Every other year or so, I ride in the Minnesota 1000 based in the greater Twin Cities area, hosted by Team Strange. This was the 25th one including the two that were 2000 mile events. I took a couple of days to get there visiting some friends in Columbus while trying out my new rally camera.
Eddie's farm in Luray Antique Archaeology
I spent Thursday night in Dubuque, IA riding around many still rain swollen rivers and fields with way too much water in them as planting season closes quickly. There is a mexican restaurant adjacent to the motel with a pretty decent tacos selection and cold Modelos. I was up and on the road early trying to get to Primo motorsports, rally HQ, around 11 so they could mount me a new front tire. I probably had enough tread for the rally, but not enough to get home on.
Tire mounted, motel checked into and back to Primo around 4 to help Rick unload as John would have the final say as to logistics; it is his 'thing'.
Friday's barbecue is followed by rally packs, Packet B as noted at the top of the page. Themed around spooky and haunted places, almost every bonus is in Wisconsin or Michigan. Figuring something was afoot since we didnt get Packet A, I mapped out a couple of potential routes, made full note cards for my most basic version [900 miles and 26000 points] before getting to be around 930. As far as I know, no one took the trip to Hyder bonus.Still on east coast time and used to getting woken up by our little dog at 415 or so, i was up and wide awake at 5 local, packed up, fueled up, coffeed up and at Primo at 645. There was some light chit chat as we awaited the 730 riders' meeting where Packet A was handed out. Historical Markers- official Wisconsin or Michigan only, as many as you want, 500 pts each. there are over 1000 between the two states, nearly 600 in Wisconsin alone, according to the state's website, which also included a handy electronic map [an ERSI Arcmap actually] with all of them on it; damn, if i would have had my work computer i could have exported the Arcmap layer to a gpx file. As it was, there were more than enough for me to scrap my entire route and start collecting markers with the plans to re construct my route as i went. My second original stop was the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Pepin for a question and answer bonus but if you bought a bonnet and wore it to scoring you got an additional 1000 points. Going directly there meant arriving nearly 40 minutes before the museum opened- turns out there were a shitpot of markers on the Great River Road and I started collecting them early and often as Bart and I chased each other down the Mississippi to the museum.
I knew this was an all or nothing gamble; in total, i bagged 51 markers but due to poor numbering on my part only claimed 50. I lost another 800 points for putting in the wrong value for a bonus on my scoresheet. Total ridden just over 700 miles; i was still on my second tank of fuel. in total, i made over 70 stops in a 24 hour rally; if i would have figured out how to get the markers into a dataset off the website, i probably could have bagged maybe another dozen as i know i rode right by some i just couldn't locate on the map
Apparently only three of us did the complete Laura Ingalls Wilder experience.
The ride home was mostly uneventful other than all the rain across the width of Ohio and my low tire pressure warning with 15 miles to the barn. I'll deal with that later.
thanks again to Rick and all the Strangers that make this event so special.