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Old 03-08-2011, 03:26 PM   #1
krukster86 OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Evanston, IL
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First Motocamping Trip - IL, IA, MN, WI

Four of us decided to go on a motorcycle camping trip in mid-October 2010. Our crew consisted of Bob(Bobaab) on his SV650, Mike on his Honda 919, Marco on his brother's Seca II and me on the DL650. The plan was roughly laid out as such:

Friday
Depart Chicago after work to get to Galena, IL and camp overnight.

Saturday
Head West to hit the Mississippi and follow it to LaCrosse, WI and cross over to Minnesota. Then explore those Wisconsin rustic roads.

Sunday
Stop by New Glarus to explore the town and stop by the New Glarus brewery and head back home to the Chicago suburbs.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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Mike "posing" next to his Honda 919


Our two bikes ready to roll out. Notice my poor choice in straps on the vstrom...that will be explained later...


Meetup with Marco and Bob. We headed out for gyros as a pre-ride dinner. I was not sure if that was the best decision


So I was good for the 35-45 mph I was traveling around town, but once we hit I-90, we gunned it to 80 mph or so...I started to feel my sleeping bag rise up my back and so I just leaned back to push it down. Then I look in my mirror and see a strap flailing in the wind. NOT GOOD, so I try to signal my riding buddies that I have a problem. No such luck, so then I feel the sleeping bag start to unfurl...and WHOOMP! It is gone. Thankfully all the cars behind me sensed trouble afoot and got out of the way earlier, no accidents to report. I pulled over while everyone else in the group zoomed by oblivious. I waited for a lul in the traffic and dashed to get the sleeping bag (in the middle of the highway). I tossed the stupid "straps" and busted out the spare nylon straps I had packed away. I tied that thing down as best as I could and called up my mates. Here they are calling me an idiot/checking the strap tightness/laughing:


Finally they agree that it is secure


We camped at a KOA campsite in Galena, IL in the rain. KOA campsites are expensive and you are not really "roughing it".







Ramen - Never really cared for it until now. Waking up to 30 degrees and being super hungry helps you enjoy ANYTHING!



Mike demonstrating the use of our coffee cups: ramen now, ersatz coffee after!


That Chicago Blackhawks cup will not be in his possession too much longer..

We departed IL and crossed over into Iowa and the Mississippi River, time for a nice brunch! Here is Bob showing how wide the river actually was.



Tankup


Bob (bobaab)'s trademark:



Crossing over into Minnesota. It was SO cold in LaCrosse that we decided to go to Minnesota past the state line, and call it quits and head back!

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Old 03-08-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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We headed back to northwest Wisconsin and hit up a lot of the rustic roads that we could find on Bob's GPS/phone. Over there, rustic roads = twisties!!! it was a lot of fun!

Deciding what routes to take:


Around midday, we all were feeling ADVenturous and wanted to hit some dirt/gravel, so we found a nice section to try out. Most of us (me included) have not taken our bikes offroad so we were excited and a wee bit scared to see what would happen. All was going well until we hit a sharp uphill turn that had many patches of loose gravel. I hear the RPMs drop so I gun it and power through till I get to a safe spot. Marco on the other hand did not and dropped the Seca II. We all righted his bike up and decided that was enough for today.



We found a campsite not too far away for cheap and set up shop before heading out to town:



We unloaded our touring gear and rode off to town for dinner and booze for the night. As usual, we spotted a Mexican restaurant with some bikes parked out front so it must be good! Afterward we walked to the nearby gas station to pick up beers for the campfire that night. As luck would have it, they carried Blatz!
Sidenote: Blatz is a really crappy beer that for some reason my friends and I like to drink when we don't have the luxury of European beers. I talk to friends in Wisconsin and they are shocked that I drink it rather than use it to cook beer brats and the like.
Bob had to be classy and get some spotted cow


Mike securing the Blatz



Bob's unsuccessful attempt to transport the Spotted Cow. While leaving the town to go back to the campsite, we did a little bit of showboating, and at some point, the 6-pack tipped over and he lost 2-3 bottles on the road...what a tragedy!



Next morning. I decided to take some artsy shots





Time to leave, New Glarus awaits!


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Old 03-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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We arrived in New Glarus to do a little bit of touristy exploring, grab some lunch and check out the New Glarus Brewery for a free tour!

At the New Glarus Hotel and Restaurant. I HIGHLY recommend this place. The food really hit the spot!
This is just the sweet table:


we are all in a happy place


I <3 this place


Pictures of the town


Other bikes in town too!



We departed for the brewery and we were happy to ride some more gravel, even if it was just the long spiraling driveway to the brewery.



Here I am imitating the infamous ADV rider pose



Brewery:















Resting easy after a beer tasting and brewery tour.


It was decided to hop on the interstate and zip on home as fast as possible to rest up before us working stiffs had to go back to the usual grind on Monday. All in all I was really happy I went on this trip. It was my first motocamping experience and I am really interested in doing a trip again with my gf and doing a Lake Superior Circle Tour over the course of a week.
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