Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘exploring

Exploring Gravel

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Morning chores were done, breakfast was eaten and the paper read. It was time to commit to whatever work deserved to be accomplished for the day. Thinking that I needed to use the power trimmer, I asked Cyndie if it mattered to her what I started on.

She said, “Why don’t you go for a bike ride before the air quality gets any worse?” Man, I love her.

I got ready as quickly as I could and stopped to look at a map on my laptop for a new route to explore. 410th Street going north out of El Paso looked like a good option. (Did you know there was an “El Paso” in Wisconsin? I didn’t until we moved here.) A marker on the map for Driftless Farm Sanctuary caught my eye. I could check it out.

Being well familiar with the roads to El Paso, my exploration didn’t really begin until I reached 410th. Oops. It was gravel.

That wasn’t in my plan, but at the moment, I was feeling brave enough to ride the rough stuff. I turned onto the gravel and employed a little battery assist. What a smart idea it was to get an e-bike. The gravel continued for more miles than I expected, and every road that intersected 410th was also gravel. I learned that there are a lot more gravel roads nearby than I was aware of.

I came upon a very busy harvesting operation with two huge machines cutting and six trucks arranged for filling of what appeared to me would be processed to become silage. They probably didn’t expect to see a bicyclist passing by on that road.

I wasn’t aware there was growth already available for harvesting. This is the kind of discovery that comes from exploration.

There was another noteworthy find further on up the gravel roads. I came upon one of those places where you can’t roller skate.

When I left the gravel and rolled onto pavement again the pedaling became noticeably easier but the direction I was going took me to the big hills of 690th Avenue. I touched the control to increase my battery assist by two levels and sailed home with ease.

After lunch, I decided to test the idea of using the new zero-turn mower to cut along the fence lines from inside the hay field and back pasture to simplify trimming beneath the wires. I usually mow in there with the big tractor pulling the brush cutter but if the small mower can do the job, it would be easier.

Well, the little battery-powered beast was more than up to the challenge. That cutting, which knocked down grass much taller than I should have been trying to mow with the Greenworks CRZ426, will make the final cleanup with a power trimmer a breeze. I’ll be done in a fraction of the time it would have otherwise taken.

What a smart idea it was to buy that e-mower.

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Written by johnwhays

May 24, 2023 at 6:00 am

Additional Pics

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More images captured over the weekend, checking out Jay Cooke State Park, exploring the woods around Barb and Mike’s cabin, and watching rapid weather swings…

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Sometimes, if you venture deep enough into the trees, you just might stumble upon a stone fireplace in a clearing.

We did.

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(Full disclosure: It wasn’t exactly a surprise, as we knew what we were looking for, having visited it in the past, but it always seems to be farther away than anticipated.)

It was brilliant fun bushwhacking off trail, dodging branches, picking routes, and (re)discovering the long-abandoned remnants of a burned out cabin with an intriguing assortment of metal scraps lying about. The site was so old, the stone outlines of the structure were difficult to discern and trees had grown up through the frame of a bed.

Don’t let the picture fool you. The stone fireplace shown is not from¬†the cabin remains we explored.¬†It’s at the site of a former girl’s camp on Bluewater Lake.

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Written by johnwhays

October 23, 2018 at 6:00 am