Going to the VBR3 – Aerostich 30th Anniversary
All good efforts are always rewarded with disproportionate adversity. The ride to the 30th anniversary of Aerostich referred to as VBR3– purveyors of their own made in the USA and other high quality gear began with a 5 hour or more delay…. but by then who was counting… the destination for the day quickly changed from Missoula. MT to Spokane Valley, WA.
The following day took us a bit closer to Duluth, MN when we finally closed out the second day in Miles City, MT. and by the end of the third day we had arrived in Fargo, ND. Plans to take the northern route Minot (why not Minot?) was nixed by either the lack of hotel rooms or astronomical room rates attributable to the oil boom taking place. We unfortunately had to choose the I-94 route through North Dakota due to expediency and a very tight business schedule.
If you come from the West Coast and have not visited the sights in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, then this is your opportunity to visit Yellowstone, ride the Beartooth Hwy, see Devils Tower and enjoy the fabulous roads of the Black Hills – especially those in Custer State Park. Then there is Wall Drug, and if you have lived a particularly cloistered life, this is your instantaneous introduction to the of brilliant marketing that goes back to the Great Depression (the one in the 1930’s as compared to the recent misnomer, the Great Recession).
The end of the fourth day found us in Walker, MN at a very nice lakeside hotel. We chilled out and prepared ourselves for the VBR3, which took all of a few seconds as his rally redefines the term low-key rally.
The riding through northern Minnesota is very relaxing (55 mph for one) along two lane roads lined with deciduous and conifer trees interspersed with the many picturesque lakes that makes Minnesota so famous for lakes.
On the way we stopped and got the obligatory picture by the north woods mascot Paul Bunyan, who appears in a town park. His ox, Babe the Blue Ox was noticeably missing – at least in Akeley, MN. So if you are interested, that is where to go. I am sure that there might be others shamelessly cashing in on his fame elsewhere and claim their tribute to be the “original” Paul Bunyan tribute.
Along the last leg of the route we picked up another motorcyclist from Winnipeg on his pilgrimage to the VBR3….. I guess that is stretching the term pilgrimage a bit……. probably a lot.
At last we arrive at Mecca, I mean Spirit Mountain, where the tent village begins to take shape in a most curious fashion of eclectic planning punctuated by one after another motorcyclist finding the same hole in the grassy area beside the lodge (a ski lodge and the grassy area is actually part of Spirit Mountain’s ski slope) and a brief scream as their bike stops quite unexpectedly…… but others run over to help right the two wheeled ship and share the previous experience of others as if that helps…..
Tomorrow is the seminars, gear galore and the opportunity to see more modifications and must have gear than one ever thought existed……