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#@**#$(!!!!! – Computer died with my pictures!

June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011 – Buffalo River State Park, 14 miles from Fargo, North Dakota.

Well, shit. When I arrived at my first stop on June 1, I unpacked my gear and tried to fire up my netbook. All I got was a black screen with scraggly lines. I grabbed a screwdriver and tried to check for obvious problems but nothing worked. A few days later I bought a new computer and copied all the photos to it. It promptly died and killed all my pictures. So how was Milwaukee? The Harley Davidson Factory? The German brew pubs and nightlife? All gone! Damm! Computers suck sometimes.

Milwaukee – Fantastic. The cheapest beer specials on the planet. Just about every bar had happy hour specials the likes of which had outlawed many years ago. My favorite was THREE for one. Pay $2.00 and get THEE beers. They serve them all at once. So after about $10.00 of happy hour, I was a babbling idiot and retreated to the hotel to regroup. Of course once there, I detoured to the bar and had a few more “drink specials”. It’s all a blur after that except for ordering a horribly expensive selection of beverages and exotic foods from room service – all of which were on display when I woke up the next morning. “Ahhhhhh, yes, It’s Dr. Yohe in room 2021, I need sixteen shrimp, jumbo, five identically proportioned grape fruit, an Avocado, several paper clips and a copy of the Miami Herald, a Waterman fountain pen, a magnum of Chateau Margot, seven Pabst Blue Ribbon, six ice buckets, three filled with ice, the other three filled with grapes, M&M’s and marbles” – you get the idea. Bad decision making all around.

How was The Harley Davidson Museum? Fantastic, if you love Harleys and cool even if you don’t. It’s a fantastic building. I got there on Thursday just in time for bike night. The tour itself costs $16.00 and if you want the audio tour it’s another $4.00. The audio tour is great but loooooooong winded and detailed. You could easily spend a few hours there if you use the audio guide for every stop in the museum. I took a zillion pictures – but like I said, the goddammned computer deleted them when it died. Check out the Iron Horse Hotel. It’s a dream come true for the motorcycle obsessed. Motorcycle parking, insanely cool lobby and rooms and a massive staff, right next to the Harley Museum. I stopped by for a look and was impressed. The rates however, start at $200 a night. Too much.

I left the next morning for Minneapolis. I’ve been using Priceline to book rooms in places where it is impractical to camp. Twice now I’ve gotten 4+ star hotels for $51.00 (a Hilton and a Hyatt Regency). For the quality of service and hotels chosen, I think that’s an excellent price. In both hotels, the bellmen went out of their way to give me a cool parking spot right in front.

Minneapolis was very cool. I did not wander too far as I was kind of beat up from the previous night. I had a drink in the hotel bar, wandered over to an Indian restaurant (it’s still with me even now……….ug) and checked out the way too cool, W Hotel. W’s are cool if you are in the mid-west, Russian, think Dockers are for “dressin up” or drive a Corvette. Everywhere else in the world, it’s over. The really cool find was a place called Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a place that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, has bands, and is slightly menacing. My kind of place. Unfortunately, the AC unit in the entire building was being replaced and there was no way I was going to sit there and slowly roast.

The next morning I rode towards Fargo. Why Fargo? So I can put another state sticker on the back of my bike. There is absolutely no reason to visit Fargo unless you enjoy endless prairie, roads that disappear into the horizon, etc. I setup camp 14 miles east of Fargo at the Buffalo River State Park. Somehow two nights cost $60! Insane. The campground had the usual assortment of families, little kids running around, slightly confused looking oldsters in brand spanking new land yachts, grizzled RV veterans who sweat every parking, setup and towing detail, and a couple of what appeared to be East LA gang bangers.

As pissed as I was at spending $60.00 to camp, I made the best of it and setup camp for the first time on this trip. I am amazed at how small my EMS quarter dome tent is. But its home and that sucker can withstand rain, wind, and heat with zero problems. I rode into town and picked up some food, a bag of ice and a gallon of water. I stopped at the liquor store to buy a six pack and the girl at the counter was what Hollywood dreams about when casting movies set in the boonies. Blonde, long hair, ice blue eyes, busty, short shorts – you get the idea. She also drove a white 71 Trans Am…. I am not making this up, honest.

I’m cleaning and lubing the chain in the picture below. This is my portable condo. All the land yachts have checked out. Nice to listen to the sound of the breeze through the trees and not air conditioning units and dish washers humming and whooshing away all night.

Capo on the Prairie. Beautiful. It must have been mind boggling to see this several hundred years ago when it was an un-interrupted sea of grass.

Downtown Fargo, North Dakota.

That’s pretty much it for Fargo. It’s got a Target, a Benningtons, a hip block or two of places to eat and one groovy hotel. The rest is typical anywhere USA. Riding here is Harley country. Straight, straight, flat, and straight.

Here’s another shot of my tent.

Somehow I’ve allowed myself to bring this much crap along these rides. Computer, GPS, IPhone, etc.

One of the delights of State Park camping……

Tomorrow, I’m headed for South Dakota and the Custer State Park – just West of Rapid City. I think things are quickly going to become interesting. I’m slowly getting my writing/picture taking/story telling act together after a rocky start. Hopefully I’ll get down to some serious writing over the next month or so.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Roger permalink
    June 6, 2011 5:22 am

    I am in the habit of up-loading any and all images to Photobucket, n fact I have my HTC phone set to automatically upload any new shot I take

    This way, I am never going to lose all my cherished images…..

    Glad to see you back on the road

  2. frank gorshin permalink
    June 6, 2011 1:57 pm

    The “Mills Lounge” sign is money…

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