Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marble Falls, Arkansas

We woke up this morning to a heavy rain shower in Moberly, MO. The Weather Channel "local on the 8's" radar loop showed rain just over us and clear to the south. We waited as long as we could, and finally just decided to suck it up and go for it. We headed south on US-63. We rode in the rain for about 20 minutes and then got out from underneath it. Down by Cabool, MO we got off the US highway and onto MO hwy 181. 181 was a nice twisty road that was in pretty good condition. We followed that down to Gainesville, MO and switched over to highway 5 and into Arkansas. We ended the day at The Hub in Marble Falls. It used to be part of the Dogpatch USA theme park.
Here's a few pictures from today's ride.

The Hub....

some of the still abandoned "Dogpatch"

John and I had a meal at the Hub's restaurant "Scooter's" and called it a day.
Sunset from the Motel balcony..

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This makes 972 miles so far this trip, and 334 miles today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the Road to Arkansas!

I left home Tuesday afternoon and headed for St. Paul, MN. Before I left, I tried all morning to cut the grass so I wouldn't return to a forest where my lawn should be. Every time I'd start to cut, it would start to rain. I'd stop and go inside and the rain would quit 10 minutes later. I'd go back out and 10 minutes later it would start again. I gave up.
I had the FJR packed and ready to go. John and I are headed to Marble Falls, AR for the Southern FJR Owners Rally. We were at the rally in Eureka Springs, AR in '09 and '10, but we missed '11. I'm really hoping for better weather this time. It rained the entire time both prior years.

Once I got 30 miles from home the weather was perfect! I got to my friend John's house in St. Paul around 5:00 p.m. I parked my bike in his garage then John, his wife Wendie, and I went out for diner. We had a great meal at a Mexican restaurant called Los Arco, in West St. Paul. I forgot to bring the camera and get a picture of the food. I spent the night at their house and we left around 8:00 this morning.

Our first stop was the Iowa Travel Center near the MN border. We picked up some new Iowa maps and took a short break.

Then it was down I-35 to Ames for gas. It's nice to pay only $3.349 for gas instead of the $3.739 back in Cable, WI. We had lunch at the Subway in Monroe, IA.

Gas in Monroe was $3.299!

We stopped for the night at the Super 8 in Moberly, MO. 464 miles today.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rainy Day Projects....

My riding buddy, John, rode up to my place on Friday evening. We were going to do a little motorcycle maintenance and some riding on Saturday. The weather did not cooperate, so we ended up having a full day in the garage working on the bikes.
What did we get done?
1. Changed the spark plugs on my FJR. The original plugs had 26,000 miles on them and didn't look too bad, but I still changed them. The spark plugs look better in person than they do in the picture.

2. We sync'ed the throttle bodies. John brought along his Honda carburetor vacuum gauges so it was a fairly easy job. It's a little tight under the fuel tank and the little rubber caps are small and easy to lose. John ran a little piece of fine wire through the eye of the spring clamp on the caps before trying to pull them off. That way, if he dropped one, it would still be attached to the wire and it wouldn't drop down into some deep, dark abyss.
We followed the FJR Service Manual and things went smoothly. The cats weren't too impressed, they sat and looked out the window.

3. We also wanted to take the rear suspension links apart so we could clean and lube the pivot points. We needed to hold the rear of the bike up and take the load off the rear suspension so we could take the bolts out. We rigged up an aluminum ladder, some pipe, some wood, and some tie down straps. It had all the makings for a "hold my beer and watch this" moment... Things worked out really well.
With 26,000 miles on the bike it was definitely time to do that job. A few of the pivot bolts looked a little dry. The bearings were still OK, so we cleaned, lubed and reassembled.
4. We took a short break from the bikes and hung up some racks to hold the kayaks.

5. As long as the system for holding up the bike worked on my bike, we thought we'd do the same thing to John's bike.

6. It was raining, so we had more time for the bikes. Time to put new brake pads in the front calipers of the Zx-14.
The pads were worn about half way, but they had 29,000 miles on them and I wanted to flush and bleed the brake system, so we did them now.
7. Before.... Yuck!
After..... Ahhh, better!

8. We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a few extra garage projects including, putting up a couple of shelves, putting a longer cord on a florescent light, adding 2 speakers to the garage stereo, and cleaning the volume control with electrical contact cleaner.

Thanks John, I couldn't have done it with out your help!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Day Kayaking on the Namekagon River.

It was a beautiful warm day up here, so we decided to paddle a bit on the Namekagon River. The closest river access, the County M Landing, is just 2 miles from the house, and our exit point, the Phillipi Landing, is about 6 miles further down the road. This is so much better than having to drive 2 and a half hours one way to get to the river like we did when we lived in Prescott. This was our first trip on this section of river.

Things started out pretty good, then we ran into a Beaver dam just 5 minutes into it. Not really a problem, just paddle and push our way up and over the top!

Looking back up steam at the dam.

This Bald Eagle was sitting on the dam as we approached. He took off and landed in a tree not far a way. It must of had a 7 foot wing span, it was huge!

We spent the next 3 hours going down stream with just a few small sections of tiny rapids. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon!

Required blog Croc shot!