Back In The Saddle Again
(with apologies to Gene Autry)
After a wonderful do-nothing day on Thursday (except for replacing the Honda’s battery), my son-in-law, Rick, and I went for a ride through Illinois and Wisconsin over to the Mississippi River yesterday. Unfortunately, Eve was not feeling well, so she opted to stay home.
The idea was to ride west on roads straddling the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, then head south along the Mississippi (well, sort of), have lunch at Poopy’s in Savanna, and then come home. This was our planned route of about 330 miles:
There were a couple of missed turns, but with the help of his trusty iPhone, Rick managed to keep us from wandering too far astray. I added a new state to my list by riding into Wisconsin (obviously, we had been there before simply by going to the Oshkosh air show, but this time it was on the Honda):
As we rode west, the sky got cloudier and cloudier, until finally it began spitting at us. We flirted with the idea of turning around and finding someplace to wait out the rain, but ultimately decided to press on. Yours truly forgot his rain gear, but Rick put his on and we motored forward. We were doing fine headed west toward Dubuque, Iowa, and it looked like if we kept going west we might actually get out from under the clouds (I could see clear sky ahead of us), but then Rick turned left (south)! My first thought was, “Nooooooooooo!!!!! If we go west we’ll avoid the rain!”
But we got lucky. There is a saying that God favors idiots and little children. That may have come into play here, since I *had* dug out my rain gear and put it where I thought I’d remember it. Or it might have been because Rick took the appropriate precautions and put his rainsuit on. Either way, we only got some spitting. It was enough to make me feel chilly (my riding jacket is lightweight mesh and provides very little warmth), but not enough to get me really wet. The road we were on was wet in spots, indicating that we had just missed the heavier rain – for which I was very thankful – but it meant that we had to be more careful on the road than if it were dry.
The southbound leg of our trip took us along one of motorcycleroads.com‘s Top 100 rides – specifically, Number 71: Mt. Carroll to Elizabeth, in Illinois. Although it’s only 23 miles or so, it’s a great ride. Plus, after we got through, we ended up in Galena where we visited Galena’s Kandy Kitchen. It proved to be too much for us on empty stomachs, so we found a local place to have lunch (it was delicious!) and then went back. I still ended up buying too much stuff – a pound or so of Jelly Belly jelly beans, a half pound of maple walnut fudge, and a small box of chocolates. [I ate the whole box of chocolates for my evening snack. *sigh* Thank goodness it was only the 8-oz size.]
After Galena, we continued south to Savanna and Poopy’s. Since we had already eaten, we just visited the gift/souvenir/clothing store there. Rick bought a shirt for Eve and a couple of patches for himself; I bought an “Air Force” patch and a “Poopy’s” patch for the vest I don’t yet have. This beautiful pickup was in the parking lot:
I was unable to determine what year or make it was; all of the identifying badges had been removed in the restoration / customization project. But it sure was gorgeous! It sported several nice custom touches in the cab, including power windows and a tilt steering column. It also retained the original opening windshield – if you look closely, you can see that the bottom of the windshield is opened just a touch.
As we left Poopy’s to come home, Rick needed to adjust his earplugs. I caught him doing his best Secret Service imitation here:
By this time, as you can see, the clouds had all blown away and the day was awesome. The ride home was faster than the ride out, but no less fun. We left home about 10 AM; ate “lunch” in Galena about 3:30 – 4; and got back home around 8:30 PM after riding about 360 miles (indicated – I still think my odometer and speedometer are off by about 10%). Other than it being a loop, it was very similar to my eight days on Route 66 in terms of distance, ride time, and activities. I told Rick that I was not averse to repeating the ride before I leave; we are tentatively planning to go out to Galena / Savanna (with Eve, I hope!) again on Tuesday.
Think the pickup is an early 40’s International.
The only (potential) identifier I saw was a three-diamond logo (?) on the hubcaps. I didn’t know if that might have been an original logo, or if it was something aftermarket that came with the hubcaps.
That would make sense. International Truck logo has three diamonds in it. Look up a 1941 International pick up think it is a close match. Enjoying your blog and pictures. Ride safe!
Yup, the grille’s right – the turn signals match. Thanks, Wayne!
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