Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Country Views; A Little Rain

Escape Route: Rain puddle-filled alleys to the West.
 We've had really dry air and no rain for far too long. It was so bad many lawns were dormant and browned. But this past weekend brought some much needed precipitation to the area and we got a little over a half an inch of rain here. Not enough for long term stability, but enough to get by on for now. 

Monday I got out of the house early. This new plan I have for actually going to bed at a decent hour is paying dividends. Instead of wishing I could sleep longer, I woke up before the alarm clock went off wishing it was time to get up! 

So, I was out on the Twin Six Standard Rando early. Like around 8:45am, and I set off to ride South and do a loop. I wasn't sure how good I'd feel so I wasn't planing on any certain amount of mileage. Besides, I had to be at work later in the day. So I couldn't be riding big miles anyway. 

There was a fog in the morning which was still burning off as I left town.

It was otherwise a spectacular day out in the country early on.

The winds were light, out of the Southeast, but they were mere puffs of breath that didn't really have any effect on riding. The humidity was higher, but not stifling, so at least I did not feel like I was baking in the Sun. Actually, it was quite pleasant out. The birds were busy and I even saw a male fox on the road on Aker Road. That was a bit of a surprise. 

It's Southern Black Hawk County. Of course there is a ton of crushed rock on the roads!

Taking a break at the usual spot.

I was using that Wahoo Elemnt ROAM GPS computer and well, I got it to do a couple of weird things. More on that in another post, but overall it worked okay. The gravel is so rough South of town. I began to wonder if all that vibration makes the device act funny. I don't know, but my hands were taking a beating on this ride. 

This Red Winged Blackbird appears to be floating on a sea of grass.

No "good lines" here. Get used to it.... This is how it is anymore South of town.

I felt pretty good so I traveled all the way down to Quarry Road and decided to come back on Beck Road which has some great rollers. Then I'd turn East on Petrie and head on over and back toward town on Ansborough. 

The gravel was pretty deep and there were rarely any good lines to ride. Typical of late. Black Hawk County must be flush with cash for gravel road maintenance, that's for sure! 

One of the higher points in Black Hawk County on Beck Road near the Petrie Road intersection.

Knee-high by the 4th of July? No problem here!

I was a little disappointed that this Wahoo GPS says that Beck Road isn't over 1000 feet elevation. Everything else I've used has said that. Boo! (That's just me, probably) But then again, I'm not so sure that graph on the Wahoo is exactly accurate. So, I'm believing the other GPS units that have measured that hill up over 1000 feet. 

A tractor chugs up the long grade on Petrie Road headed West

The day lillies in the ditches here were rather sad looking.

I've noted that this spell of dry weather has kicked the ditch flowers to the curb. Hardly anything is blooming out there now besides clover, and that sparingly. Normally there would be a riot of orange color out there about now with the day lillies coming on, but those were scarce. 

One white puff of a cloud parked over this road looks kind of odd.

One last stop before heading into the urban nightmare of Waterloo.

I stopped at the small bridge over Prescott Creek, as usually is my wont, and the stream was babbling a beautiful tune. I even remarked out loud that the little brook was talking. Something about running water in Nature. Love that sound.... Anyway. 

Back to reality! I headed back into town cutting through back streets and alleys as much as possible to avoid the distracted denizens of the 'Loo. I made it back home with 25 miles on the day and I was glad I peeled myself out of bed early to enjoy the rain-washed sky. Wildfire smoke was scheduled for a return later in the day, so I wanted to avoid that if I could. 

And I did.

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