Leave it to Steve P. to suggest a lunch ride with just 2 days notice and with no destination in mind. He made this announcement this past Thursday morning at the Old Farts Coffee get-together at Funky Java coffee house in Villa Park. He needed to ride somewhere was the stated reason. After waiting all day for ride details I suggested a return visit to a rather comfortable small brewery in Whitewater, WI, Second Salem. We had been there last summer checking it out for a possible LRW ride which never happened.
The name “Second Salem” comes from the early 20th century, when locals referred to Whitewater as “Second Salem” due to its reputation as a site of witch gatherings, strange murders, unearthly creatures in the lake and other unexplained phenomena. Whitewater is also the stomping grounds of the Beast of Bray Road, a werewolf-type creature that was sighted in the early 1990’s. Thus the quirky brewery, Second Salem
Figuring this was my suggestion it would be up to me to plan the ride. A few hours on Google Maps and I had a quick ride up to Whitewater and a leisurely country roads ride back with the terminus being the No Wake B&G in Port Barrington. Ride details were sent to a few of our LRW riders of which 3 were good-to-go. We met at our HE McD’s with a 10:15am planned departure and a target of a noon arrival. Our little group was myself, Steve and George G. meeting Cosmo at the destination. We arrived on time hungry and thirsty and happy to find Cosmo and Miss Kathy waiting for us.
Needless to say the food and drink were outstanding George had a pulled pork poutine bowl that I swear would clog a 2” diameter artery but it sure looked good and it was good (I snuck a sample to taste). Their home brewed beers all had clever names on the spooky side: Wildman of LaGrange, Bone Orchard, Wytches’ Brew and, of course, Beast of Bray Road, to name a few. We had such a good gabbing and eating, eating and gabbing that before we knew it, 2 hours had slipped by. Just as lunches should be.
For the ride home we travelled Wisconsin’s “alphabet” roads, the 2-lane country roads that wind and twist, rise and fall and seem to go nowhere making great motorcycling roads. I did miss a planned turn though, the final county road I wanted to ride for our exit from Wisconsin. In Walworth there is Wisconsin’s idea of a round-about but instead of being configured as a circle, it was a square. Yes, a square with 4 – 90° turns to negotiate. Well, I was focused on Rt. 14, which we were on, and I missed the exit to County B. However neither Steve nor George knew my route so they had no idea that I missed my turn so I just kept going and wound my way to Port Barrington and the No Wake. No harm no foul, right? We grabbed a table under to tent overlooking the river inlet and boat dock, I called the Boss and Joni joined us for a relaxing sit down and a beer. All in all it was a great day of riding, of eating, of conversation with friends. What more could you possible ask for. And we have Steve to thank for all of this.
Submitted by: HGB