Thursday, December 07, 2017

Three Hundred Thity Eight-ish

Mapping out a new route for next year's Trans Iowa has proven to have been a real test of my patience. I cannot remember it going quite like it has for this go-round.

Usually once I have the idea settled in my head that I am going to do another round of this madness I can start spouting out ideas for a route. Then it just becomes a game of connecting the dots, making the convenience stores work, and then breaking it down into three chunks. But those ideas didn't come bubbling up after I made the decision to do another Trans Iowa last Spring.

Oh sure, I had something in mind. I didn't draw a total blank, ya know. I quickly sketched out the first leg, and I had an idea for the beginning of the second one, but it stalled out right there. I guess you might say it was sort of like writer's block. Nothing sounded right. I had no goals and nothing seemed exciting beyond the initial few miles I had down already.

That was back in October, and I didn't get "the spark" until just this past week. It's December! I'm usually all done with recon by this point, at least as far as the last several years go. One of the things that maybe contributed to this a bit was that my usual partner in this recon and route finding was not available to me. The absence of Jeremy was kind of a damper on the proceedings. I kind of figured that I was on my own for recon, but eventually I ended up asking my friend Tony and he agreed to help out, so I will have a sidekick for recon after all.

So, will recon be snowy this time? Most likely.
Anyway, I got an idea the other day and the dam broke. Suddenly I had all kinds of ideas again. The thing was that the computer fought with me tooth and nail to get my ideas locked in. I took six hours of back and forth with this digital demon before I had it transcribed and locked in for research out in the field. It usually takes me half that amount of time. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement.

But that's behind me now. I have a route sketched out and all that is left is to get out there and verify it now. Sounds easy, but I know that one hitch in the route may cause a whole rerouting of a major part of this proposed route. That actually happened last year. I sure hope it goes smoothly, but you never know.

So, the initial count shows 338 and change for mileage. That's about right, but don't set that figure in your mind just yet. It could change slightly, or by a lot if the route requires a big change. I'm pretty confident that things will at least be close to spot on. We will see, and hopefully very soon!

While I cannot say much about the course so far, I can tell you that it has a lot of new stuff in it. You'd think by now I'd have run out of new options to use, but no. I even surprised myself. There will be the usual historical/cultural bits, if anyone is paying attention, they will see this. Much of what you might experience this time will be the first time for a Trans Iowa. There is  a brand new, never used before first checkpoint, and this route will be pretty dang amazing in my opinion.

So, stay tuned. I hope to be doing recon on this very soon.

4 comments:

Katharine Ankofski said...

Grateful for all your time, thought, and computer frustration that go into putting this all together!

David Inskeep said...

As a first time rider, I am excited. 338 instead of 340 miles sounds more manageable. Just kidding. But I am looking forward to the challenge and the scenery. Thank you for all the hard work.

Dave said...

NPR?

David Inskeep said...

I wish. I think that is Steve. No relation. Or at least he wont return my phone calls.