A Weekend Spent With Friends

Good weather, good fun, great destinations. That alone would make for a successful weekend, but when you share it with great friends, it makes it even better.

For awhile now we have been wanting to take a trip to Boone, Iowa to ride the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Dinner Train.  It finally worked out that several of us could go, so reservations were made and a weekend was planned. You can read about our dinner train adventures on my other blog, here A Ride On The Dinner Train.

We were a bit nervous in the days leading up to the weekend-the weather was not supposed to cooperate at all. Rain/storms were predicted. As luck would have it, the weather turned out fine. The ride down was a cloudy and even a bit chilly, but we had no rain and it was even enjoyable!

By the time we rode the train, the skies had turned blue and the rest of the weekend was gorgeous!

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In the same area as the train, is a place called Ledges State Park. After a night at a hotel and breakfast, we packed our stuff in the bikes and headed to the park. I am always thrilled when we visit any state park, as they always have so much green, and such beautiful scenery. Ledges State Park was the same!

There were several spots where the water runs over the road. It reminded of a park in the town I grew up in where it did the same.  In a car, you always went fast to make a splash-on a motorcycle, you don’t. At least we didn’t.  I am happy to say, I stayed dry!

After our visit to the park,

and a quick side trip to see the High Trestle Trail Bridge, which this time, was only from afar,

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it was back for dinner at one of our favorite places in Ames, Iowa, Hickory Park Restaurant. Trust me, if you are ever in the area, this is a must stop place to eat. It is always busy but they seat unusually fast. Even if you have to wait a bit, it is worth it.

After dinner, it was time to go home. This point we divided in half, since we were going different directions. We went up a peaceful two lane highway that leads home. The was little traffic and it was an unusually quiet, beautiful ride home.

You can never ever go wrong when you spend the weekend on the bike, going to wonderful fun destinations and doing it all with great friends!

I can’t wait for the next adventure.

The Harley Davidson Museum

Recently, the husband had a couple weeks of vacation. He decided to take a couple days and go see something he has wanted to for a long time-The Harley Davidson Museum.

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He took a ride, alone, to Milwaukee to check it out. He grabbed a hotel room close by for two nights and made a mini-vacation out of it!

He looked at a lot of history, took a tour and ate at the restaurant in the museum.

I do know he wants to go back and check it out even more. It has so much to offer! Next time, I plan to go with him!

He took a lot of pictures and here are just some of them!

Thanks, Tom for sharing your pictures!

Why Being On His Bike Is More Meaningful Now

If you are just a reader of this blog and not my other one, too, you may not know my husband’s story.  He has been a lover of motorcycles always. Being able to get on his Harley and forget the troubles of the world has always been an integral part of his life.

You you wouldn’t know from looking at these pictures is that before this, in March of 2014, he had a stroke.  His Harley, and getting back on it, riding is what was his motivation to get better.  It had to be a great motivation because he was back on it that summer, long before the doctors thought he would be. He even took a trip alone to Sturgis that year!

Here is the link to the blog post where I interviewed him and he tells you just what having a stroke meant to him.  He will tell you about that motivation. Here is his story.

What Having a Stroke Meant-An Interview With My Husband

The Quickly Put Together Ride

The thing with riding motorcycles, is that, of course, you are a prisoner of the weather.You can plan wonderful rides and then have to cancel at the last minute. Or, you can have nothing planned and the weather turns out incredibly perfect, so you quickly put together a day ride with friends.

That was our Sunday. The weather was supposed to be sunny and in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. You couldn’t ask for a better weather forecast. We put out the word and six of us set off for the day. That may sound like a small group to you, but when you ride, it truly isn’t the number of people, but the ride itself. This one, was perfect.

 

We met up at two different places and then off to brunch we went. It was to a place called Shooters. With the combination of breakfast items and Sunday dinner items, it is a must go to place for a filling, delicious brunch destination.

My favorite stop of the day was at Pilot Knob State Park. There was so much blue sky and green surrounding us, I could have stayed all day. They have an observation tower that is a must to climb and we have in the past, but this time, we got off the bikes and walked down to the amphitheater. I could have sat there all day.

Reluctantly it was back on the bikes. We headed north into Minnesota. With the wind  as it was yesterday, it was a good direction choice. Being on the back, I could truly enjoy the blue skies and open countryside.

We finished the day with a stop at the Harley dealership in Albert Lea and of course, as long as we were in the area, ice cream at Coldstone Creamery.

 

It was a great day and we ended it with deciding that we should just meet on Sundays and decide then where our destination of the day is. Sounds to me like we have some more great adventures before us.

Do You Suffer From PMS or BMS?

Okay, before you think I am crazy, let me explain.  If you ride a motorcycle and live where there is definite winter, you will most likely see memes that say you suffer from PMS. Parked Motorcycle Syndrome!  It is hard during the long long winter to have that yearning to be back on the Harley (or whatever two wheels you might ride) and get out on the road. It is hard when you need to blow off some steam or just need some of that road therapy and you just can’t.

What about when the weather is good as it is now-perfect for riding and you can’t because of BMS? Broken Motorcycle Syndrome. I am pretty sure that is even worse.  You should see the hubby when he hears the bikes going by. It is not pretty! 😉  Seriously, though, it is hard when the motorcycle is in the shop during great biking weather!

I know the weekend coming up will be incredible weather wise-thankful that the bike is done and can be picked up.  I think the limits of BMS have been reached!

We truly need to see some more of things like this:

A Ride to the Grotto of the Redemption

I have lived in Iowa for the most part of my life. It was not until just a couple years ago that I finally what is sometimes deemed the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’-The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend. The Grotto contains the largest collection of stones in any one place and took mainly two men 52 years of hard manual labor to achieve.

I was impressed by the immense peace and beauty of this place. The pictures I am sharing don’t compare to seeing this in person-which is something I highly recommend!

You can check out the history, hours and so much more on their website.

The National Motorcycle Museum

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If you are a fan of motorcycles at all the National Motorcycle Museum is a destination you must visit! Founded in 1989 and located in Anamosa, Iowa, it houses over 400 incredible motorcycles. Their collection includes toys, posters, photos and other memorabilia that enhance the experience. As with any museum, some of their motorcycles on display are on loan, so the things you can see here will always be changing!

We got to stop here a couple years ago when we were returning from one of our trips. With so much to see and knowing how the displays of some motorcycles change, we plan on making a return trip when we can spend a longer time there.

Check out some of the incredible motorcycles that we saw on our visit.

You can learn much more about the National Motorcycle Museum on their Website and you can follow them on Twitter and on Facebook.