Saturday, October 12, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #6

In mid-November, the idea of Trans Iowa was hatched. The year was 2004. In the ten years since then there have been many stories and memories. These posts will tell of the most prominent ones to my mind. Maybe I'll even spill the beans on some things you never knew....

Jeff circa 2005
 Trans Iowa V2 was a much easier event to plan for, yet in a way, it was much harder to actually get the groundwork laid for it. Jeff was getting to a point in his racing career where he was called to do bigger and wider ranging events all across the country, and even internationally. Thanks to his computer savvy and influences, the basic tools of the website, sponsorship, and the attracting of attention were things all easily taken care of, and all I had to do was to look after the rules, details, and course planning of the event itself.

We announced V2 in the middle of the Summer but recon didn't get going until late October and with Jeff being out of the country doing an event in Japan, the actual recon fell to me. At least for the initial voyage. And that was a very memorable trip....

I made the initial trip on my own in our 1996 Toyota Camry. It was a loooooong trip out to Hawarden to get started and I had to really hump it to get as much done as I did. It was something like 270 miles just to get out there all on two lane roads, for the most part. I lived on a staple of beef jerky, Red Bull, and fruit from convenience stores along the way. There were many on the route, as I was trying to put in as many re-supply chances as I could to answer a complaint about T.I.V1's lack of stops. In fact, there was a convenience store every 40 miles or less on the T.I.V2 route! Can you believe that? It was one of the several convenience store stops that provided the standout memory for me from this recon trip.

Somewhere.....out there!
I was drinking quite a bit of Red Bull, and you know.....eventually you have to make a pit stop. I rolled into Petersen, Iowa, and I had to stop and relieve myself. I popped into the store and asked where the restroom was, interrupting a conversation between one of the employees and a local. The employee pointed me to the back and quickly returned to her conversation. I walked around the corner and found the door to the men's restroom and grabbed the door knob, which was unlocked, and opened it.

What happened next was.........weird. There was an occupant, on the toilet, pants down, and he weighed........a lot! Gah!

I quickly shut the door and walked straight out of the place. Fortunately, there was a riparian area just south of town along the proposed route and I walked back into the woods and did my business there. But that sight! Gah! It took a long time to wipe that from my mind!

Using the "Iowa Sportsman's Atlas" for the first time was making life way easier as for finding a good route. It was, (and still is), based off the State of Iowa's DOT maps, so it was deadly accurate compared to what I used for the first Trans Iowa. I managed to get to Algona on that recon trip before I had to head back home. The weather turned sour and I missed getting into a tornado by only a few miles. The wind, rain, and lightning was intense, but finally, I made it home to live another day.

Next: The lead up to the muddy mess of Trans Iowa V2....

1 comment:

Josh Lederman said...