Totally not suspicious...
It's Saturday afternoon and I'm standing at a four-way on some Level B. I've ridden through this intersection once before, but that was at 3 in the morning and I wasn't paying a lot of attention to my surroundings at that point. Now that I had some daylight I could see the camper with what looked like a boarded up window nestled back in the trees. As I stood there contemplating the still smoldering bonfire, a couple thoughts started bouncing around in the 'ol brainpan:
A) Is that a meth lab?
B) Am I going to get shot at?
C) Given the reasonable probability of both A and B, why am I standing here taking pictures?
Common sense kicked in, and I decided to head out again. There was a bridge to the north that I wanted to check out and depending on what mapping site you used the road either crossed the Iowa river or it didn't. I knew the bridge existed since I checked it out on Google Earth, but the road leading up to it looked pretty iffy. The signs littering the roadside didn't make me any more confident. Only one way to find out for sure, so I made the turn.
I count four signs warning of impending danger. I ignore them all.
Looks good so far.
Pfft... This isn't so bad.
I had this road on my route last weekend, and if we had kept on mushing I probably would have crossed it since I was already soaked anyway. But this time I was dry, and the temps were only in the mid 30's. I still thought about it for a bit, though, since I didn't really have a good alternative route planned out. I could have taken off my shoes and leg warmers, but I didn't know how deep it was and I could see another crossing further ahead. Ultimately I turned back the way I came. When I got back to the crossroads I took stock of my situation. I was on unfamiliar roads and my cue sheets were now pretty much worthless. I had to get to Cedar Rapids so I couldn't just retrace my entire route. I knew I could head east and eventually hit HWY 965, but beyond that I was semi-lost. East it was. A few miles later I was heading north on 965.
As luck would have it I found one of the crossing roads listed on my cue sheet a little while later. I hopped back on my original course and made my way to Cedar Rapids. I stopped at the airport to take one last picture and then headed off into town. 6ish hours, 78 miles, 50/50 gravel/pavement mix and no cramping. Good day... Good day...