Tuesday, 10 September 2013

To Minnieapolis, pllaying cowboys then Lake Superior

The ride from Bismark was warm but pretty boring, we stopped for the night at Alexandria before making our way into Minneapolis to pick up filters & oil at the bike dealers. The staff and the people we met there were super friendly and a big change from most of the shops we have stopped at so far. Then onto Kevin Stratton’s house who we’d originally met (riding with his son Kale) in Alaska. Kevin invited us to stay if we were passing. His friend John was there already in party mode as Kevin had laid on a bit of a party for us. We met his lovely wife Carol and son Conor and proceeded to have a fantastic night partying and chatting with his friends and neighbours, An apology here, we were having such a good time we never took photos! Sunday, Carol dropped Conor off at his pals while we serviced Fi’s bike and then went out to Kevin & Carols farm to have some fun shooting handguns, something I’d never get to do in the UK. Kevin was super careful to explain the guns and the safety rules, then he even managed to coach us well enough to hit the various targets he’d set up, a Jedi master indeed. We stopped for lunch on the way back and Carol took a call that Conor and his friend had been in a car accident whist being driven back from the park by his friends father, some 16 year old kid driving a Jeep Cherokee had T boned them after running a light. We were an hour away, I’m surprised how calm Carol stayed, we got back to find Conor was basically OK, a swollen ear and some bruising but his pal had been cut when the side window imploded. The good news is he should be OK, a night in ER having glass removed from his face but high stress for both sets of parents. We left on Monday once again humbled by the warmth and generosity of people we have met on this adventure, that’s two weekends we have been hosted by two Kevin’s, can we make it three? Only joking, we intend being in the tent near Niagra falls by next weekend. Mondays ride was nice, back North to Lake Superior, only problem was getting pulled by the Sherriff for running a stop sign that caught us unawares on Highway B we actually thought we’d been stopped for speeding (which we were). He was a grumpy sod and wouldn’t take my feigned ignorance of US law as an excuse, at one point asking if we really wanted the two of us cited, I backed off and he went to write me a ticket, all those miles and countries and we get fined here. After 5 minutes he appeared from his car, it appears they have a new computer system and he couldn’t get it to take my postcode (zip code) so it was taking too long to write me up (I think he needed to go get his doughnut fix) so I got off with a warning, woo hoo hooray for computers and computer illiteracy!
Kevin's artistic breakfast pancakes
Down on the farm
Kevin's great grandfather parked this here
Danger, man with gun
More Danger
Pretty pleased after expert tuition
Carol shows us how its done 
Jedi master Kevin overlooks dumb pupil
Good shot by Fiona got the cartridge ejecting
Conor, still smiling aafter the crash
Our great hosts for the weekend
Waiting to find out our fate


  1. Gino! dumb? I think not. What he is being HUMBLE about is his ability to learn in less than 20 min! We were shooting against each other for some "friendly" competition and he was winning (who invited him over any way) so I gave an excuse that my target was stuck and that is why he was winning. Without a word and with my gun he shoots my target and sends it rolling down the trail. Within one hour he would shoot free hand with a 9mm and did not miss!
    Gino and Fiona are welcome back any time. They have made our lives better by there new friend ship, teachings, jokes and teaching me that if you want to challenge a Scotsman at something be ready for a surprise!

    Please be safe in your travels. Have the journey of a life time.
    We want to thank you!

    Kevin Carol Connor and Kale to!

    1. Aye Kevin, those years with the mafia helped ha ha. Great weekend and really enjoyed the banter. Keep in touch.

  2. Gino and Fiona,was wonderful meeting you.Joe and I have been following your blog since you left Bismark. Aren,t you the lucky ones avoiding a ticket The force must be with you!! God Bless You and safe travels.Joe and Colleen

  3. Hi Colleens & Joe
    Hope you enjoyed the Pow Wow. Not so sure it was the force or his lack of force! Hope you're enjoying the blog
    Gino & Fiona