Sarah and I used the three-day weekend as the perfect excuse to go on the baby-moon vacation we’ve been waiting for (last chance to get away before baby #2 arrives). The weatherman gave a favorable forecast, so we even got to take the bug. The top is still undone, so only a fair-weather car. We picked Lanesboro as a destination because I’ve heard the Root River valley is a great drive, and Hwy 61 is known to be a good drive. On the way down we got to see the only covered bridge in MN, over the Zumbro river in Zumbrota.
Just south of Rochester we stumbled upon an awesome cycle shop; Wheels Unlimited, specializing in Norton/Ducati/Cagiva/Husky. The shop was closed, but the owners noticed us in the parking lot and let us in to check it out. What a shop! The bikes lined up were amazing; a Wankel engined Norton, a John Player model Norton, a Commando, and this Ducati. Along the wall were tons of dusty NOS Norton parts. These guys have been there for years, and it should be a destination for any Norton lover. This shop would make a great destination ride, just make sure to call ahead and verify they will be open. I get the feeling they keep flexible hours.
Another half hour past the shop we descended into the Root River valley, and got to our lodging, the James Thompson House. The owner of the house used to have a $125 bug when they were in college, and later commuted 160 miles daily with a 2000 TDI Beetle. Another guest at the inn told us about his baja-bug he used to drive around the desert when he was based there in the military.
We came back home via Hwy 61, and found a ’61 single cab for sale on the way. We spent a half hour with the owners, and almost convinced ourselves to buy it. It had 58K original miles, and period correct 40hp stale-air engine. There was no rust in the usual spots, just faded paint and deteriorated rubber. They even fired it up for us, and claimed it was ready to drive wherever it needed to go. I got home and informed my brother that his dream-bus was found. He quickly sized up the available space in his garage, and hit the road to go check it out. I’ll post a follow up if (when) he gets it!