Saturday, September 10, 2011

Barn Ride

Interbike planning, thinking, geeking, and trips in planes. It all adds up to one stressed out Guitar Ted. I needed a ride. Well, Mrs. Guitar Ted found a remedy. She said our friends wanted us to come out to the country and visit again. I said, "Sure, if I can ride out and meet you!" She agreed that would be good, so I took the Snow Dog on a gravel ride.

4th Street, Waterloo, Iowa
I bugged out of town pretty late. Well after 7pm, and that meant I'd need lights and would finish up in the dark. I worked my way around a rail road track with some trains building up cars on them. This forced me to go under an overpass, and the ground was saturated underneath. Good thing I was on the Mukluk! I didn't even get out of town and I found adventure.

Lots of people were gawking at my rig, and more than a few said some positive comments about it. Do not get a fat bike if you don't like attention!

Just north of the city
I got out of town finally and was a bit disappointed. It looked as though I missed the sunset. That was one of the reasons I went for this ride. Oh well! At least I was out on my bicycle.

Not fog. Gravel dust!
I saw a car go up the road ahead of me, and the rooster tail of dust just hung there like fog. It was really weird. When I rode through it, it was dry in my nostrils and I could feel the dust on me. Fortunately, I only ran into a couple cars on the ride. It could have been a much tougher ride with moire car traffic. At least the wind wasn't blowing!

Red barn, Pale Moon
I decided I'd better get an image or two of barns, since I know Gnat likes to see them here. I tried getting this shot, but from the several I took, this was as good as it got. There was so much gravel dust in the air here it made all my shots look pixelated!

Fiery Sky
Then I noticed that the sunset began to intensify again. I thought I missed the best stuff, but boy! Was I ever wrong! This sunset was spectacular, and it was just crankin' up. You can still see gravel dust hanging in the air in the distance. This was looking down Big Rock Road, by the way.

Old Land Yacht
This isn't really your typical barn, but I couldn't pass up a shot of a busted up old boat of a car next to a shed.

More fiery sky
And the sun just kept lighting things up as I ground along. By this time, I had the lights on and was so busy gee gawing at the sky I hardly noticed the rollers which were mostly up hill.

The last light of Day
Finally it all petered out, but it was amazingly great. And here I thought I missed it all! When I pulled into our friends quarter mile long drive, I could see their barn. It was all lit up like a party was going on. You see, they re-purposed their barn for gatherings and hanging out, since it really no longer serves any other useful purpose these days on the modernized farm.

Interior of the barn from the front.
This barn was raised in 1898. They even have an old black and white of all the folks that came over to work on the barn, and feed the men that were there. It looked like a 100 folks or more! Lots of hand labor in those days! Back then, there were no machines that could harvest hundreds of acres a day, but there were machines. Threshing machines were big, expensive, and usually owned by few farmers. Typically the thresher owner would travel around to neighboring farms to help harvest along with a crew of men. These might be neighbors, relatives, or a crew hired by the owner of the thresher.

At any rate, they all sat down to eat at a table like the one in the picture. Actually, this is an actual table used during the feeding of threshing crews back in the day!

Mortise and Tenon
The timbers were all hewn by hand in these old barns, and the construction was of high craftsmanship. Mortise and tenon joinery was everywhere, and all were pinned with wooden dowels, as you can see above. Amazing! Just think of all the hard work. And these were tight fitting joints as well.

I give you.......The Moon!
The other end had a wide, tall door that could be slid out of the way for open star, or as in this case, moon gazing. What a perfect night, and a great stress reliever.


Johann Rissik said...

Where there's a wheel, there's a way.

Great bit about that barn too

john said...

Missed a great event at the Camp today. Check out the next three dirt rides - we'd love to see you at our local events

Guitar Ted said...

@john: Yep. Knew all about it, John, but I have a family that comes first. Probably won't be there next Saturday either for the same reason. Have fun with it!