Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 SCRC 171 Regional review  Friday July 13.

Once again, our event was based in McGregor IA, at Holiday Shores motel.  The day began with a rain delay; we left about 30 minutes late.  The ride started off fairly boring, just zooming down  a major highway.  Not interstate major, just a 2 lane highway that went directly where I wanted to lead my group.  It's somewhat scenic, but not very challenging.  My plan was to ride 45 miles and then get gas; the total miles for the day would be 145, so that leaves plenty of room for error (of which there were none).  I thought I screwed up, but more about that later.

So that's what happened.  We pulled off into Harmony after riding in rain for about 20 miles.  Top off the gas tank, empty the pee tank, refill the hydration tank, head on thru Harmony and straight south into Iowa.  Right after fueling, I clean my glasses and windshield; road dirt is not nice to look thru, and with 2 pair of glasses, a visor and a windshield....there can be a lot of it.  AlGore gets an honorable mention for microfiber cloths. 139 is a nice scenic enjoyable road, if only they'd tune it up a bit by grinding off some of those high spots which only serve to hurt me.

Next stop is the world's smallest church, located on a gravel road, in the worlds smallest park.  Ok, that part is not true, there are parks that are smaller.  It was nice, though, lots of trees and a tiny cemetery.  There's a corn field next to the place...it's obvious that there's been no rain there for a long time...the stalks are fired up to the first leaves, the other leaves are rolled up tight enough for Cheech to smoke.  Val bought a postcard, we took some pics, walked around the park, signed the guest book thingy and left.

I'm familiar with rich folks along gravel roads using some substance to stop dust....we never used it, because we weren't rich, plus we were right on a corner which required a good slowdown.  Plus we had a nice tall hedge along the edge of the yard, at least we had one until Jill decided we should cut it down.  Did I ever mention that she's a dumbass?  She could be a Murphy, believe it or not.  (If you're new to the bloggy world, read all previous episodes.....but I'll tell you now that Jill is a former step-monster, er stepmother.)  (Murphys are cousins that didn't amount to much, except for one of them.)

There were a couple places along this gravel road that had applied a dark brown substance across the entire surface of the road (so I know it wasn't a "honey wagon" spill) plus it kind of smelled good, sort of like freshly cut wood, oak or walnut.  I kept the speed down to keep the dust down, and I'm sure that the others appreciated that.

Next stop is lunch, and someone had to ask how far it was.  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmI don't  really know.  Val had taken the route so she could have directions, she puts mileage on hers....but screwed up the math and said 17 miles.  HA.....it was closer to an hour.  It was in fact, further than I expected and remembered.  In fact, I was beginning to think I had screwed up....but I knew we were in the right area, and forged on confidently.

I've got to say....while these were not the most twisty of roads, they were the fun fast sweeping curvy scenically awesome roads that make the day quite enjoyable, even though it is hot and humid.

Lunch was at St Olfa's Tap, a bar that has the world's largest pork tenderloin.  No one was gluttonous enough to order the giant thing....I got the medium and it was plenty.  Duane ordered chicken gizzards, partly because he likes them and partly to get others to try them.  Kind of like chewing a peppered pencil eraser.  Val and I shared a side of sweet corn nuggets.  They were everything we hoped they could be.

I don't know why they have painted the men's restroom black.  Kind of spooky.

Speaking of spooky, next stop is the Spook cave, a 35 minute boat tour thru a cave.  A fast way to spend $10, a nice way to cool off:  47 degrees, the water was 42.  They use original boats from the mid 50's, so I suppose all the money goes to profit after paying the annoying tour guide.  It was a short ride to the cave, everyone seemed to enjoy it, esp Duane and Lynn, sitting in the back of the boat.  I, of course, bonked my head and nearly lost my hat, and there was some concern that leaning way over was going to aggravate my neck, but it was fine.

It was a very short ride from the cave to the motel, and we pulled into the gas station next door to gas up; that way we'd be ready for anything.  The apocalypse did not occur, but a big rain storm did, which prevented some folks from fueling on Saturday morning.  (they lost power!)  Luckily, no one had a really short tank, so no fun stories of running out of gas...

Check in, change out of wet socks and boots into dry socks and shoes, line up to ride to dinner about 545.  Dinner was rather unremarkable, really, so we hauled ass back to the motel to break out the bourbon.  I mixed mine with pink lemonade, which is really pretty good....in my opinion.  Kind of a PIA, bottle of lemonade, bottle of bourbon, insulated cup.  A cooler full of beer would be easier, I guess, but then you have to deal with empties, and peeing all the time.

NE IA has been as dry as a popcorn fart for about a month, so there's a burn ban...no bonfire in the fire pit.  It's not as if we need the fire to keep warm....so it's ok.  Lots of us gathered in the grassy area to tell lies, fibs, and stories until it's bed time.  What time is bed time?  Whatever time you want to go to bed...we're all adults, after all.  Turns out bed time was when the rain started...at least for me.  That's about 11 for those of you that were not there.

You don't need to know too many more details about my night and early morning, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  If I can find my camera and get the other camera to work, I'll post some pics.  grrrr  Greg has posted some on the FB thingy, if you're lucky enough to be connected there.....
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