Been a lovely fall day, and you’ve spent it profitably taking in the colors on a fall days ride through the midwest. As the sun sets you pull up to your getaway and park your bike under the porch. Your lawn chair is right there where you left it a month ago, you flip on the power and open the water shutoff. Put the groceries you picked up at the last big town in the fridge and cupboards, turn on the radio, and get supper goin’ in the microwave. Kindle a fire in the stove, check the internet, then settle down with a good book in by the fire.

It’s rainin’ and cold in the mornin’, so you rekindle the fire and enjoy a relaxed breakfast. Check the weather forecast, probly stay like this all day. Read some more, then get antsy and do an oil change with the filter and oil you’d thoughtfully stashed for the occasion. Heck, don’t matter if it rains all week, you’ve got plenty of vittles and beverages stashed in the shelves, and if worse comes to worse there’s a convenience store a couple miles up the road.

Weather clears up late in the afternoon, but too late to head home already… So you explore on the 250 cc. dual sport you keep stashed here for just such occasions. Heck, you could stay for weeks, but the next morn’ dawns dry and warm so you shut off the utilities and close up your gearhead getaway ’til your next visit.

If you haven’t noticed, housing prices appear to have bottomed and are headed up again. I took advantage of the recession, bought my getaway at the edge of the Everglades for $15k and my concrete “soddie” here on the prairie for $40k. I’ve still got my place in Minneapolis… The house is beyond hope but I’ve turned the 12 year old garage into a Gearhead Getaway with a wood stove, insulation, and electricity… Even got an air conditioner!. Couple years back I had another Gearhead Getaway in a little town on the glacial ridge in western Minnesota- ‘Twas a former insurance company office that was built like the proverbial brick outhouse, complete with walk in safe. Friend of mine, late CP engineer par excellence Stephanie Smith bought it in a package deal with another building and threw me the keys. Tried to buy it from her, but got derailed by property line legal hassles and got kicked out when Stephanie passed away two years back.

A Gearhead Getaway can be a cabin in the woods or the ‘hood, a storefront, or a little bungalow. But it has to be cheap to buy and maintain, secure when you’re away, and comfy. There’s plenty of them out there- empty farmhouses and small town tiny houses and storefronts that have sat empty for years. Or old industrial buildings in the big city that the gangbangers haven’t discovered and the city assessor forgot. And if you’ve got some spare cash laying around, now may the time to make your move as the market moves off it’s bottom.

Gets me thinkin’… years ago when I drove for Continental Baking the drivers out of the Quad Cities preferred the runs to St.Louis because even if it snowed between those two cities, it melted within a day or two. Checked the climate data and they were right- the tri-state area where Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri meet along the mighty Mississippi is a winter warm spot. Far enough from the metropolises for good riding, and if you want to run to said metropolis just ride down to the station and hop on Amtrak to Chicago or KC. Lotsa good values in land too hilly to farm and dying river towns. And a days ride from my Buffalo Ridge abode and a stopping point on my winter retreats to the Everglades.

Maybe should do some lookin’ at the real estate listings…