A long weekend – Part One


I’m blessed with three day weekends every other week (with the catch of working three days the opposite weekends). This year, these long weekends have usually had me taking some day trip with Sue, or just catching upon chores from the week (exciting, I know).

This wasn’t a happy situation for either of us, so we were determined to get at least one motorcycle camping trip in this summer. Now, it’s true that we camped at Clays for the BBQ, but if you think sleeping in someone’s yard is camping, you have a host of issues beyond the scope of this blog.
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Sue had lots of camping experience, but little of it was on a motorcycle. I have been self sufficient on a bike for so long, it was hard for me to determine what extra stuff, if anything, she had to bring along. She did carry the tent, a 4 person REI she used with the girls, but that didn’t stop me from bringing along the hammock (which I’m in as I type this now).

She made a reservation in a state park, and I invited motorcycling friends to the Dells for breakfast Sunday morning. By coincidence, another friend called a pizza meet not far from the state park, and a plan developed for the weekend. Then, before we were supposed to leave, I learned some friends were camping at the EAA Airventure Fly in (they are on a motorcycle, and just went there to see it). That was too close for me to pass on the chance to see them, so Sue and I hastily decided to ride to Oshkosh and camp, then spend Friday morning at the airshow.

I had to work Thursday, so I packed Curiosity Wednesday night. Sue finished packing her bike during the day on Thursday, and we hoped to leave not long after I got home at 615. Sadly, work was busy and I didn’t have the chance to eat dinner before leaving, so it was closer to 730 when we actually left. We were further delayed by rain, and arrived at the EAA just after 9. Then we had some problems finding where my friends were camped (“just turn left” turned out to be inadequate as directions) but eventually we had the tent up and were settled in.

The next few hours were spent catching up (they has just come back from Cuba, somewhere Sue been years ago. They traded stories and I sat there being jealous) until almost midnight. I’d been up since 445, and was constantly yawning, so we headed into the tent just as it started to rain.

Camp Scholler was densely packed. We had someone snoring loudly to one side of us, and a generator (which was supposed to be off) running to other other. US 41,a multilane, limited access highway not much different than an interstate, was only 50 or so yards away, across a road. Oddly, none of this bothered me very much, and even Sue main complaint in the morning was the cold. Her sleeping bag hadn’t been up to the temps and she’d been cold all night. With the added issues, she hadn’t slept much.

We got up and made coffee, tea, and oatmeal. The sky was clear, and it promised to be a warm day, so we made sure we had water and headed into the grounds. Sue and I, needed exercise, decided to walk. My friends, staying for a week, instead rode their bike to the gate.

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There was a bus too.

Once inside we had to run a gauntlet of vendors (t-shirts, mostly. Some signs) to reach the airplanes. These were also vendors, of a sort, selling planes or plane parts.

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Further in, there were a collection of military planes, and most of them you could enter. They all had long lines, but the line for the C-17 was pretty short. Blue was happy to sit down.

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From there, we headed along the runway, where there were small planes doing stunts and others taking off and landing. There was a large crowd there, sitting in chairs they’d carried in, clearly planning to spend the day. Sue and I found somewhere for lunch, then noticed a sign reading “vintage.” It was too much for us to resist, and we headed that way.

The area was actually for fly-in camping, something which sounded cool. There were a fair number of planes, but not all of them had tents with. Apparently camping was optional. Some planes without tents had people huddled under the wings, the sun was blazing down and there weren’t a lot of trees about.

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It was around 1:30pm when we headed back to camp and packed up. While we could’ve stayed another night at the EAA, we had reservations at a (much quieter) state park in central Wisconsin. It was clouding up as we finished loading the bikes and started west.

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