A Travellerspoint blog

Doing Way Good

BTW, I dunno if Joe mentioned this, but the cricket thing didn't gross me out, it disgusted me. There is a difference. I understand how people who are good at fishing would want live bate b/c they will catch one right off the bat. But people who aren't so good? No, they will sit there for lengthy periods of time waiting for a bite. And in that period of time a worm might survive, but a cricket would most defiantly drown.

Anyways, after unsuccessfully fishing we drove onto the Wisconsin River. I had hopped to get to the Mississippi River that day, but that was going to be a long shot, so I settled for the first river, and then we would finish driving west on that all the way to the Mississippi. We stopped at a gas station to pick up some milk and snacks before we hit the Wisconsin River, and as we are getting ready to leave this motorcycle pulled in with a dog on the back!
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For those of you who don't know yet, this is Jim. He talked to us for a while, and we hung out with his dog Baby who loves people, and loves cows (bark bark!) Anytime Jim would mention cows she would wag her tail and bark excitedly, she was no doubt one of the coolest dogs I've ever met (Joe thinks so too, but don't worry Casey, he still loves you best).
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Then Jim noticed we were drinking milk, and he told us that "Drinking milk is way good, supports our dairy farmers," and went on to tell us that he has this natural beef company:

RAH'S ALL NATURAL BEEF
No Antibiotics or Hormones * Fully Inspected * Taste the Difference

Hold onto that last thought, and I will get back to the difference in taste (it was awesome, and I hate sausage).
Anyways, he tells us that he canoed all day with his brother's family, and he was just about to go say goodbye to them just down the road as they cleaned up their campsite, and that we were welcome to come with him, and then he would drive the Wisconsin River with us and show us a free campsite at the docks just across from his farm. Then he also said that he had WiFi at his place, and he could set up some lawn chairs for us and we could blog or do whatever as long as we didn't mind a few chickens running about. Excited to camp for free, maybe skype some, and have some company on the ride, we hopped back on the bike and drove behind Jim and the Amazing Biker Dog!
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Unfortunately you can't really see her on the back. She was sticking her head up occasionally, but being on the back of a bike myself, I had a hard time catching her.

Then we had a gorgeous drive up the Wisconsin River where we saw canoes and we passed several motorcycle gangs (is that a PC term?). But passing them was so cool because you really get the feel for where the hell that motorcycle "low five" came from. I dunno if you've ever seen this, but watch the next time your driving behind a motorcycle, and you see another motorcycle driving the other way. Both bikers will casually drop their left hands in acknowledgment, but I realized that its more than that when we passed our first long line of motorcycles. Joe dropped his left hand, and about 15 to 20 other bikers dropped theirs, and it was like we could actually touch each other; almost like how soccer players run the teams past each other and shake or give "side fives" saying good game. It gives you a rush, and the connection is real between motorcyclists b/c we really stick together. Anytime we are on the side of the road, bikes will check to make sure we are okay. We even had a guy ride up to us at Auto Zone check on us, then he saw that the kid mowing the lawn sprayed our bike with grass, and he drove out to where the kid was edging and he made him come over and apologize to us! Bikes are special and temperamental, and the riders of them feel akin to one another because they share in each others journeys by sticking together and helping one another get out on the road and ride like the devil! So low five to everyone out there struggling in the hard times, and flying in the good ones.

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(this pic is actually from the next day up the Mississippi, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't get the camera out in time to catch the motorcycle gang, but now you get the pic. of what the the low 5 looks like).
"Slap me some skin, Wooh Ha, Yaw Baby Yeah!" - Batty from Fern Gully (or the Genni from Aladdin, Robin Williams anyhow. And my apologies to any bikers who read this and think I totally don't get it, especially after quoting a kids movie to explain how it feels. I am after all, only riding bitch.)

Then when we got to the docks Jim offered to have us just stay in his guest room, and we jumped at that, but a little sadly too because the docks were great and free with some fresh spring water good for drinking. I just wish the docks were a few hours down our rout, and we could have stayed the night with Jim, and then camped at the docks down the road. But, say lavvie (I have no idea how to write that).
We met two women walking near the docs, and Jim started talking to them just like old friends, just like he talked to us when we first met, and again, these women had never met Jim before in their lives. He opened with his explanation, "I love people," and then went from there. He told them the whole story about the docs, free camping, and the fresh spring water, and Joe started to salivate. So, before we left the docs Joe needed to make one pit stop at this fresh spring.
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Joe:

We get to Jim’s place and I’m only a little nervous. It is a small ranch house in the middle of nowhere not far from the boat landing on the river. It’s across from a big farm with rolling grassy hills and mountains in the distance.
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I’m nervous because you never know who to trust. However, I’ve seen the way this guy is with his family and he seems to be just a really good person. He told his young nephews “Gimme some love,” and hugged them really tight and they sure liked him. I trusted him at this point, whereas I didn’t when he first offered for us to stay at his guest house and shower. I was surprised that V trusted him so much then even though we had just met at a gas station. We pull in and he immediately starts acting like a nervous host. He would go out of his way to help us and make us feel comfortable. He brought us some chairs and other things and began doing dishes, cleaning, and making us food.
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It reminded me of staying at my uncle Rufus’s place in Santa Barbara. He would get stressed out trying to be a good host. Even though I don’t want anyone stressing over me. It is nice to be someone’s guest. We sat as the sun dropped into the two converging mountains and enjoyed watching the chickens and roosters walk around us. Jim had said, “I hope you don’t mind some chickens because they are free-range and it’s time to let my babies out.” He opened the gate and started scattering corn while calling, “Heeeeere chick chick chick chick chick!”
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It was hilarious. I enjoyed the way they interacted especially the roosters. They are graceful, yet quick and full of energy. Jim said, “Did you know. . .Did you, know. . . that a cock does not have a cock.” We laughed. “It’s true. . .The rooster just gets really excited, and secretes his stuff out of his butt. He then rubs his butt against her butt.”

Jim was full of hilarious raunchy humor. He served us dinner while we were skyping with V’s mom and sister. It was as he called it, “Speedy beef with noodles.” I asked, “What’s speedy beef?” He told us speedy beef is deer meat, and it’s just like roast beef except harder to catch.

Vanessa:

So we skyped with my mom and Jessica, and Jim talked to them too. He liked my backyard (it has a lot of trees, and my mom showed off her waterlily she added to the rock fountain Joe and I made with her before we left. Good feng shui as our next door neighbor put it.) Then after dinner Jim burned us a copy of Fresh, the movie Joe talked about in his Rambling blog (http://www.freshthemovie.com/).
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(this is a pic of the spare room with me setting up the laptop... not one of Joe's best pics)

The next morning we did some Chi Gong for Jim and Baby, and then Joe and Baby did some Kung Fu for Jim and I.

And then we packed up, and Jim brought us out dinner for the next week! He gave us a package with several large sausages in it, and then 2 more packages each with one really huge sausage in it. Some were garlic, and the others were jalapeno, but they were all RAH'S ALL NATURAL BEEF. So then we got one last picture with the man, the myth, the legendary Jim!
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And then it was off to the Mississippi!

Posted by - Rain 12:09

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Comments

It was good luck to meet someone so cool and hospitable along the way, and free food is always a plus. Its happenings like this that still give me hope that the general population is not entire made of assholes. And Jim's place is awesome.

by Laurr

Laura already said it...but that's awesome to run into someone so awesome...

1. Not that I run into that many cyclists...but I feel the same way sometimes on my bicycle...like we know that people suck and don't look out for us...or yell at us "get on the side walk"...so we're just cool to each other...this only happened once...but I see it at my brother's all the time...people form large groups and suddenly you have 20 cyclist occupying a lane...and it's awesome...cars fuck with you less...

2. Maybe you'll run into more commune like places...where you can stay and get group meals as long as you work the day on the farm or contribute in some way...you're story with Jim makes me want to find traveling people and have them stay with me...make them a meal and let them know that people are not all bad...I'm glad you both were awesome and trusted him...

by CoreyAnn

low fives are pretty awesome. Friendly farmers always seem to have a lot of charm.

by buddy-JC

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