Monday, June 21, 2010
After leaving the U-More area and doing some more traditional gravel sections, we pulled into Farmington, Minnesota for a re-supply and rest at about 30 miles. We invaded the convenience store, and the, (for me), usual stares from the locals started in earnest. Women hurriedly shuffled children by us before they could ask questions. Grown men stared at our "outlandish" dress. Had we ridden up in leathers on Harleys we would have garnered little attention, but you'd have thought that Marlon Brando was staging a ghostly reprise of "The Wild One" by the looks on the faces of the townspeople.
Actually, I find this sort of reaction almost anywhere I end up with a bunch of cyclists in a rural convenience store setting. I find it rather humorous, and I'll admit, it appeals to a certain facet of my weird personality. It may not be for everyone!
Jason told us that these hills and vales were XC ski territory during the winter months and horse trails during the rest of the year, for the most part. He said he'd never seen another cyclist out there since he had discovered the place. Hey, maybe we were the first group of cyclists to ever have ridden those hills. Who knows for sure? It was certainly beautiful out there, and definitely very brutal! I suffered the worst during this portion of the ride, that's for certain.
Hey, they don't call it "adventure" for nothing! So I figured it fit into the game plan alright. We probably hiked in about a half a mile at most, and then we found what Josh was looking for. I climbed up to almost the summit, but being a person that doesn't take kindly to exposed high places, I went down and around the base for.......
It was a pretty tall feature out in the middle of nowhere. I suppose at one time, before the trees got so tall, it was much easier to spot this landmark. Given about another 15-20 years though, with no fires to threaten them, the trees will have pretty much taken over this spot and finding this rock will be even more challenging!
Someone mentioned that there had been a bear sighting just south of here around Northfield, Minnesota. I can't imagine a more "bear friendly" place than this one, and if that bear finds it, I bet it won't be moving anytime soon from it!
We then went by these installations which were connected with the abandoned munitions plant. They were shelters where shells were filled with gunpowder and armed. If something went wrong, the concrete walls prevented the blast from causing any further damage outside of the barriers. Funny thing was that all of these installations were never put into production or used at all. Now they stand as silent reminders of a World At War.
Not long after this, we hit some grass covered two track that was shoulder high to us on our bikes! You couldn't see the ruts or holes, so a couple guys went down in this section, albeit softly! We also had some fun trashing our bikes in some big mud puddles here and there as well.
We had six Fargos on the ride and they showed why they are the perfect all terrain adventure rig. We had everything from pavement, gravel, grass, dirt, a wee bit of mud, and water thrown at us and we made mincemeat of all of it aboard the Fargos we had. Kudos to Salsa Cycles once again for making the Fargo and opening up a whole new way to explore the world by bicycles.
A big shout of thanks to Jason Boucher also for taking the time to scout out a really challenging, fun, interesting, and flexible course. Thanks for setting up the structure for all of the Fargo Adventure Ride and your efforts were appreciated by all in attendance. Super job of hosting!
I was supposed to travel up to the Chequamegon area that evening, but I had forgotten about Father's day, and I was beat by the Fargo Adventure Ride, so I decided to be with my family instead. Good thing too, because Saturday I was in a zombie-like state from the effort on Saturday.
The Fargo Adventure Ride never fails to disappoint. If you ever get a chance to join one, make time for it! Thanks to everyone on the ride for making it a great time. See ya down the trail!