Thursday, July 6, 2017

Day 11 – A Yawn, a Checkpoint Finish Line, and a Ticking Clock

This morning, I really needed a cup of coffee.  I’m sure that many of you out there really need a cup of coffee.  I’m sure there are some bikes out there that would love a cup of coffee as they beat feet to the final checkpoint in Minneapolis with less than 12 hours to go.  Penalty points begin at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  

Last night, a sign in the campsite next to me said, “Where friends and marshmallows get toasted.”  It could have been a reference to tomorrow night’s IBR 2017 banquet.  Friends are coming in on 4 wheels and 2 for the dinner, and to hear the stories of what happened from Nevada to Newfoundland.  Several more riders who started this safari 11 days ago are now out of the running with stories of heat, broken bikes, and missed checkpoint deadlines to tell.  There's a handful of Spots lined up to ride in the next 12 hours what I drove in the last 2 days (with a lot of flower sniffing).  There will be people outside Rally HQ all evening welcoming riders in.

Rally pups Bela and Riley and I completed our trek to Rally HQ- MN this evening.  Not to be left out of the fun, along the way we ended up on a county road, past an elk farm and two sandhill cranes (safari spectator bonus points for live interesting animals!), until we got diverted by a road closed sign, and then slowed by a bevy of scooters.  Once back on the highway, a huge piece of plastic from road construction got blown in front of Chase Van 2.0 from the semi in front, and ended up flapping under the van despite evasive maneuvers.  That required a quick tug to dislodge the plastic, and carry on through the 96 degrees / 97% humidity that is coating the northern Midwest right now.  A safari indeed. 
Non-IBR scooters scooting slowly
down a WI road.

A quick call with Kirsten during her rest break last night had her sounding, well, fine.  The bike is running well with some added oil and she got some needed rest.  The rally clock is ticking, but as the Spots converge once again on Minneapolis, we are looking for safe arrivals for all the riders.  After all, I know there will be coffee at the finish.  There might even be marshmallows.
Your blog scribe at the "Finish" of Mizen Head (the southernmost point of Ireland) in May.
We're now at Rally HQ - MN waiting for the riders to roll in.  We'll leave the light on for you.

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