july 7
day 59
28 miles
total 1,542

it is amazing how much difference running conditions make.

night running on the hell road was easy
and we had only a few moments of indecision passing thru fort dodge in the dark.
we “got out of dodge before sunrise”

come daylight i cruised on the road with an actual shoulder.
karen and will were pleased to usher in my best day in a while.
not the greatest mile total
but in only 12 hours it was great.

the wonderful shoulder has ended
just before the end of the day,
hopefully sunday traffic will be minimal and i can close the distance to sioux city a little.

now for today’s fun fact.
out on the plains land is divided into one mile squares called sections.
640 acres each
(160 acres in a quarter)
in most places there is a road on all 4 sides.
maybe just a dirt road
but some sort of road.
in iowa many of those roads do not exist…

probably to make more room for corn on the huge farms.
in my experience
if a road down one side of a section is paved
the roads connected to it on adjacent sections are paved.
as a result, you have “main” roads that are paved
forming a larger grid
superimposed on the finer grid of dirt roads.
this makes it remarkably easy to get around.

iowa has rejected these conventions
preferring to have a maze of roads
where the paved road you are on could turn to rock at any intersection
or maybe cease to exist at all
with the pavement continuing on a different road
miles to the south or north
and switching back miles later.

one practice with the section system that iowa could not ignore was the “correction”
periodically all the sections must be shifted.
the great plains are so big that the perfect grid won’t work…
due to the curvature of the earth!

after driving (or walking) in a perfectly straight line for many miles
you have to turn and go a short distance before once again picking up the road you were on.

correctionville iowa has such a correction running right thru the middle of town,
leaving the roads on the south side of town misaligned from the same road on the north side.

you can google it to see the map.


Categories: LazCon Daily Posts