|Bovine Intrusion: Yes- this is a road on T.I.V10!|
Things started out well enough. We met at 6:00am and left for the starting point in front of Bikes To You in Grinnell, Iowa. But first, breakfast! We found and excellent value on grub at the Frontier, a fine, clean cafe with extra-fast, courteous service. Highly recommended if you ever get to Grinnell! After we had our fill, we hit the trail for Trans Iowa V10.
Conditions were really good too. We had clear blue sky, bright sunshine, and cold temperatures along with some wind. It couldn't have been better for doing things like driving down sketchy B Maintenance roads, which we we found ourselves doing not long after leaving town. Out of the several choices for B roads we had, we picked a doozy too. It even included a bit of a performance by a four legged creature which bounded over some collapsed fence lines just as we were about to pass. We stopped and watched until the coast was clear, then we moved along. After our passage, we motored onward toward Checkpoint #1 on dusty, hilly roads.
|Why you have to actually go look for yourself.|
When we did arrive at this certain spot, it required an entire redrawing of the route as it had been planned. No problem though, as we found an excellent route around the area although it added a few extra miles. I still am a bit concerned about this area if we get extensive moisture and rain throughout the Winter and early Spring. That won't be a big deal if we stay dry though.
|And there is THAT sign you don't want to see again!|
Anywho.....here we were, checking out the map for a suitable reroute, and we found one, only thing was, it had a B Maintenance road option, which we ended up using. It is a pretty dang cool road, so I think we'll be okay. It's a well traveled B Road, and it has a unique feature as well. Should be pretty cool.
|Once clear skies turned to rain|
Again?!!! Yes, again, so we stop, get out the maps, and once again we start plotting a new course. The reason? Yep! Bridge out again! And oddly enough, it probably had been out for a long time, but the map folks, (even the State DOT), has yet to catch up to this. It probably is not important at all, since, you know, it isn't an important road at all, unless it is for Trans Iowa!
Well, we decided to move on with an impromptu recourse we thought would be good, and actually, it was way better than what we I planned on anyway. Curvy, tree lined, and interesting. Around the horn and back into our intended loop, and a big natural road block that I had found a way around worked out well. Good thing too, because there was no rerouting around this!
We went onward and one of the main themes of the day was all the harvesting we were witnessing. Farmers with big semi-tractor trailer set ups, big tractors and wagons, and combines were everywhere. It was cool to witness the harvest coming in. I have a lot of harvesting related images I will post later.
In the end, Jeremy was right, and the clay was actually pretty tacky. Like a racing track, it had taken on the right amount of moisture to have the best possible traction. Which I appreciated as I leaned on the brake pedal hard as we descended into the valley and also as I hit the accelerator hard going back up the other side.
The rain dissipated and the Sun was breaking out here and there which was making Jeremy and I glad. Soon we were back to enjoying the course again and basking in the late Fall Sun while the hills and miles whiled our time away.
While all the roads we wanted to use were actually there, we still were not done with rerouting. I had a revelation about the course when I was in bed Saturday night and had decided to change things up. Jeremy was all for it once I explained the route and was set off on our new course. All of this rerouting was not without its consequences. The going around, the extra miles it was piling on, and my new off course shenanigans were going to push Trans Iowa V10's mileage way over what would be reasonable.
It was then decided we would stop at an agreed upon place leaving about 75 miles that could be "used up" to get to what Trans Iowa should be run at, which I believe is around 310-330 miles total. The last bits we reconned were what I had anticipated and were driven in some fantastic light for photography. I got some nice images with my old, beat up Fuji. So, you know if my images are half way decent, the light was killer. A "real photographer" would have gotten some really great images.
Well, all things must come to an end, and Trans Iowa recon #1 did. Night was nigh, and we headed back to our homes. Stay tuned for Part 2 of T.I.V10 recon......