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Mike

Driftin' - June 11 - 14, 2020 (SW Wisconsin)

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Mike

This is just coming together, but Mitch Patrie, Steve Knapp, and I are planning to host a very informal gathering at our place in the Driftless Zone of SW Wisconsin on June 11  - 14, 2020. The address is 13040 Borah Ridge Road, Prarie du Chien, WI 53821.  I've run this past Whip and tried to avoid conflicts with other big events.

We'll work out the details and post them here, but it'll be a chance to ride, camp, and just have a grand old time . . . without much of an agenda.  I've got space for maybe a dozen tent campers or so. Or, if you prefer, there's a beautiful state park (Wyalusing) within 5-6 miles of here. There's an old-fashioned motel just down the road (Captain's Cove); it's old-school, but inexpensive. If you want something a little more upscale, the nearby town of Prairie du Chien offers several hundred motel rooms, ranging from "I could never bring my wife here" to "Pretty darned nice."

We have a firepit, a halfway workable bathroom in our "barn," a wood pellet grill, and enough pavement to park a bunch of bikes. Whether there are five or fifty, we should be able to survive it. But, here's the deal--it's gonna be pretty informal. We'll toss together a group meal one night, but it will not be a Michelin 3-star experience.

Oh, the riding: there are hundreds of miles of great twisty paved roads here that wind through valleys and atop bluffs.  We'll put together a couple of route recommendations, but it's pretty hard to go wrong.  I'll explore some GS options, too.


RSVP here.
 

fullsizeoutput_ef58.jpeg

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Mike

This site offers 8,500 miles of downloadable routes in the Driftless, along with printed maps: https://driftlessroadadventures.com/

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Mike

If you're one who plans early, the little motel just at the bottom of our ridge is the Captain's Cove Motel. As I mentioned, it's far from modern, but immaculately kept. I stopped in a few minutes ago and spoke with the owner, Harry. He said his room rate is $80/night and that he plans on keeping that rate  through next year. If you make a reservation, tell Harry or Kit that Mike sent you.

 

Wyalusing State Park is the nearby state park I mentioned. If you want a few more amenities than are offered at Borah Borah (our cabin), if if you're bringing an RV, it offers incredible views, electrical hookups (at least on some sites), and shower facilities.

If you'd like a little more information about the town of Prairie du Chien and tourism, the Chamber of Commerce website offers tourism information and links to over 30 lodging options. PDC is the second oldest city in the State, and was visited by Marquette and Joliet on their voyage of discovery in 1673. The name Prairie du Chien derives from the French word, chien, a reference to the Fox indian chief, "Dog," who controlled the prairie where the city is now found.

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lawnchairboy

Great of you all to organize, hope to make it

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Bud

Interested,  love the area.

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RightSpin

I'm watching this with a wary eye, Mike.  I'll have to see how the rest of this year unfolds, but it might make the schedule next year.

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Whip

I will do my best to be there and bring some other riders with me .

 

@eddd

 

 

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Chris K

Very tempting. It has been many years since I have ridden these roads. 

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Good stuff:

 

2012-08-dances-with-cows-too-025

 

2012-08-dances-with-cows-too-033

 

2012-08-dances-with-cows-too-039

 

 

 

2012-08-dances-with-cows-too-049

 

 

 

 

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Burt

I'd like to make it to this one.

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Dave_in_TX

Sounds good. I'm hoping to make it. I was born in Wisconsin and grew up there but have lived the last 40+ years in Texas.

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Mike

A couple photos of the venue. It’s totally country. The Barn is gonna be HQ. The grassy area just beyond, the campground. 

10749AA1-9953-4EEB-96D6-0C24C84B05EE.jpeg

1F9CA044-0067-485C-933E-F0D5D33C5A36.jpeg

69339D0B-566A-4E06-BEEB-4F597DA95B9E.jpeg

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Mike

We’ll clear things out and set up some tables inside.

 

Lots of tent space. Amenities = 0. 

ACE89FC3-8518-4294-A0A9-4C33C8B7B2E1.jpeg

A3A38B83-7A9A-48E3-B74E-AB93CE3D2924.jpeg

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steveknapp

Woot! Looking forward to it. 

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John Ranalletta

In!

 

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John Ranalletta

2012-08-dances-with-cows-too-033

Mitch,

 

Sorry about the leg.  Nobody told me.

 

j

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Foot

Sounds like a river road trip! Hopefully the Mississippi river doesn't flood again!

 

IMG_0579.JPG

IMG_0580.JPG

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Foot

I  hope Pete's hamburgers is still open.

IMG_0583.JPG

IMG_0585.JPG

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Mike

Definitely!

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Mike
1 hour ago, Foot said:

Sounds like a river road trip! Hopefully the Mississippi river doesn't flood again!

We've put Steve...who works for Google...in charge of weather, so I'm sure everything will be fine.

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John Ranalletta

I emailed the hotel and got this response. 

E16AACFF-C586-4BA4-A8F2-13AAB5B79C7A.png

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Mike
12 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

I emailed the hotel and got this response. 

E16AACFF-C586-4BA4-A8F2-13AAB5B79C7A.png

I guess they're old school! Harry seems like a nice guy.

This little motel hosts a lot of fishermen and canoeists. They also offer canoe and kayak rentals for those interested. 

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greiffster
2 hours ago, Foot said:

Sounds like a river road trip! Hopefully the Mississippi river doesn't flood again!

 

 

 

Maybe go around Ferguson this time.:3:

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Bud

Found this while mucking around the web today.

 

https://driftlessroadadventures.com/

 

Includes downloadable GPS files for each of the rides. Free

 

Sample route, crooked roads

wisconsin-triangle-pic-2.jpg

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Mike
12 minutes ago, Bud said:

Found this while mucking around the web today.

 

https://driftlessroadadventures.com/

 

Includes downloadable GPS files for each of the rides. Free

 

Sample route, crooked roads

wisconsin-triangle-pic-2.jpg

An excellent resource! I’ve talked to them about modifying a few routes to start/finish at our place. I’ll post the details once that happens. 

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John Ranalletta
5 hours ago, Mike said:

I guess they're old school! Harry seems like a nice guy.

This little motel hosts a lot of fishermen and canoeists. They also offer canoe and kayak rentals for those interested. 

 

Mike,

 

I wasn't at all put off by his response; so, hope that's not how it's read.  Just thought I put this out so other interested attendees would have the info.  

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Mike
3 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

 

Mike,

 

I wasn't at all put off by his response; so, hope that's not how it's read.  Just thought I put this out so other interested attendees would have the info.  

I didn't read it that way. I guess I was just a wee bit surprised they do it manually (I guess). However, it is a very small operation--eight rooms, I believe--so I imagine they have to keep their costs low.

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John Ranalletta
1 hour ago, Mike said:

I didn't read it that way. I guess I was just a wee bit surprised they do it manually (I guess). However, it is a very small operation--eight rooms, I believe--so I imagine they have to keep their costs low.

 

Any body else wanting a room there can get in line behind me....

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Foot
7 hours ago, greiffster said:

Maybe go around Ferguson this time.:3:

Come on the police foot chases were fun to watch!

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LBump

I remember ten years ago coming across the country I was having a great time riding the roads around  Trempealeau.  Camped in the Perrot State Park, in the rain... Enjoyed all the lettered roads DD, XX,A, AA TT, VD, W, T etc.  Got me thoroughly confused...  I'd do it again... :thumbsup:

Plus there's Spring Green!

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On 9/2/2019 at 8:00 PM, John Ranalletta said:

Mitch,

 

Sorry about the leg.  Nobody told me.

 

 

Don't feel bad, nobody told me either.  

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Mike
12 hours ago, LBump said:

I remember ten years ago coming across the country I was having a great time riding the roads around  Trempealeau.  Camped in the Perrot State Park, in the rain... Enjoyed all the lettered roads DD, XX,A, AA TT, VD, W, T etc.  Got me thoroughly confused...  I'd do it again... :thumbsup:

Plus there's Spring Green!

Spring Green is a nice destination, a little more than an hour from Borah Borah, much of the ride along the Wisconsin River. It’s also the home of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, a World Heritage Site.  

 

I’ll work on a list of possible destinations, but we’re very close to Effigy Mounds National Monument, the Upper Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and a number of other sites of historic and natural significance. 

 

The Kickapoo River, not far from here, is believed by some geologists to be the oldest river in the world. And, the Driftless Zone itself is of tremendous natural significance, home to species and geological features found nowhere else. 

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Mike

As long as I’m inundating everyone with information about the area, this documentary gives a good overview: Mysteries of the Driftless

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Bud

When the UN was in Wisconsin I visited the Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Worth the trip.

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Bud
On 9/4/2019 at 11:18 AM, Mike said:

As long as I’m inundating everyone with information about the area, this documentary gives a good overview: Mysteries of the Driftless

 

That alone should make you want to visit.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

More pics of the Driftless to entice you:

 

i-NCNM559-L.jpg

 

i-kjvqmMd-L.jpg

 

i-hQ339Hz-L.jpg

 

i-7C68mBq-L.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LBump

Now that was a very informative film, Thanks Mike! :thumbsup:

 

A very special and geological sensitive are for sure.  I hope it's totally preserved... 

 

 

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realshelby

Hmmmm....this is only about 1200 miles away. Compared to the UN, it could be 900 miles closer depending on final location........

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Mike
2 minutes ago, realshelby said:

Hmmmm....this is only about 1200 miles away. Compared to the UN, it could be 900 miles closer depending on final location........

Do ‘em all!

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realshelby

Never say never. The 2019 UN was 1900 miles away for me and I made that. Never been to the Wisconsin area. 

 

I do have a business to run. But it is getting easier to tell customers I won't be back for a week or so.......

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Mike
1 minute ago, Mike said:

Do ‘em all!

Actually, trying to be a little serious...I ran the timing by Larry. It’s almost impossible to avoid every conflict, but I ended up with this timing for a couple of reasons—

 

-Generally, it’s a good time of year for riding here. The heat and humidity of summer haven’t yet made an appearance. Kids are out of school, and there aren’t any holidays that might keep people from traveling. 

 

-With the Un happening in July, it doesn’t have to be an either/or for anyone. This is going to be even more Un than the Un: show up, hang out, have a ride or two. 

 

-It turns out that Mitch and Steve will likely be available on these dates to pitch in. 

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Mike

While most of us will be focused on the roads, I thought that some might be interested in spending a few hours fishing. If you're inclined to strap your waders to the back of your motorcycle, the Driftless is one of the top fly fishing destinations in the world, with over 13,000 miles of designated trout streams in the Wisconsin portion alone. I have a friend who's a professional guide; if you're interested, I can connect you.

https://www.outdoorlife.com/trout-fishing-driftless-area-midwest/
 

 

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Bud

Now you want me to go fishing!:classic_biggrin:

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Yeeha Stephen

Well.... this may be something that would entice Yeeha! Stephen out from under his rock!

:lurk:

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Mike
18 minutes ago, Yeeha Stephen said:

Well.... this may be something that would entice Yeeha! Stephen out from under his rock!

:lurk:

I hope so! We’ll keep it nice and easy...just about friends and riding. 
 

I just rolled into the Wisconsin estate a couple of hours ago, and I can’t wait to share this fantastic area with friends. Three gents on GS’s rolled by as I was unloading the Jeep. 

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Paul De

Put it in my calendar.   Whether I come out of the MKE area or the North Woods makes it a shorty trip.  In any case the Driftless Area is a gem of a place in Wisconsin

 

It would be great to finally meet some of the folks here in the flesh.

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Mike

I’ve done some checking on hotels, and there is quite a range of prices, some over $200/night. So far, apart from the Captain’s Cove (mentioned above), the least expensive modern hotel is the Microtel, with room rates starting the low $80 range: https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/microtel/prairie-du-chien-wisconsin/microtel-inn-suites-prairie-du-chine/overview

 

I’ve also secured a block of rooms at a very nice new hotel in downtown Prairie du Chien, the Riverfront Hotel, under the reservation code “BMWST”. It’s notably more expensive, but with excellent accommodations overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. These rates include tax and breakfast, and there is a nice bar and restaurant with outdoor seating:

 

Standard King (2): $188.44 per unit 

Standard Queen: (8): $199.59 per unit

 

Their website is www.waterfronthotelwi.com tel. 608.380.1021.

Additionally, there is a block of rooms available at the Microtel under the reservation code "BMWST". The rate--available if you book the three nights, Thursday through Sunday--is $95/day for rooms with two queen beds. They serve a hot and cold breakfast buffet. If you book for fewer days, the rate will be higher.  This block of rooms is being held until April 27, 2020, but the manager (Bethany) suggested you book earlier if possible, as they expect June to be busy. https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/microtel/prairie-du-chien-wisconsin/microtel-inn-suites-prairie-du-chine/overview

 

The Microtel is located on Hwy 18 and most dining options are not walkable. The Waterfront is located downtown, and a couple of good restaurants are very close. They are, respectively, 5.5 and 8.5 miles from our Driftin’ HQ. 
 

To give you a bit better flavor of the differences, the Microtel offers fairly basic accommodations and is located on the US Highway that cuts through town. Apart from being close to the best restaurant in town (The Black Angus), not much else is walkable. The Riverfront Hotel is more luxurious, has a bar onsite and will have a restaurant open by the time of our event.  It's located a very short distance (across the street) from two good restaurants and a great coffee shop, as well as some shopping (though those options are limited).

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Mike

We've put together an informal guide (Version 1) for those who are thinking of joining us. This is a work in progress, and we will add more information over the next few months, so check back occasionally. This contains some info on the venue, local accommodations, and other info you might find helpful. If there's anything you'd like to see included in it, let us know.

We will be adding information on routes and destinations in the area.

Note that this guide contains information on the two hotels where we've secured blocks of rooms under a group rate, as well as other places. It's a popular tourist area, so there are many other options if these don't suit you. However, you'd be wise to think ahead, lest you find the "No Vacancy" sign  hung on the door. There are links within this document to help you connect to some of the businesses.

Again, there will be no charge for Driftin'. We'll put together a group meal, something casual, and will invite those who are so inclined to toss something in the hat to help cover those costs. If you're brave enough, you can camp on site.

Driftin' 2020 Informal Guide.pdf

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Bud

Thanks for doing this for the rest of us.

 

I might be able to provide some Makers Mark fudge to go with the meal.

 

Looking forward to Driftin in SW Wisconsin.

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Mike
3 hours ago, Bud said:

Thanks for doing this for the rest of us.

 

I might be able to provide some Makers Mark fudge to go with the meal.

 

Looking forward to Driftin in SW Wisconsin.

That would be a great addition! Don’t put yourself out if it’s a problem, but I’m sure it would be appreciated by the Drifters. 

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