|I'd never heard of a "B Road" until we did recon for V1|
Since we weren't using paved roads, an Iowa road map, (like the kind you used to have in the glove box before you had GPS- remember those?), wasn't going to cut it. I needed a map with all the roads on it. A quick search led me to DeLorme's Atlas for Iowa. It looked really good and had a lot of detail. I laid out the entire route using this resource and Jeff and I set out one cold,overcast weekend to see what we were going to be dealing with.
First off, getting up to Northwest Iowa is a pain in the butt! There isn't a good, direct, or fast way to get to Hawarden, which was our preferred starting point. It was something like a 5-6 hour drive to get out there, and then we turned around to research our route. So yeah......we got a late start! Fortunately we had Jeff's parents waiting for us about 127 miles away in Algona, where we planned on eating and sleeping for the night before reconning the Eastern half and going home.
Things were going great. Jeff drove while I handled writing down the mileages he called out at turns that I called out from the route plan. Then after about an hour, we ran into a truncated road. What? The Delorme's Atlas showed it.......aw crap! We sat and figured and did maths and scratched our heads. Remember- we were basing the mileage off a Mazda 3's odometer!
But that wasn't all. We ran into these "minimum maintenance roads". Weird! I'd never seen, nor heard about one. Was this really a road, or were we trespassing on some dirt pathway etched into a cornfield? I couldn't tell. I felt like an outlaw though!
Of course, we drove it, and the two others we came across. It was obvious that the usefulness of the DeLorme's Atlas was limited for our intents and purposes. In the future, I used and relied on other sources, but to find out that a "current" map wasn't accurate in 2005? That was quite surprising to me. But that wouldn't be my last surprise, or thing I learned from Trans Iowa!
To close out today's memories, I wanted to share this early post that was done on Jeff's blog before the first Trans Iowa. It concerns the infamous gnomes I set out on the T.I.V1 course, and the first hints about the Dirty Kanza 200. (Which was called the Flint Hills 200 early on) At the time, I was guest posting on Jeff's blog. I hadn't started this one yet!
A quick post to let all you loyal blog readers know that I have located some PERFECT GNOMES to be used as course "re-assurance" markers for Trans Iowa! I can't let on any details just yet, but you'll find out! Also- news is rumbling about the "copy-cat" event to Trans Iowa. Looks like it's going to happen. A representative of that double-triple secret event is going to attend Trans Iowa as an "observer". We better do a good job then! That way you nut-jobs can suffer crossing a yet-to-be-named state besides Iowa! Stay tuned for more updates as they become available!!!!- Guitar Ted
Note that I wrote" crossing a yet-to-be-named state...". That's right- the Dirty Kanza was first envisioned as a cross Kansas event. However; they settled on the loop format, and the rest is history.