Tuesday, July 29, 2014

GTDRI Report: It Could Have Been Worse- Part 3

It ain't much but it is what Wadena has got. No credit cards, by the way!
We reached the Wadena "breakfast stop" at approximately Mile 39 by a bit after 9:00am. The convenience store here in this quiet, out of the way village, is a bit suspect looking on the outside, but it was serviceable, if not totally modern. No credit cards accepted! (But they did have an ATM for withdrawing cash- weird!)

I got some stuff here but my mantra going in was to eat less but eat more often. It was working for awhile, but coming into Wadena, I was hungry, and the bottles of Hammer Perpetuem weren't cutting the mustard. I was going to need to call in some reserves. I got a piece of string cheese, a small two serving size bag of salty potato chips, a Salted Nut Roll for later, and two bottles of water. I ate about half the bag of chips and stuffed the rest into my jersey pocket for later. The water was just enough to top off the bottles. Maybe I wasn't drinking enough water.....hmmmm. I also had a cup of chocolate milk that Mike Johnson kindly shared.

With that we all settled into our gear again and remounted. It was about 20 minutes to ten o'clock before we left, which really concerned me in terms of reaching Elkader by noon. I gave in to ever reaching that goal and figured it would be about one o'clock before we got there. It would be okay.....

Up over the rollers Northwest of Wadena Iowa. 
The dog that wouldn't quit!
Suddenly I heard Michael Lemberger, who was riding behind me say something. I thought it sounded like "Old Yeller...", or some such. We were on a Northward stretch and I wasn't climbing the rollers so well. The rest of the gang was well up the road. I turned when I heard Michael and saw a small dog, a mix of some sort. I'm no dog breed expert but it appeared to be a mix of some cattle herding breed and spaniel. Anyway....

Said pooch was not aggressive, but was wanting a fine run with like minded companions. We looked to fit the bill, so along the dog came, letting out bursts of whines and weird "happy sounds" as it darted amongst Michael and I, then on up the road after the rest of the gang. It was a good thing, in a way, since it took my mind off the Tamland's too steep gearing and Michael and I actually started to reel the guys up ahead back in a bit. Then they reached the corner where we were to turn left and eventually, down steeply to Echo Valley Road. The pooch had survived about 4-5 miles of hot, humid running after us, and showed no signs of giving up its new-found running mates anytime soon. Much to our dismay and against our admonitions to the dog to go home.

I liked this dog, but it was time to get it off our tail. It was running in front of us erratically, and well......we didn't want it to get lost or run over by a vehicle. Despite our best efforts, the determined mutt stuck to us, and was lagging by a quarter mile after the 40mph down hill, but was still coming! There was a right hander, then a curve and a low rise in the road. If we could just get out of sight, maybe we could ditch the poor dog.

Echo Valley Road. Beautiful valley scenery and killer fields of flowers along here.
Don't make a false move here in your car, or you could easily end up in the Turkey River! 
Round bales along the Turkey River on our way to Elkader.
We did finally ditch the pooch and we faced ahead and motored along. This was the approximately 20-25 mile "flat" section of the ride. It had a few rollers, but basically this was pedal, pedal, pedal to Elkader and lunch. We were clipping along at 14-15 mph most of this section and we made good time. 

The crew checks out this unusual barn and farmstead along the road to Elkader. 
In fact, we made such good time that we actually arrived in Elkader by about 11:45am. I was really happy and really surprised by that fact. Now it was on to finding some grub and restocking on supplies to hit up the last half of the GTDRI course for 2014.

Next: Part 4


The Quirky Gluten Free Runner said...

I know what's coming, but all I can think of as I read your entries is, "Man, this guy takes awesome pictures of my state." I love what you capture. and that is one strange looking dutch barn.

Guitar Ted said...

@The Quirky Gluten Free Runner; That's a very nice thing for you to say! Thank you. I love Iowa, so perhaps that comes through in the images. It's a Dutch Barn? I didn't know! Thanks for letting me know that.