Sunday, April 14, 2013

Recollections From The Recon

An Iowa B Maintenance Road
Okay, spend over 13 hours, most of it bouncing around in the cab of a Ford Crew Cab 4X4 nic-named "Moby", and tell me that you wouldn't have a few choice memories from that adventure.

Well, maybe you wouldn't ever subject yourself to such madness. 

Okay, I get that, but if you did......well, here's what stood out for me from the day of bouncing around over Iowa's rural roadways:

  • Thought Bubble: This was said by George whenever a feature of the course was commented on in a way that might reflect a perceived difficulty for the riders. Meaning is that the riders would have a slew of evil thoughts being expressed in their heads in a "thought bubble", like in the cartoons, while riding said features. So- Wally might make a comment on how tough a hill looked and George would simply quip, "Thought bubble!"
  • Geologic Explanations Of Wet Spots In The Road: Okay, this may take a bit to get through to you, but this goes back to when my co-director, David Pals was helping out with Trans Iowa. David is an accomplished and very knowledgeable geologist, and currently is overseeing a gold mining operation on the island of Fiji. Well, he would often go into detailed descriptions of geologic oddities if I prompted him with questions about such things. One of those discussions happened during the recon of T.I.V6 and concerned wet spots in the road in weird places, like near hill tops, when the valleys would be dry. Okay, so this came up with Wally, when he asked the same question, and I tried, most feebly, to say something smart about this subject in my vain recollection of David's expert analysis of this. Well, it became a sort of by-word the rest of the trip and we got many a laugh out of that! 

  •  Snow In The Ditches: There wasn't just a little bit of snow in places, there was so much random snow that we started to only comment on the sightings if they were impressive in length and size, and even then this got to be tedious with so much snow sighted. Also noted- where we were still seeing snow the roads were pretty bad. Soft, very rutted, and muddy in places. I suspect these will be the areas getting maintenance in the next two weeks. 
  • Iowa Is A Beautiful Place: I know many of you might laugh at that, but I spend a lot of time where most folks don't go, and I see what is out there that most folks miss. Yes- it isn't the mountains, the desert, or some tropical paradise. Those places have their particular charm, and so does Iowa. I happen to like it.
  • I Keep Surprising Myself: I drove all the course in two separate drives last year. This time we did it in one chunk. Maybe that was the difference, or maybe I'm losing it, but I can't remember some of the things we saw yesterday, and I hadn't taken in the course as one big chunk either. It gave me a different perspective on the course. It wasn't as boring as I thought it was going to be. But we'll let ya'all that ride it decide afterward what it was like.

 Thanks to Wally and George for the company and use of Moby yesterday. I had a blast with you guys and it made recon super-smooth.

 Okay, that's a wrap on the novelties from the recon. Tomorrow is a photo-blog edition of the course recon report.

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