This year's Fargo Adventure Ride was based out of the same campground as last year, the Lebanon Hills Campground, which is a really great camping area right in the heart of the Twins Cities suburban sprawl. It would be even better if not for the constant drone of traffic and the occasional roar and whine of jets coming into and out of the airport, but hey! It works and you do get a feel for nature in this beautiful setting. My favorite oddity about the campground is that it is located just off a street called "Johnny Cake Ridge Road". Sounds like something out of a fantasy novel to me.
So I left for this destination on Thursday, taking my time and not in too much of a hurry, since I didn't want to arrive too soon before anyone else. I had reserved a camping space, but I didn't know where I would end up in relation to the others, so that was going to be a mystery until I got there.
When I arrived Jason and Matt were already there and curiously, they hadn't set up any tents or anything. They were just hanging out talking with the bikes leaning up against a picnic table. I found my spot just up the path from them, so I was pretty close to their spot after all.
Jason informed me that it probably would be a good idea to not set up camp just yet. He said that a strong line of thunderstorms were bearing in on the Twin Cities from the Southwest. It was then decided that if Jason could swing it, we would retire to a local brew pub and wait out the impending doom. Jason's situation was resolved, and with darkening skies threatening rain, we hopped into the cars and hit up the brew pub for eats and beers.
Watching the television with the closed captioning, we could see that tornadoes, large hail, and high winds were going to be a very real possibility for us. Video from storm chasers showed a couple big tornadoes and some images of large, softball sized hail stones. Great! Maybe we would be having a different kind of adventure!
Well, by some miracle we were spared because the storm line broke up and went around the Twin Cities to the north and the south. After we felt all was clear, we went back to the campground where we met up with Ben Witt from Milltown Cycles.
While we walked up to get Ben his visitor pass, we noted the strange clouds in the skies around us. There was distant lightning, weird colors, and odd shapes. We all sat around and watched the "show" unfold while Jason was taking a bunch of pictures of the bizarre spectacle. (Look for something on his blog later on that). After the sun started to fade in the West, we went back to the camping spot in awe of what had just happened. It was pretty cool, and I had never seen such clouds in the sky before. I know you all will think I'd been smoking something when you read this, but we actually saw clouds that were sky blue in color. Really!
Then we built a fire with the skills of Matt Gersib and Ben Witt, which we enjoyed far into the night. Oddly enough, we noted that we were the only cyclists there. Jason was puzzled a bit because he knew that the camping area was totally booked up and that there were several empty spots that night. Perhaps the reports of severe weather had scared away potential Fargo riders?
Whatever it was, we were having fun and enjoying some great conversation.
Unfortunately, Ben wouldn't be joining us either, as he had just come off a very bad bout with food poisoning and he was still in a pretty weak state yet as he hadn't fully recovered. It was great to hang out with Ben though, and I am really glad he made the effort to come out to hang with us Fargo Adventurers.
We all then hit our tents with a plan to roll out by 8am the next morning. Who would show up? Would we be a threesome? Check out my next post to find out the answers.