Had some tough choices to make last weekend, the menu was full of delicious events- Lake Wobegon Airhead Tech Day in Minneapolis, Judson Cycle’s open house, and the always memorable Big Sioux Riders Campout at Fort Randall on the Missouri River. Tough choice- I like to support the airheads and our small rural clubs and dealers. But as been happening a lot this extended winter/spring, the weather decided for me… Forecast was for rain in Judson and Minneapolis on saturday but clear on the Missouri in South Dakota, and rain everywhere sunday… Guess I’m headed to the rally on the Missouri!

Now the Big Sioux Rally has been a saturday night only campout for it’s decade long history, but this year “Frump”, the lead conspirator, let out that he’d been arriving early on friday and making a two nighter of it. That mere suggestion moved the majority of this years riders to show up on friday too, and Frump has now declared that next years rally will be a planned rather than de facto two nighter. But we did a lot more than just camp and eat (too much)…

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Thus we spent a couple hundred miles wandering the wandering roads along the Missouri in South Dakota and Nebraska, taking in an expansive but not expensive breakfast and lunch in the process. Breakfast would have probably been ever more expansive, were it not for the church men’s group that had pretty well looted the buffet ahead of us, forcing us to order off the menu… IIRC, a full stack of ‘cakes was all of a quarter more than a short stack! My only objection was that the leaders of this expedition were on there own expedition for bonuses for the grand tour they’re competing in, and rode in a manner that gives “Iron Butt” riding a bad rep- 80 MPH down county roads during planting season, and a couple hours in the saddle during which the temp rose from 50 to mid 70s without a break long enough to take off some heated vests and insulated gloves. Frump, if you’ll give me a map so I know where you’re headed I’ll volunteer for “red lantern” duty next year.ImageOur ride included some less serious destinations too, and even the downright wacky. Now the winters are long here on the northern plains, and their ain’t much to do in these small towns. So gearheads sometimes find strange amusements, as pictured above. Guy’s been working on this yacht for years, and probably forgot about the minor technicalities of how it’s get from his landlocked town on a hilltop to navigable waters at least a hundred miles away. Lovely boat, but looks way too wide and tall for a normal heavy haul trailer… I’m guessing it’ll take a specialized boat moving trailer, and those generally live close to salt water. The nearest salt water is over a thousand miles away, and a trailer big enough for this load requires oversize permits even when empty… I figure at least $5 a mile or $10k just to deadhead the trailer and tractor here, then figure in a big crane at both ends of the haul to lift this piece of work onto and off the trailer and into the water. This assumes that the seldom used Missouri River nine foot channel is still a nine foot channel all the way to the head of navigation in Sioux Falls, and this boat needs seven and a half feet even empty with the keel drawn up. Gonna have to keep an eye on this project, may provide some interesting photos…

Despite the threatening forecasts, the ride home was pretty comfy… Rain let up around 6 ’til noon and it was 50 degrees and drizzle most of the way home. Got the lawn mowed between showers, then the heavens opened…

 

 

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