Ketchum, Idaho is a long way from Emporia, Kansas. A long way. A 20 hour drive to be exact. I’m not complaining at all. I live in Emporia. Home of the Dirty Kanza. Every year people drive that and more to come ride our gravel roads. I expect people to make the same distance drive year after year. I hope people make the same drive year after year. Emporia throws an awesome party. Emporia supports their growing gravel family. I love seeing friends year after year come to town. Friends you only see in person one or two times a year. LandRun100 has been this way for me. GravelWorlds became a member of this club for me this year. Rebecca’s…Rebecca’s is headed that way I fear. I fear not because of the stellar event…its that drive. 🙂
Six of us headed for Idaho in the still of the morning the Wednesday before the race. Tim and Kristi “TandeMohnIum” Mohn, Rick “Mulreadys” Becker, Smitty “2014 Sexiest FireFighter of the Year” Smith and Ryan “RailRoader” Balkenhol. A thirteen hour drive to Rock Springs, Wy was the itinerary for the day. We decided to leave the vehicles, say screw it, and bike pack the entire route!!
We made it almost a half mile before stopping for Caseys breakfast pizza and coffee! Yes! PR’s were already being broken! I believe we were almost 5 miles down the road before manly odors were emitted and the blame game began. Road trip.
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Normal road trip type stops were made. Gas. Food. Nature. Goodbye Kansas Plains…hello Colorado Plains… Denver, Ft Collins, Laramie, Little America…the miles ticked away. Somehow between Ft.Collins Google Maps led us off on a little gravel road shortcut. Confusing but effective. Yay Google!! Playlists were scrutinized. Apparently I’m the only fan of country in my riding group…. RPI hopes were discussed. How quickly do we hit the big climb? Last year took me 38 minutes. Is it worth trying to beat r just save the energy for the lollipop loop where there is no such thing as a tailwind? There would be a Gelande Quaffing Championship to defend this year. Techniques? Acrobatics? Rick and I promised to keep our shirts on this year. (One of us turned out to be lying). Rock Springs finally appeared and Beer + Food would need to be found. Hooray Yelp!!
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Road Trip Day 2 started off good with a great hotel breakfast and a few laps on the. Ike around the hotel parking lot.
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We were a bit bummed out when our favorite local coffee shop from 2015 apparently wasn’t in a hurry to open. Onward to Starbucks. Boom. Bang. Boom. We arrived in Ketchum by 2:30pm on Thursday. Ketchum is a beautiful mountain town ready to absorb the weary traveler in a big bear hug. Road trip complete!! Time to unpack a little. Find some good food. Find some great beer and hit the hot tub!!
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Heres your cliffhanger. 3 bedrooms. 1 rec room with bunk beds. Kristi and Tim get one room. Dan Hughes and his son, Charlie get one room. The third room is up for grabs….who gets it?? The tension mounts….