Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moonshine Lunch Run, April 12-16

Early April means it's time to pack the rain gear and insulated suit and ride over 1,000 miles for a hamburger. It's the Moonshine Lunch Run! A most excellent way to start the trip season! Seeing loads of friends is an absolute bonus, as well as completing an Iron Butt SS1000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours or less) and hitting some fantastic roads on the way home.

I left midday Thursday after wrapping up some things at work. The plan was to head north to Fort Collins to start the SS1000, as going straight from Denver isn't quite enough miles. From there take some nice two lanes east and hooking up with I-70 in Kansas. The interstate would be my home all the way to the finish line in Casey, IL except for a detour in Manhatten, KS to grab the KS tag (a motorcycle game) and another detour near Kansas City to avoid the toll road (and hit some nice twisties). I will admit I didn't stop to take any pictures, not that there was much to take pictures of! Took me about 20 leisurely hours to complete the ride, it was fun!

Arrived safely around 9am to the "headquarters" of the Moonshine Lunch Run at the Comfort Inn in Casey, IL. Snugged up and lubed my chain, headed inside to see who was around. Hooked up with some friends and first thing is first, off to Moonshine to get a burger! The event wasn't officially until tomorrow, but hey, I'd come all this way and was hungry. You can see the little ninja surrounded by Honda ST1100s, which is what I used to ride.

After lunch and some nice conversation, I headed to the Hammond Farm to set up my tent, get unpacked and have a nap. Found a nice quiet spot away from the crowd. We would eventually have 60 tents here! I got smart this year and brought the big REI tent. My little ALPs tent needed re-waterproofing after just a year of use, something I've never had to do with an REI tent (even bought used). I knew this trip would be wet, so didn't want to test out my waterproofing skills! Plus the extra room was appreciated to keep everything dry.

Most folks were on the other side of all this.

Friday evening rolled around, hopped over to one of the restaurants in town to collect my Moonshine sweatshirt (yay).  Instead of sticking around for a huge group dinner I booked it back to the farm to enjoy some more quiet time. It's beautiful out there, nice to just sit and soak it all in. I wasn't alone however, this little one showed up as my dinner date! She even helped me do the dishes later, lol.

Dinner with a show!

And when that finally got old we turned our attention to the view

After 2 beers and some socializing, it was time for bed! Rained off and on all night, the trusty REI tent didn't leak a single drop. Bliss! Awoke early, checking the radar, looks like rain all day. Better get up now, there's a big one coming! There's nothing worse than being stuck in your tent when it's pouring down rain and you have to pee....DAMHIK!

Walked around the corner to see the number of tents had grown.

This might not have been the best place to leave your socks to dry....

So here's why there were reports of singing last night!

Joe getting his payback for the loud singing that kept him up last night.... Shaking one of the singer's tents...

Mother Nature serving up some payback as well, here is aforementioned singer's helmet! That'll be soggy.

Headed over to the hotel, just in time for a real frog soaker! Was happy to be indoors for that one. Waited for the worst to pass then time for another burger! I believe in the end 1300 burgers were served, far from the record of over 2k last year, but that's a lot considering it didn't really stop raining the whole time!

Hung around for several hours talking with friends I often only see once a year at this event. On the way back to the farm the sun finally poked through, just in time to set. Made for some great pics of the bike.

My current desktop background:

These lights were a new addition, this was the first trip with them. LOVE THEM. However those top lights, which are driving lights (narrow beam, used with my high beams) are aimed a little high... I'll fix that soon, as when they are on they pretty much just served as a mating call for kamikaze moths....

Packed up and departed the next morning (Sunday) around 6am with a great day of backroads and twisties planned. Would be a welcome change to the interstate on the way out. Well, I got as far as Vienna, Missouri ("G" on the map) when that big storm that created so many tornadoes the day before had me change my route. The original plan was to continue almost due west through lake of the ozarks (great roads), but instead I headed north then west in order to stay on more main roads in case I needed shelter. Yes, it was very wet, no, I did not melt. Hey, I had a lot of bugs to clean off. I should have got the soap out! It was a wonderful riding day. Arrived at my cousin Christie's house in Kansas City around 6:30pm. Huge thank you to her and her family for once again hosting a stinky biker for the night! Oooooo how good that couch felt.

After staying up way too late (hey, we talk too much), I rolled out of the most comfortable couch ever to hit the road just a smidge before 7am. I was aiming for closer to 6, but that couch just wouldn't let go! Another day of 2 lane roads planned. No one else was up besides Christie's husband Brooke, and he asked me how I was getting home. I rattled off a few numbers and he said, "you know I-70 will take you straight home faster right?" LOL, you should have seen the look on his face as I tried to explain why I wasn't taking the interstate... Thanks for the tip Brooke! But I'll stick to the 2 lane roads when I can, much more fun.

Rolled into the garage around 7pm. Minus a completely worn out chain and sprockets, it was a wonderful and uneventful trip! New parts are on order and will give me a chance to get some maintenance items done while I wait. I'll be in again for next year.

Full slideshow, only 33 pics.

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