Day 4 (Wednesday) – Day Lake to Gays Mills, WI
Day 4 for me, would be a day of hunker down and get cozy on that there KTM saddle. I’ll explain later, so let’s start at the beginning.
Morning found me putting my fancy Wal-Mart coffee mug to the test:
From here, we discussed the days plans. I was confident I had the location of my SPOT sorted, so I decided I’d packup quickly, find the SPOT, and meet at the local gas station. If I didn’t find it, I didn’t find it. If I did….rad. According to Google Maps, the unit was in a small clearing on this side trail we were on. Sure enough, that silly thing was exactly where the internets told me it would be.
Welcome back old friend…
Later on, I figured out why my Garmin gave me an odd reading. There was a discrepancy in how I input the GPS coordinates. Once input correctly, sure enough, it showed the correct location of m SPOT. I hopped on the 350, giddy as could be and blasted my way back to meetup Jameson & Caleb, who hadn’t even made it to the gas station yet. We thought about things, and contemplated a mad dash to at least get back to the Black River Falls area. We wanted to hit some sections on the way South that we skipped (fuel\time\light) on the way up. Rustic Road 111, we officially meet again:
I can’t recall if it was after or during this RR 111 section that we got to ride some more ATV Trails. Wherever it was, Caleb informed us that that was the section that they had rode……..at night……with the trail completely flooded. When we rode the ATV sections, there were some soft spots, but absolutely nothing worrying. Ride the side, and you’re through. Caleb explained that when they rode the year prior, there were football field length sections under water, where they hoped they wouldn’t sink. Now that’s adventure. :lol3. Just before we were to hop on the road, in a quick turn-around, Jameson found himself in the dirt.
Nothing to see here….
We’re going how far on the road from here????
We blasted straight South on 70. Yes, we blasted about 130 miles straight highway. Now that isn’t that far or that long. It just slightly more a PITA when you’re riding a bike that feels like its top cruising speed is 65mph. Yes, 70 started feeling more comfortable as I wanted to get done with it sooner, but 65 was where we needed to be. We stopped about half way in Cornell, WI. Grabbed some fuel & some snacks. At this point Jameson realized that the glass jar of jelly he had in his side pannier decided to open itself. Yes, a pannier full of strawberry jelly :lol3 Go figure that where we stopped, also happened to be home to a handful of wasps. I took pity and didn’t snap any pictures of Jameson during this scuffle.
I did snap one picture of myself at this stop to send to the Mrs. back home. Classy selfies:
From Cornell, we decided to stop just outside of Black River Falls, at the Mocha Mouse. A small little coffee\whatever place. It was early afternoon and we had to decide what we were going to do for the rest of the day. We knew ride, but back to the cabin? Off-Road in BRF? We didn’t know. For me, it was becoming apparent enough as to what I needed to do. At this point, I knew I wanted to be home some time Thursday. I also knew that I was within striking distance of my parents cabin near Soldiers Grove. I could tell Jameson was itching for some more off-road riding. Caleb, seemed to be erring on the side of getting back to the cabin, to trailer home the next day. With a healthy dose of Caffeinated Mocha drink (and maybe a jumbo chocolate chip cookie), Caleb and I would say Farewell to Jameson. His plan however was to meet up with some friends…..in Minneapolis. Yes. He ran from BRF back up to Minneapolis to visit some friends (and then back to BRF the next day to ride some more trails).
We’ll see you later Jameson!
We gotta ride how far now???
Caleb and I hopped on our trusty KTM’s, and worked our way down through Sparta and onto the Ontario area. Now this is where things got a bit…..interesting. I’ll tell the story as best I recall, but I could be off in my recollection, and for all I know, it didn’t even actually happen. We went to stop for fuel outside of Ontario, but I missed a turn. I figured we’d be fine on fuel, and saw that Ontario had a gas station of its own just outside of Wildcat Mountain (which we had ridden on the way North…and I wanted to ride again heading South). We roll up to this small gas station, and I see a younger guy on a street bike. Caleb stops at the pump across from the street bike guy. I pull up next to Caleb, since there were only like 3 pumps here. Caleb hops off his bike, and tells me….Hey, I gotta pull all this crap off my bike to fill up. For those that don’t know, a KTM 690 has underseat gas tank, with the fill spout kinda above the rear fender. In Calebs case, it requires him to remove all of his gear to get to.
So, I roll up and fill up my gas tank. When I’m done, I roll my bike back and let Caleb in spot to fillup with fuel. I am checking some stuff on my GPS when sportbike guy rolls up. We start chatting, with him explaining he’s from around the Madison area, and loves the roads around here. We talked Wildcat Mountain a bit, and I explained where we were headed. He started to fill me in on some of his favorite roads in the vicinity, when all of a sudden some older gentleman gets up out of his car all worked up. Caleb at this point had literally just finished topping up with fuel and was beginning to strap his luggage back on his bike.
This old guy starts coming at us, screaming to GTFO of the way of the premium pump. Caleb, sportbike guy, and myself all look at eachother like…what are you going on about? Old man starts yelling at Caleb to move his bike, and quit sitting around talking. I try to reason with the guy that he literally just finished fueling up, and we had no idea that this was the only premium fuel pump at the station. Trying to reason with a crazy person in and of itself is crazy, so I just tried to get the guy to calm down. Sir, we’ll move the bike, we didn’t mean to inconvenience you here. Now at this point, sportbike guy get a bit lippy with the man. On one hand, I can’t blame him. The old man could have been cool about it, but he came out a blazing hot-head.
So here I am, standing next to my bike. Caleb is standing at about my 1 o’clock, a few steps away. Old man is to my 3 o’clock about a step away, and Sportbike guy is at my 9 o’clock. Sportbike guy begins making a few comments about the old mans car, at which point he pushes me out of the way to get at sportbike guy. These two kinda lock eyes, looking like I’m about to witness a brawl. Old man gives sportbike guy a big shove. I try to step in a bit and try to get the guy to calm down. Sir, Sir……Sir, just go back to your car. There is no need for this. We will move our bikes, we had no idea we were inconveniencing you today. Sportbike guy looks like he’s about to exchange fisticuffs with the man. After a few more of my reassuring pep talks, the old man slowly walked back to his car. Caleb and I roll our bikes away, and begin getting our gear on.
As we’re gearing up, sportbike guy comes up to Caleb and I, and makes mention he’s gonna retaliate. Caleb and I look at each other, toss our gear on, and get out of dodge. We stop a bit up the road, and kinda run over to ourselves what just all went down. We both agree this was crazy. Where we stopped was close enough to still kind of see the gas station. At which point we kinda see the sportbike guy circle around old mans car, and then zoom off in the opposite direction. Caleb and I look at each other. I tell him if he sees a Mercedes in his mirrors, to just stay on the gas. We fire up our bikes and make our way through Wildcat Mountain……thankfully with no Crazed Old Man behind us.
Not far after the Wildcat Mountain, we came upon another Rustic Road. I couldn’t resist:
We moseyed on down the way, taking one of the roads suggested to us by sportbike guy. It was a great road, and had my bike of been faster…..even more fun. We stopped for a quick restroom break and enjoyed the peaceful area, away from anyone else.
Fun Bridges….and portapotties :lol3
From here, we followed whatever way we felt like. I have to say, it was an incredible portion of the trip. We meandered through farm land, on winding paved roads, darting in and around spotted gravel sections. The 350 was in its element here. You could really ride the bike fast, without going illegal speeds. I carved like I was on a supermoto, and was able to still take in the scenery. Sooner or later, we were getting close to some locations I had ridden, and knew I needed to snap a quick pic where I had forgotten to when my wife and I had been riding nearby earlier this year.
With that, we finished our ride back to my parents cabin. It was a long day, with a LOT of riding. A LOT of varied riding as well. It beat the prior days for excitement, that’s for sure. Very good, fun day. Caleb and I grabbed a frozen pizza and cooked it up, enjoying a few leftover beers from Sunday night.
Day 4 Map –
Day 5 to follow –