|It is 5:30am. Temp- 17°F. Warming up the truck.|
The day started early and when I checked the weather on my i-Phone the weather ap said it was 19°F and snowing! Whaaaa......!!!! I ran over to the window and much to my relief, it wasn't doing anything of the sort. Bone dry. Just really chilly. The frost on the windows of the "Truck With No Name" was heavy, and it took a bit for the cab to come up to temperature. I suppose I better had get used to this now for a while! I checked the ap again- now it said 17°F! Excuse me......wrong direction!
I left the neighborhood to go grab some Coke for the drive, and on the way over a Sheriff's car pulls in behind me and follows me for a bit. Hmm.......my muffler is grumbly and loud-ish, but that was weird. I grab my sodas and head over to get Jeremy only to have a Waterloo black and white unit follow me for several blocks as well. Maybe I am a subversive or something! Whatever!
|We had a big drive ahead of us just to get to where we needed to be to start recon at.|
|My "office" for the day. (Image by Jeremy Fry)|
|We found some Level B Maintenance roads that were graded recently, rather primitive, and remote.|
|An 18 mile section of this. No kidding. All in one, straight, flat shot.|
|Although the corn will undoubtedly be gone when T.I.V11 goes through here, I thought this was cool.|
The section features dirt roads, but not the gnarly, "almost-not-a-road" Level B roads I have used sometimes in the past. No- these are real roads that get maintained, driven on, and are just not covered in gravel. None of these were rutted, had seen any lensing out due to mud holes, nor did they appear to have been used for any 4X4 competitions. These roads looked really nice for dirt. The images above speak for themselves.
|Taking a Level B Break!|
The reroute can be thought of in thirds, I think. The first third is deadly flat. Jeremy and I were remarking that the single speeders will hate it. Especially if the winds are contrary. The roads were fantastic otherwise. Just really mind numbingly flat.
The next third can be thought of as having lots of twists, turns, and navigational challenges along with several short sections of Level B Maintenance roads. None of the dirt sections are longer than a half mile with the exception of two, and one of those may get rerouted out of the course at the last minute since it has a low water crossing. Low water crossings can turn into really bad situations depending upon the weather, so I'll be keeping a close eye on that, but the road is otherwise spectacular and cool. If this goes away, I have a ready made reroute that doesn't include more pavement.
The final third is full of rollers to start out, has a gnarly, super cool Level B, more rollers, and ends on a road that is a bit unusual, but not too tough at all. This part also will include Checkpoint #2 and a 24hr convenience store after that. (Yes- open 24 hours a day. We asked!) So, besides the possible deletion of that Level B, we're really stoked about this part of the course now. It fits into the overall plan very well, and should provide that necessary resupply point without worry for missing out, as in the last few years.
Then our big day was filled with county blacktops as we moved toward the ending miles planned for Trans Iowa V11. Look for the report and images for that tomorrow!