July 31, 2016
This blog post has really very little about real estate. Just a record of something my wife and I have wanted to do for a long time – – take a trip to Bemidji by motorcycle.
On Sunday we decided to take the motorcycle and drive to Bemidji to see our granddaughter Bo. There are several things to consider at our age when we go on a motorcycle trip.
First of all, prepare the motorcycle. Is it able to make the trip? I took some time on Saturday to look at the bike. I put air in the tires and added some air to our shock absorbers. Then I checked the oil and topped it off. Finally I polished the bike. You cannot expect to have a good ride without a clean, polished motorcycle. We were ready to go.
Second, make sure of the weather. Of course, in these days our handy smart phones will tell us what the weather will be like at any point in the day, so I checked, and we were good for Sunday. And this time the smart phone was right. We had a beautiful day with white, fluffy clouds floating in the deep blue sky. The temperature was a warm 80+, but the breeze on the motorcycle ride kept us cool.
Third, consider the route. I thought quite a bit about this. I wanted to factor road conditions, traffic, and possible places to stop (to eat of course) into my route choice. I sat down with my iPad and my Google map and looked at all the possible ways to go to Bemidji. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat so they say.
So I decided that we would take the Perham to Park Rapids route. Well, we got as far as Dent and we saw cars in front of a cafe so we decided to stop for breakfast. We stopped at Nootzie’s on Main Cafe and split a wonderful caramel roll and ate a delicious breakfast. It probably took us longer than we wanted, but the food sure was good.
We got back on the road to Perham, and then we went through the Pine lakes on Hwy 8 heading towards Menahga. One of the interesting things about the ride is learning how big and diverse the scenery in Otter Tail county. It took us at least an hour before we entered Becker County. The trip from our house to Menahga is delightful. The scenery is great. There’s very little traffic and the roads for the most part are very good.
After Menahga we got on State Highway 71 heading north to Park Rapids, and then we took Hwy 34 over to County Road 4 that goes up to Lake George. Hwy 71 is not a very nice road with lots of bumps, and lots of traffic, so I didn’t mind leaving it again and getting on a smaller county road. The road to Lake George is one of my favorites as it goes through Emmaville and then winds through some pines and lakes and ends up at Lake George. We always say we need to stop at Emmaville at the cafe but don’t, and we always say, as we see the shops open in Lake George, that we need to have a little more time to stop in the shops. But we really want to get to Bemidji by noon so we needed to keep going.
We made the last segment of the trip to Bemidji and were able to see my granddaughter. What a joy to spend an afternoon with her and her parents!
We left at 6:00, hoping to get home before dark. We filled up with gas before we left Bemidji. One nice thing about riding a motorcycle is that the total cost of gas for the round trip was about $20, a very economical way to travel.
I decided to take a different route home. I took the Becida road. This is a very curvy road that goes from Bemidji down to Lake Alice near Itasca park. As we traveled this sparsely traveled road, we once again enjoyed the beautiful forest areas. Then we drove by Itasca, wishing that we had time to drive through it. It is a park that we love and have camped there many times.
We got to the south end of the park and decided to take the road over to Waubun. What an interesting road! This road winds through heavily forested areas with miles of untouched beauty. So glad this area has been preserved as a state park. Unfortunately, at 7 o’clock in the evening the sun was right in our eyes as we are headed west, so we were a little nervous about seeing deer pop up on the side of the road. We did see several deer, but none of them crossed the road.
We turned south on Highway 37 and continued through some more state forest to Highway 34. The road between Park Rapids and Detroit Lakes is always very busy and on a motorcycle not that enjoyable with cars in front and behind, so we turned off on County Road 29 and headed south to Frazee.
In Frazee we decided to stop. We’d been driving almost two hours straight on the motorcycle and were getting a little tired, so we turned in to the gas station in the center of town and bought a soda, a water and Snicker bars, walked a little bit, used the restroom, and then took off again.
From Frazee through Vergas down around Star Lake, Dead Lake and then back to Jewett lake is a beautiful drive with very few cars on the road.
One of the things about a motorcycle ride is that you smell more things than you do in the car. I would say 95% of the smells are wonderful: freshly cut alfalfa, pine trees, lakes, but every once a while you hit some smells that really take your breath away. Here are my top five worst smells of a motorcycle ride:
5. Dairy barns
4. Pig barns
3. Turkey barns
2. Dead raccoons
1. Dead skunk