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Laura Ingalls Wilder Ride Report

Yesterday Renee and I rode the lower half of the Laura Ingalls Wilder route.  We had a hotel in Durand, WI, so we jumped on the route in the middle of the eastern leg.  We woke up to very gray skies, and by the time we had breakfast the radar was not looking good.  We waited out a storm and got a later start than we would have liked.  When we eventually got on the road, we followed the route south to Pepin  before turning north toward Menomonie.  We had completed about half of the route when we decided to check the radar again as more storms were predicted.  Sure enough a big one was headed right for us, so we cut the ride short and raced the storm back to the hotel.  All in all not our best day!  BUT, the important part about this trip was that we learned a lot!  Today we are back home and we wanted to share some of our observations with you.

First:  There was gravel.  A lot of gravel.  Much much more gravel than we expected.  Roads that we thought were paved turned out to contain gravel sections of various lengths.  I have been wracking my brain to figure out how I included so many gravel roads and think it might have been due to the method I was using to verify the road surface.  We apologize to anyone who followed our route and ended up on a gravel road that they weren’t expecting.  Because of the storms, the gravel was pretty soft and slick, so it slowed us down quite a bit.  However, we both agreed that we wouldn’t have wanted to miss these roads…they were so much fun.  Therefore, we are going to keep this route as is and reclassify it as a dual sport route.  We will also be revising the route for those who want to stay strictly on pavement.  Thanks for your patience as we make these changes.

Second:  This route could be called the Laura Ingalls Wildlife Route.  We saw over 25 deer (does and fawns), pheasants, several sandhill cranes and 2 woodchucks!  The deer were mostly in the fields but we had a few close encounters too.  This was a wonderful added bonus to the beautiful scenery we experienced along the entire route.  Another name we toyed with was the Right Angle Route.  We have never been on roads with so many 90 degree turns!  They may slow you down a bit…and make sure they do because many come right after blind hills and try to catch you by surprise… but it is fun to zig zag through the valleys this way.

Finally:  There are many towns in this area, but the route does not pass through them.   There are not many places to stop for food or gas (or bathrooms), so be sure to fill up your tank before heading out on this route!

The portion of the route that we got to experience was a lot of fun and simply beautiful.  We are looking forward to going back to complete it.  So stay tuned for the updated version with no gravel, and if you don’t mind it, get out there and enjoy!

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Exploring the Laura Ingalls Wilder Route

We can’t believe the weekend is upon us already!  This week has flown by and we decided last minute to throw together a weekend getaway.  After checking weather forecasts it looks like our best shot of staying mostly dry will be on the Laura Ingalls Wilder route.  So that’s where we will be, getting lots of photos and some video to share.  Remember, as you ride the routes, please come back to the route page to rate it, leave us comments, share your pictures and video.  The more feedback we get, the better!  Also, don’t forget to follow us on the site, our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news!  Ride safe, have a great weekend, and if you see us on the road (just look for our stickers on our bags) be sure to say hi!

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Awesome But Exhausting Weekend!

Wow, what a great weekend!  3 days of riding with old friends and and making new friends.  Overall, I rode 600 miles in 3 different states!

Friday was spent riding to Wisconsin and exploring some roads and sights for the next new route we are working on (the Boaz-Caz Route).  The diversity of scenery for the first day is typical on all of our routes.  For the architecture buffs among us, this route includes a warehouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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On Saturday, our plan was to ride the Wisconsin Triangle Route.  We started early and kept up a brisk pace all day.  Life happens and we had many drop outs so our small group was made up of a BMW 1200GSW, a Versys, a Vstrom, a Valkryie, and a VTX.

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Unfortunately Bill, on the Valk, had work commitments, so he could only ride with us for a short time.  We started the ride in Blue River, WI and rode in a clockwise direction, winding through the hills and valleys until we made it to Potosi.  In Potosi, we took side trips on Wisconsin Rustic Road #99 and the Potosi Recreation Area Pennisula.

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We stopped for lunch in Cassville and then pushed on.  After a few quick stops along the way we ended up in Woodman, where they were winding down the Dinky Days Celebration.  The Dinky Days Celebration is a look into the past when the narrow gauge railroad ran between Woodman and Fennimore Wisconsin.

We visited with our friends and sponsor at the Dinky Store.  We were close to the end of the route and it was getting late.  A freshly paved road made for a great finish to a good day’s ride.  The door to door distance for this ride was about 250 miles, traffic was light, the weather was good.

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By Sunday, I was tired, but I had a planned meet up with the crew from Motoworks Chicago at the ATLAK event in Galena, Illinois, so I had to get up and start moving.  It was a windy, cloudy day until I got to the event site at Chestnut Mountain Resort (Galena, Ill), but then the wind stopped and the sun came out.  The setting was beautiful and the new Triumph Tigers looked awesome.

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I met people from as close as Moline and as far away as Chicago and I had a great time talking to everyone I met.  The highlight of my visit was meeting Johnny Scheff from Motoworks Chicago, John Panek from the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association, and Chad Berger from Lone Wolf Expeditions.

Motoworks Chicago was the local host for the nationwide ATLAK event.  They have many events throughout the summer, so you should check out their website or stop in to their store.

The Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) has the motto, Great Riders, Great Roads, Join Us!  The primary purpose of this group is to bring together riders whose focus is sport touring, regardless of the type or brand of motorcycle.  They host several events throughout the year including a major event every year.  This years major event will be held next weekend (June 10-14) in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Chad Berger created Lone Wolf Expeditions, but he is also known as the creator of the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail.  This is a dual sport route that runs from Galena, Illinois to the north tip of wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.  This is a must-do ride for any dual sport enthusiast.

Overall it was a fun, but tiring weekend.  I found some great new roads for the Boaz-Caz Route, I decided to make some small changes to the Wisconsin Triangle Route, and I got to reconnect with some old friends and make some new friends.

Thanks for riding along.

Dale

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3rd Annual Mayhem Ride + Teaming Up With Triumph/MOTOWORKS Chicago=Big Weekend Plans!!

Driftless Road Adventures has a big weekend coming up!

On Saturday Dale will be leading the 3rd annual Mayhem Ride.  This year the Mayhem ride follows the Wisconsin Triangle Route and Dale will be posting pictures on the Driftless Road Adventures Facebook page throughout the day.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook (@Driftless Roads) for the latest pictures and news!  This has been a ride that Dale has planned for family and friends up until now, but we are thinking of opening it up next year and inviting everyone along.  More info on that to follow.

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Next, Driftless Road Adventures is teaming up with Triumph Motorcycles and MOTOWORKS Chicago:

Earlier this year Triumph announced it would host a 16 city tour to promote their new 800 and 1200 Triumph Tigers.  This Tour, dubbed the ATLAK (ATLanta to AlasKa) Tour is making a stop at Chestnut Mountain Lodge in Galena, IL THIS WEEKEND!  (June 2nd and 3rd).

Hosted by the MOTOWORKS Chicago crew, this 2 day event will feature both gravel and paved rides each day as well as food and other festivities.

We are extremely proud to announce that the paved routes for this weekend’s event will be supplied by Driftless Road Adventures!  So plan to attend this event, check out the new Tigers and ride some great roads.

Click here for more information on the event and here for more information about the tour itself.

As always, we would love any feedback on the site and the routes as you are getting out there and riding them.  Send us your pics, videos, and comments and we will put them on our sharing wall for everyone to enjoy.  Use the Comments form or email: Driftlessroadadventures@gmail.com.  Ride safe!

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Update to St Croix Route 5/25/18

Notice:  Thanks to one of our astute riders, we have just learned that the Stillwater Lift Bridge is closed until June 2019.  At that point it will reopen to bicycles and pedestrians only.  We will make the necessary adjustments to this route and post an update.  In the meantime, all riders are encouraged to take the new St Croix Crossing bridge just to the south of the lift bridge, then take Highway 95 North.  This adjustment will take you back to the originally posted route.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

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Please remember that we cannot predict seasonal road work or construction projects.  It is only through user feedback that we are able to discover problems with the routes.  So please let us know if you encounter any problems with any of the routes.

Dale and Renee

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Extra Route For The Big Weekend

We have completed the St. Croix Route…our northern most route…and in honor of Memorial Day we are releasing it immediately for all users.  Ordinarily we make our new routes available to our patrons first for 48 hours, but this time we wanted everyone to have the opportunity to ride the route this weekend if they so desire.  Please consider becoming a patron and you too can have early access to routes and other great perks.  It helps us keep the site free for all to use!  So, again, happy Memorial Day and ride safe!

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Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

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Happy Memorial Day

This is a big weekend for Dale and I as we are off to our son’s wedding! We won’t be able to ride, but we hope that a lot of you will! All of the completed routes are up and available for downloading. We had a glitch that made the Pike’s Peak Route available only to our Patrons, but we have corrected that.

Don’t forget that if you ride one of the routes we would love to have you come back and rate the route on the route page.  We also value any comments you send us and remember we have added a spot for any pictures or video you want to share.  Your contributions will only make the site better and better.

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Recent Rider Submitted Photo

So gear up and hit the routes this weekend and please be safe!  Dale and I want to hear all about it when we get home!

 

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Route Update + Rider Pics

We are pleased to announce that we have released the Zumbro River Route.  This route explores the Driftless Area of Minnesota between Wabasha, Zumbroto, and the northern edge of Rochester.  It also features a long stretch of beautiful Highway 60.  Remember, Patrons get early access to all new routes.  If you would like early access to new routes,  exclusive access to all custom routes, and other discounts and rewards, please consider becoming a Patron.

We also got some wonderful feedback from some great guys from Kentucky.  They rode all the way from Louisville to ride the Taliesin Route.  It looks like they had good weather and a great time!  Click here for more pictures from the Taliesin Route.  We have added an area to the site that allows us to upload new pictures and videos all in one place.  We will share our adventures, but would love to hear about and see yours!  If you would like to share, send your pics/videos/comments to driftlessroadadventures@gmail.com or post in the comments section on the site.

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TGIF

The weekend has arrived! Is anyone planning on trying out one or more of the routes this weekend? If you do ride, please give us some feedback on the route. Pictures that we can post would be great too. Rate your route with the star rating on the route page and write us a review in the comments section please. Your feedback helps not only us, but other riders as well! Ride safe and have a great weekend!!

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The Ups and Downs of our Mother’s Day River Bend Route Ride

Today we rode a section of the River Bend Route. Apart from the many ups and downs we encountered through great elevations changes, we had a few other ups and downs to contend with.  Mother nature did not help us out and we woke up to dense fog that hung like a heavy mist in the air.  It was only 50 degrees, but because the forecast called for a high of 68 and just overcast skies, we set out.  It was damp and it was cold, but the early spring scenery in rural Wisconsin was amazing!  The roads we took were awesome, with the exception of one closed road…Sauk Street in Lodi, WI…due to construction.  This road will remain closed through July 27th, but it is easy to navigate around the closure if you have your GPS or map handy.  Dale has also added a note to the route page with suggestions for a detour around the closure.

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Some of the highlights for Dale and I included a trip down a rustic road where we are convinced all the wildlife was hanging out.  We got on Rustic Road #110 and immediately saw 2 sandhill cranes.  Minutes later we had two white-tailed deer cross in front of us, as well as an abundance of squirrels.  We also spent some time walking around and enjoying the art at Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron.  Built in the 1980s, it is the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world, standing 50 ft. high and 120 ft. wide, and weighing 300 tons. But the Forevertron is only one of literally hundreds of pieces of scrap metal art on the property.  Here are a few of our favorites:

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We had a fun trip across Lake Wisconsin on the Merrimac Ferry, and a picnic at a great park after we crossed.

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One of our favorite roads was called Devil’s Delight.  I turned on my camera as we climbed up the hill.  It’s much more fun and impressive in person, but here’s an idea of the great kind of roads on this route:

After you reach the top you can head over to Devil’s Lake State Park and the ride around the park is beautiful…and free if you are just passing through.

The temperature never managed to get above 55 and the sun never did come out, so we opted to save the upper part of the route for a nicer day and started meandering our way back to Spring Green and up out of the valley to Dodgeville where we had spent the previous night and had left our trailer.  It might not have gone to plan, but it was still a really fun day…a great way to spend Mother’s Day, and a great first trip of the year!

We would love to hear about your adventures on the routes.  Any pictures you are willing to share will go up on the site as well as your ratings of the routes and any comments.  If you ever encounter a problem with a route, please tell us about that too.  We can put up notices, as we have done now on the River Bend Route, warning others about road closures or other issues and offering work-arounds.  As always, thanks for your support and ride safe!