Hooked up with Charles for our weekly night ride. Left Atkins at 6pm and hit a long string of B roads that were in much better shape than we were expecting. Two hours and 25 miles on the night.
Camping at MacBride with Lisa and Dennis. Showed up well past gate closing time, so I parked down the road at the back entrance to Sugar Bottom and hiked four miles by moonlight. Met with the others just before midnight and set up camp. Low of 24 degrees that night wasn't anywhere near the single digit temps I was hoping for, but at least it was a chance to test my gear. A beautiful night helped to make up for the lack of cold and snow.
Got up at 7:30 and started packing my gear. Met Dennis and Lisa at the parking lot where we dropped off our stuff and headed out for a four and a half mile hike along the reservoir. There was fossil hunting, a trip through the raptor center, a herd of wild-yet-tame deer and plenty of conversation. I was happy to hear that I had passed the snore test the night before and was invited back for more camping down the road.
Headed up to Dubuque with Charles and met up with Mr. Davey Gie for a pre-ride of the Triple D course. Had a great time and was glad to finally get a ride in with Dave. We've been chatting back and forth on the interwebbings for the last year, but I'd only briefly met him in person once. I was happy to find that he's every bit the goofball in the meatspace that he is online. Ended the day with 64 miles over six hours. Along the way it was decided that I need more of a challenge than a snow-free Triple D course can provide, so I've got something big planned. Something never attempted in the history of the race. Seriously... I checked. :-) Shhh... It's a secret.
Days, weeks, months to come:
Things planned, things still swirling in the aether. I've got a whole new year ahead of me, with plenty of opportunities for adventures big and small. Thanks for reading. I enjoy sharing.