Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bugs in my backyard.

I was out in the backyard again waiting for the birds to show up and noticed these cricket/grasshopper type bugs on my rose bushes and a moth/butterfly. I hurried and switched to my 100mm macro and got a few shots. It was really windy so hard to get many good ones.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Minnesota Vacation--Day 5-10

Well, as you can see there are no pictures after day 4. I had some but my memory card had a malfunction and I lost over 120 photos. I am really bummed!!!

Day 5--we rode into Canada. They let us through with just a photo ID but informed us that next year you will need a passport. We went into Thunder Bay, found the Harley dealer, ate some pizza and went back across the border.

Gas was $1.42---a litre that is over $5.00 per gallon and 90 kilometers is equal to 55 mph. Luckily we asked about the speed limit before getting too far down the road.

Day 6--we packed and started the journey back for home. We got as far as the Twin Cities and stayed across the street from the Mall of America. We went over to check it out. It is really huge and looks like it would be a blast for the kids. Myself, not too impressed with it. If I had been in a shopping mood it might have been different but there is just too much.

Day 7--on the road again. Things were going just fine and we had an estimated time of arrival home to be around 7:00-7:30 pm. We didn't get there until 9:30!!!! Have you ever been caught in a hail storm while riding your motorcycle??? It hurts really bad!! I have bruises still on my leg. We got caught up in the storm that went through Omaha and Council Bluffs that Thursday.

We were just outside of Council Bluffs I'd say around 4-4:30. We had just fueled the bike and ourselves and headed down the road when it started to rain. Larry had just made some smart remark about hail when it let loose on us. We were lucky enough to see an abandoned gas station off of an exit where some others were heading and that's where we high tailed it to.

I think we ended up stopping at least 2-3 more times along the way before we finally made it home. It took us over 5 hrs. to go what should have only been 2 at the most. That was the worst day of our trip. The rest of the week and weekend we just piddled around the house then back to work on Monday.

And that is the end of our Minnesota vacation. Hope you like the pictures. I have a lot more than what is posted and will send to friends and family when I get a chance.

Minnesota Vacation--Day 4

Okay, on to day 4.

We were going to stay in the Duluth area for another day or two but decided to head up the road and check out the scenery. Our destination was Grand Marais, MN, about 50-60 miles south of the Canadian border.

Along the way we stopped at Gooseberry falls. This is one of many places to stop along the North Shore Scenic Drive. You can hike all over around these places. The bridge has a walkway underneath to get from one side of the falls to the next, hwy 61 runs above it.

What a view.
Larry, taking a break before heading up all those stairs.

Next stop is the Split Rock light house. The light house was built a the top of a 130 foot cliff in 1910 by the US Lighthouse Service. You can take guided or self-guided tours of the light house and the lighthouse keepers' house. It became obsolete when radar started being used on the ships and was closed in 1969.

You can take a foot path or the stairs to the cove below and get a spectacular view of the lighthouse from there. We took the foot path on the way down and the stairs (lots of them!!) back up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Minnesota Vacation--Day 3

Day 3-- We took a short drive to Two Harbors along the North Shore scenic drive. It is about 20-25 miles north of Duluth. Watch out for deer if you go there. We saw six of them all in one spot. Actually about 2-3 of them somehow got behind the fence.

This light house was built in 1892 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunatley it was closed the day we were there so I had to take a picture through the fence.

We just wondered around out on the rocks and walked out to the other light house at the end of the pier. I could sit there forever listening to the waves hit the rocks. It's very relaxing.

Giant ore boats still dock in Two Harbors for loads of taconite. We watched as one was pulling out of the dock.

This is a duplicate picture of the one above. I was messing with some photoshop and thought it was kinda cool.

When we got back we just went riding around and found this area that you could ride and hike through. There was a light house at the end of that pier too. Imagine that. ;-) We didn't go clear to the end of this one because of all the giant rocks.

On the way out we noticed this old Indian burial spot. It was moved in 1819

Minnesota Vacation--Day 2

Day 2 took us to the Canal Park area of Duluth. What a fun place to visit. There are so many things to see and do. There are large park like areas where they have outdoor concerts and different events and outdoor movies too.

The stones along the waters edge are loaded with great skipping stones.

You can also walk right out to the lighthouses at the end of the piers.

Getting around is a cinch. You can walk along the downtown lakewalk, take a trolley, rent bikes of all shapes and sizes.

You can even take a carriage ride.

We chose to walk. The whole length of the lakewalk I believe is about 4 miles. We didn't do the whole stretch but I'm sure we got in at least 4 miles. It sure felt like it by the end of the day.

There are a ton of places to eat and interesting shops all around. Of course we stopped at the Harley store.

And we made two stops into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Larry even met a new friend.
The first visit was just to take a look, the second was to buy chocolate. We had the carmel apple with the toffee chuncks, ummm ummm. They will even cut the apple for you to make for easier eating. The chocolate strawberries were wonderful too.

There is a floating Maritime museum of a retired ore carrier and Coast Guard vessel. Both are docked in the harbor.
There are also Sightseeing and dinner cruises to explore the harbor. We took the siteseeing tour aboard the Vista King.
The ariel lift bridge rises to let masive vessels enter the harbor. We were able to witness a huge ore boat leaving the canal. You can travel by foot or vehicle across the bridge when it is lowered. They sound alarms when there are ships and boats that need to enter or leave the harbor.
There is also a slip bridge that allows some of the touring vessels in and out of the harbor.
We rode across the bridge and followed the road until we couldn't go anymore. We pulled off the road and found a path to the beach. We sat and relaxed for awhile before heading back to the motel for the night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Minnesota Vacation--Day 1

These are the only pictures from day one of our vacation. We left on Friday the 13th (ahhhh!) at 6:00 a.m. and arrived at our motel in Superior, WI around 7:00-7:30 p.m. It was a very long ride but uneventful. We didn't even get lost!! That is a first for us. ;0).

We had a great time and decent weather. It could have been a little bit warmer. The highs were only in the 60's most the time with a couple days in the lower 70's and those temps weren't hit until late in the day which made for some chilly riding. It was in the 40's and 50's before it got dark. BRRRRRR! So we didn't do much riding after dark.

We took hwy. 23 through Minnesota to avoid going through the Twin Cities. It is much like NE until you get to the area with all the giant windmills. They just kinda popped up out of no where and there were hundreds of them. I couldn't get a good panoramic shot because of the overcast skies, they blended into the background too much. So, we pulled off the road and I took this picture of some that were a little closer to the road.
The picture of the bridge is the one we took back and forth to get from our motel in Superior, WI to Duluth, MN. It was maybe a 10-15 min. ride.

Check back in the next few days. I will post more later. I have a few hundred pictures to sort through so it may take me awhile.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Steele City--Bike Show

Once again we headed south this weekend for the annual Steele City ride in bike show. They had a really good crowd this year and raised some money for the community.

Of course, there are always some colorful characters there. ;0) It was a great day. Everyone had a great time and we beat the rain home. All was good.

This is Doo-Da. I have no clue what her real name is. Her dog rides with her in the box.

This is Taz. He is quite the character.

Sheri, Jim, Toad, Nose and Larry. There are a few of us that don't have nick-names.

Tom sporting his wife's hat. Looks good Tom!!

This little girl had the honor of drawing the winning ticket for the motorcycle they gave away. Unfortunately, it wasn't mine.

Some old bikes...

some new bikes.

More newer bikes.

Cool graphics.

We had one winner from our motley crew. Richard won first place in the sports bike division. Way to go Richard!!

This one is from Switzerland.