Friday, September 9, 2011


The sure footed, 2001 BMW R1150GS took us from home, down the river through LaCrescent and into Wisconsin and Illinois...and back.  780 miles in less than 3 days.
Saturday's ride was warm and misty through Red Wing, Minnesota.  Perfect in my opinion for some photo ops in the back-water barge towns but my driver forged on.  We ascended into hundreds of acres of apple orchards in the high ground of Wisconsin.   We arrived, soaked to the skin on the bottom half and boots in Rockford, IL at supper time.  Our friends, Jen and Davey met us with warm quilts and a glass of red wine.  Mind readers!

Sunday, we took a short drive to Edwards Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

The architectural firm that Jen works for redesigned the barns and homestead that was devastated in a freak January tornado in 2008.  Ken, the owner, Dave and Jen visited in the main store.  I tasted the JonaGolds and grabbed a bag, some cashew brittle and vanilla taffy. 
The place was packed, but I learned that this was considered a light crowd by weekend standards.  They have all the usual draws, petting zoo and that day a live blue grass quartet.
They do not take credit cards, so if you go bring cash or a local check.

That night it was a music festival on the waterfront.  Davey and Jen went to see Stone Temple Pilots.  We got comp tickets and went with Richard's son, Joe.  We listened to this funk band here come the mummies.  Great show band, good vibe.  Really sophomoric, naughty lyrics.  Then it was back to Dave and Jen's for more rehearsal in the basement...good vibes, not naughty lyrics.
Labor Day, I am climbing back on ol' one eye.  Jen gives the windshield a once over.  Our friends are the best!

There are only a few fluffy clouds in the sky, but the west wind is a factor.  Temps have dropped and even with an electric vest it is a long, chilly drive home.  We make a quick stop in New Glarus for cider and some Two Women Beer.  Two bottles will fit in the soft bags.

We make another quick stop in Mineral Point, for more locally crafted blue cheese.  I take a few shots of the wonderfully preserved limestone buildings.  The streets are fairly deserted this holiday.

Shop windows beckon.

I poke into a sweet shop called Distraction, blog post here, which is half vintage and half salvage and all great looking!  I would have loved to load up on those porcelain knobs, but remember, two bottles of Two Women beer and blue cheese are already on board.

The west wind propels a line of wind turbines in the western high fields of Wisconsin.  By the time we arrive home, it is 9PM.  I forget about micro-brewed beers and care only about a hot bath.

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