Monday, June 15, 2015

Ride and Garden Report

Things are looking better in the garden.  The plants I got at the nursery have little green tomatoes on and are generally looking  healthy.  Something took the top off one of my pepper plants -- I think it is the banana pepper -- the jalapeno and the habanero are fine.  That's good.  The replant of cucumbers was successful.  The pole beans look great, as does the winter squash.  I have watermelon plants up, and my popcorn is growing. 

My daughter gave me some heirlooms tomato plants she had started.  I got them about a month ago.  They are still spindly, but several are going to live.  I had room, since I'm not planting much, to place them well away from the nursery hybrids.  So possibly they will come along and at least provide a few late tomatoes and seed for next year.

As far as my permaculture goes, the blackberries look like they are going to turn out a good crop.  I have lots of apples on most of my trees.  No pears and no plums this year at all.  The weather was wrong, I guess.  I had a few strawberries.  I need to clean up those beds and do a better job feeding them for next year. 

Since we've had so much rain, it may work out all right, despite my being behind.

Saturday looked like a good day to ride.  I had the grass all cut.  The forecast called for isolated showers.  I figured I'd probably hit some rain if I rode long, and I prepared accordingly.

I took MO Hwy 125 south.  I had ridden part of this on the Victory last year.  It is a twisty two-lane, perfect for the Yamaha -- which I have now dubbed the Gray Ghost.  Last time I turned east on MO 76 when I got to Bradleyville.  This time, I stayed on 125.  Between Bradleyville and a junction noted on some maps as Rueter (that's probably "rooter" -- and there was probably a general store/post office there at one time) the road seems to be one set of 30-mph S-curves after another.  A near-perfect road.  I was easily able to stay above the speed limit (did I say that outloud?  Only slightly, of course) the whole way.  Since it was early, there was very little passing necessary.

Eventually, one comes to the end of the road.  

(It is just a phone picture, but you can still click to see the larger image)

This is the ferry dock on the north side of Lake Bull Shoals.  No charge for the crossing, which we appreciate.  When you get off the ferry, you are on AR 125.  I rode it down to AR Hwy 14 and took that west until it hit US-65 which I rode north back to civilization. Almost.

I got off on 76 in Branson, looking for a BBQ and burger place that has a good reputation.  It's called Danna's, and there are three locations.  I found the one east of Branson on 76 at Kirbyville.  The parking lot was packed.  I was really hunger by then, but the rains were starting.  I decided to skip Danna's, took the road up to Forsyth, looping around back to 65 and north again.

I hit three or four small showers on the way.  I had the rain cover on my tail pack.  I had my wallet and phone encased in highly technical waterproof Ziplock sandwich bags.  My mesh jacket has a rain liner, but I didn't bring it.  It was hot (and humid) enough I wasn't worried about hypothermia from riding wet.

The shakedown was that the Nelson-Rigg tail bag and it's rain cover performed well.  When I pulled off at the town of Ozark to get under some cover and let one more shower pass by, I had hot coffee from my thermos and some trail mix.  All my gear was dry.  I could have switched to dry gloves if I had thought I wouldn't get rained on more before I got home -- which was the case, but I wasn't all that uncomfortable.

My shirt and jacket dried fairly quickly.  My jeans were heavily soaked in some areas -- crotch and lower legs.  The boots I had on are not fully waterproof but they weren't that wet.  They are pull-ons, and water had gotten in from the top so that my socks were wet.  None of it was particularly uncomfortable, but I only wet for an hour or so.  In an all-day rain or a longer trip, I would have been happier with the jacket liner or my other raincoat, my waterproof lace-up boots and at least some chaps to keep my drawers dry.

The bike itself was no problem at all.  I switched the engine mode to 'B', the milder performing rain setting, as there was quite a bit of water on the road in spots.  I think I could have done OK remaining in STD.  It's just a matter of staying off the throttle.  On the other hand, I really appreciate ABS under those conditions.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, ferry, rain, and all. 


  1. We are doing pretty well for moisture as well over here, so far. Had a dry spell in late May early June but ok now. Getting some raspberries and blueberries for the first time from my permaculture plantings. The cherry tree produced about 3 cherries this year. That's a start. One of my Asian pears just took off this year. Three feet of new growth. His buddy, about 15 feet away, six inches of growth so far. It's strange.

    Sounded like a great trip. Beautiful lake, looked it up on the interwebs. Reminded me of when I was a teen and I would go on 20 mile bike rides from the edge of the suburbs into the country. Just myself, stopping when I wanted, for a snack or to take in the view. Feeling free and enjoying the adventure.

  2. That sounds good. Permaculture is less work -- long-term.

    I was the first one to the landing but before the ferry got back a group of four other bikers rode up, then some cars. When we got off, I was reminded why I don't like to ride in groups larger than two -- me and my bike.

    I had a nice conversation with the other guys during the crossing. The camaraderie is great. But I let the four go ahead of me, and I was stuck behind them, essentially riding at the slowest guy's pace. If you are out in front of a group then you have to be conscious of everybody behind you. I don't care for it. I like to be able to control my own pace, and, as you said, pull off and enjoy the scenery when I feel like it.