open waters:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-04-XL.jpg

 

 

Once we hit the open waters and the captain cranked up the waterjets, everybody retreated indoors…except for me and one woman who was about as crazy as I was:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-06-XL.jpg

 

You may notice that she's leaning into it in that pic a bit more than in the previous one. 30 MPH into a 15-20 MPH headwind, with the slipstream squeezing up over the boat, makes for quite a breeze on the sun deck:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-07-X2.jpg

 

 

If you know me, then you know that ain't my usual hairstyle.

 

It's a rare day when you can pull this off:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-08-XL.jpg

 

 

Shawn met me at the ferry terminal in Milwaukee, and we rolled off the last 80 miles to Madison.

 

We enjoyed two days of riding together in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. As with the ferry crossing, the weather was not terribly hospitable. We had a bit of sun on Saturday morning, as you can see from the shadows:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-09-XL.jpg

 

 

But the clouds rolled in well before lunch, and we were stuck with temps between 45 and 50 for the rest of the day. Thank gawd for Gerbings, yes?

 

Saw lots of animals. Too many. Probably a dozen deer altogether, some right on the edge of the road, but none that caused any close calls for us. A couple of possums, three dogs, two cats. A dozen raccoons, all dead; apparently they're not too bright in that part of the country. Saw two bald eagles in a tree next to the road, that was neat. Came over a rise and surprised 7-10 golden eagles gathered near the road, causing them all to take flight (Shawn thinks they were hawks; whatever they were they were BIG). Also encountered a couple of John Deere. This is harvest season, so there was some big hardware trundling down the roads here and there.

 

Posing with the mighty Mishishippi behind us:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-10-XL.jpg

 

 

We stayed overnight in Wabasha, Minnesota. Dinner was at Slippery's Bar & Grill, a place made famous by the movie Grumpy Old Men. Not bad.

 

On the return ride, I stopped for a cow photo:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-11-XL.jpg

 

Off-camera to the left is an Amish gentleman encouraging the cows to keep mooving.

 

The roads were…interesting. Only a couple of gravel roads, but there was plenty of dirt left behind on the paved roads by all the farm equipment. Mix in a little rain here and there, and…

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-14-XL.jpg

 

It's gonna get washed before I put it up for the winter, whether it needs it or not. :grin:

 

After getting back to Milwaukee, we got Shawn and Suzanna's dogs out of storage.

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-15-L.jpg

 

Claude is the sly poodle facing the camera, and Betty is the shy English bulldog using Claude for cover. That pic is misleading –

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-18-X2.jpg

 

As a cap to a fun couple of days on the road, we visited the Harley Davison Museum in downtown Milwaukee. If you show up on bikes, you get to park in an exclusive parking area near the front door. Although on this cold and rainy day, two dirt-encrusted Beemers were the only bikes to be seen:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-64-XL.jpg

 

 

The museum was most impressive. If you're ever in Milwaukee, even if you're not a fan of the “Harley lifestyle,” you should go see this museum; it's very well done. It's the entire 115-year history of the company, as well as their presence in the wider motorcycling world.

 

Thought your GSA had big, bad-ass tires? Think again:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-24-XL.jpg

 

 

You can't see it in that pic, but the engine is actually a boxer twin.

 

Can your GSA do this?

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-23-X2.jpg

 

 

Shawn's family is well-represented in the museum, especially his great-aunt, Dot Robinson:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-29-XL.jpg

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-35-XL.jpg

 

 

And his great-Uncle Earl:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-33-XL.jpg

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-47-XL.jpg

 

 

Yes, yes! Down with walking, by God! Everybody should be on two wheels!

 

Critical safety hardware for board track racers:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-38-XL.jpg

 

 

Steel-soled overshoes and open-faced leather helmets. Can you imagine a moto-GP racer wearing that stuff today? :eek:

 

Had no idea Harley made snowmobiles:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-48-XL.jpg

 

 

AMF quality, no doubt. :grin:

 

Famous individual bikes bearing the Harley name were on exhibit. Perhaps you remember this Fat Boy? The poster behind it should jog your memory:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-58-XL.jpg

 

 

This was actually one of a set of three bikes that were used in that movie.

 

Here's “King Kong:”

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-59-XL.jpg

 

 

Do not adjust your monitor: yes, that's really two Harleys married together, including both engines.

 

In 2012, a year after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami scoured a large part of Japan's coastline, a Harley washed ashore in British Columbia. It had floated across the Pacific after the trailer containing it got washed into the ocean by the tsunami. A team of people recovered it from the beach, and they were able to track down the owner in Japan – who then donated it to the museum:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-51-XL.jpg

 

 

Near the end of the museum, there are a few bikes – some old, some new – that you are allowed to sit on:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-62-XL.jpg

 

 

Finally time to return to Michigan, again via the ferry.

 

Exit to the sun deck, you say?

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-65-L.jpg

 

 

LIES! There's no sun up here!

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-66-XL.jpg

 

 

Yes, another chilly gray day for the boat ride home. As before, it wasn't long before the sun deck was abandoned, except for the brightly-colored lunatic shown in that pic. Oddly, there was a headwind on this day as well, despite heading east this time. Just as strong too, it actually broke one of their super-tough marine-duty antennas:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-70-XL.jpg

 

 

Not much to report after that. Cruised 175 miles home and was greeted by a happy wife.

 

Shawn, thanks for a great trip; looking forward to our next riding adventure. :thumbsup:

 

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tallman

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

A-

 

Only because it is a single, short, report.

:rofl:

Excellent as usual, sir.

Great to see the dynamic duo shredding tires again...

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Slumgullion

It does my heart good to see the band back together again!

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Lone_RT_rider

It was definitely a fun weekend. It proved to me that I had not done enough riding this past summer. I rode well over 800 miles in that short 48 hour time frame. Mitch had an additional 375 miles or so on top of that. I was actually more sore from this ride than my START adventure. I need to ride more, but time is running out for this riding season.

 

Thanks Mitch! You put together one neck of a trip to finish up the year. It was great sliding around these curvy western Wisconsin roads with you!

 

Now.....time to hatch a plan for START. 😀

 

20180929_092823-X4.jpg

 

20180929_172123-X4.jpg

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TEWKS

Enjoyable guys, thanks! :thumbsup:

 

Pat

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RandyShields

What a wonderful Ride Tale and photo journey. A couple of observations. In the first photo with the bikes and Shawn in the back, that smile is reminiscent of what we used to see when we told him we were close to the lunch stop on the ride. Additionally, Shawn's cover and new tough guy Harley image is now blown since we know now there is a white poodle with a recent spa visit in the family! Not a Doberman or pit bull, but a poodle! I am shocked I say. Shocked. And finally, there must have been some wind on the weather deck for Paul to be wearing his ear protection while getting his hair straightened. All in all, a good reason for you guys to plan now for START 2019.

 

Randy

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Bill_Walker

Nice tale, Mitch!

 

Re H-D snowmobiles:

 

"So how did Harley get into making and selling snowmobiles? It all began in the early 1960s with the Western Tool Division of AMF designing the Sno-Clipper and Ski-Daddler Power Sled. More than 3,000 units were sold through 175 dealers in 1966, and two years later the Ski-Daddler (catchy name, eh?) was manufactured in AMF's York, Pennsylvania, factory, where Harley motorcycles are still made today.

 

In late 1971—two years after acquiring Harley—AMF redesigned and rebranded the snowmobile line, dropping the Ski-Daddler name in favor of the Harley-Davidson brand. 1972 was the last model year for the orange AMF Ski-Daddler snowmobile line.[...]

 

By the end of the 1975 snowmobile model year, it was announced that production of AMF Harley-Davidson snowmobiles would be discontinued. Approximately 10,000 Harley sleds were manufactured, with a few on display at various Harley dealerships and museums around the world."

 

Source (with pictures and H-D snowmobile ads): Cycle World: Bet You Didn't Know Harley-Davidson Once Made Snowmobiles

 

 

Re the bikes that you're allowed to sit on: did you make potato-potato noises?

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Bud

Thanks for taking us along. :clap:

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MichiganBob

That was great. Thanks for sharing, especially the photos. I took the Badger this summer from Manitowoc to Ludington so was particularly interested in the Muskegon ferry for next touring season. I know the trip is a lot shorter. Did you have to bring tie downs or did they have them on board?

 

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I took the Badger this summer from Manitowoc to Ludington so was particularly interested in the Muskegon ferry for next touring season. I know the trip is a lot shorter. Did you have to bring tie downs or did they have them on board?

 

They have all the tie-downs you need; you don't have to bring any. :thumbsup:

 

And finally, there must have been some wind on the weather deck for Paul to be wearing his ear protection while getting his hair straightened.

 

I've rotated through a lot of user names here on the board - Joe Frickin' Friday, Jack Frickin' Bauer, Horatio Frickin' Caine, Dagney Taggart - but I don't remember ever going by "Paul". :grin:

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Indy Dave

An excellent.... if long over due :read: . . . tale from the Dynamic Duo! Thanks so much for taking us along! Paul, Saul, whatever !! Thanks for heeding the call and for capturing the spirit of the "ART's..... even if from Bum Waugga-Tuck The wonderful Up North! :wave:

Edited by Indy Dave

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Endobobdds

Great ride tale Mitch - happy to see you & Shawn together - hope to see you both at START, FART, Un or at least one of the events in 2019!

All the photographs are great but I like this one the best!

 

 

Can your GSA do this?

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-23-X2.jpg

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RandyShields

Sorry, too much wine. I must have been thinking about the hair products by Paul MITCHell.

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Lone_RT_rider
Sorry, too much wine. I must have been thinking about the hair products by Paul MITCHell.

 

Randy (If that really is your name), I'm really starting to enjoy your fermented grape induced posts. Is this what retirement is like? ðŸ‘ðŸ˜

 

Shawn

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Bill_Walker

 

Can your GSA do this?

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-23-X2.jpg

 

Any bike can do that. Once. Some can even be ridden away at the bottom of the hill.

 

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RandyShields

Yeah man!! Work was definitely interfering with all my hobbies. Just finished a round of golf and sitting down with a G&T to watch college football. But like Brett Kavanaugh, I only drink socially, and never excessively.

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Indy Dave

 

 

It's a rare day when you can pull this off:

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-08-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

Can your GSA do this?

 

2018-09-dances-with-shawn-23-X2.jpg

 

 

 

 

The first photo was just practicing for doing the second photo on you RT, Right? Sleeping Bear Dunes is calling your your name.

 

Sleeping_Bear_Dune_Aerial_View.jpg

 

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Lone_RT_rider
I've rotated through a lot of user names here on the board - Joe Frickin' Friday, Jack Frickin' Bauer, Horatio Frickin' Caine, Dagney Taggart - but I don't remember ever going by "Paul". :grin:

 

Just don't call me late for dinner ;)

 

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