On Sunday, 7-12-10, a couple of buddies and I decided to take a little day trip in southern Minnesota. Darin Olson, an old Army buddy of mine from Hanley Falls, MN, invited us to ride the Minnesota River Scenic Byway. We started out at 6:00 am from Brandon and met him at his farm about 8:30 AM. He asked us if we were afraid of riding “a little gravel” and we assured him that we were ready. I was riding my R1200GS Adventure, Steve Fiegen was riding his Suzuki VStrom, and Darin was riding his Kawasaki KLR650. We headed to Montevideo and out on the trail. The Scenic Bypass consists of a combination of asphalt, good gravel, bad gravel and if you take some of the off shoot trails, (cont. from previous page) water covered goat paths. As it turns out, his idea of “a little gravel” and mine are two different things. We averaged about 30 MPH on the trip riding roads ranging from rocks and sand requiring pretty technical riding skills to smooth southern Minnesota highways.
The scenery was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. We took our time and ended the Scenic Byway at Redwood Falls where we parted ways. The Byway continues on through New Ulm down to Mankato. We saved that part for another day. All in all it was a great ride and close to home. We ended up putting on about 350 miles in an 11 hour period. We had plenty of breaks along the way. There is no shortage of small burger joints and restaurants along the way. It just goes to show that you don’t have to make a long planned-out distant trip to have a great ride.