last night started out great.
heading out of cedar falls at 2300 it was already cool.
soon we were out in the quiet countryside
cruising down the moonlit road
with the dark fields tracing out to the horizon
and an enormous bowl of starry sky overhead.
12.5 miles fairly sped by in the first 5 hours,
and i was indulging in fantasies of a 30 mile day….
when the pavement just stopped.
ahead lay rough gravel.
now, gravel roads had been welcomed over the first thousand miles,
before the mine fields of indiana and illinois turned my feet into giant tender bruises.
map study on the magic phone revealed only a maze of roads
rife with dead ends
we are on the plains!
what happened to grids?
worse, there was no way to tell which were paved.
in the end we ferreted out a detour that only cost 6 miles of useless circling
to get around 8 miles of gravel inexplicably placed in the middle of the most direct route between towns.
most direct being a euphemism for circling pointlessly around dead ends and loops.
20 taunted us from just south.
it actually was a somewhat direct route…
as soon as i am ready to play on a busy interstate with no shoulder.
the break of the day was when a sympathetic farmer gave us a genuine atlas
which at least tells us which roads are paved!
knowing is not that much comfort.
tomorrow looks like more meandering
with a 30 mile zigzagging trek to get me to iowa falls.
kayla and marty have been heroes;
keeping me alive
and overlooking my sometimes salty description of iowa’s road system.
scott comes in to take over tomorrow.
being a native iowan i hope he brings knowledge of some magical roads that go straight to something!