Jimmy P from Omaha on 6/13/2011 10:51:06 PM:
It was 1-3 inches of thick mud, which we tried unsuccessfully to ride. My bike was so full of mud that we were forced to ride Hwy 275 into Clearwater and wash off at a filling station (the hose out back). Miserable but pretty fun at the same time.
The rain increased to a heavy downpour, so we continued on Hwy 275 to Ewing. This was our first overnight stop, and we camped at the City Park (water, electric and dump station, no restrooms). We had planned to make 10 mph on the trail, but arrived over an hour past schedule due to the weather and trail conditions. Our logistician had the camper heated and the grill going which was a welcome sight.
Overnight was cloudy and cool, but no rain. At dawn, the temperature was about 50o F with overcast skies, winds still northwest at about 5 mph. We decided to rejoin the trail, heading out at 7:15 am, but quickly found it too soft to ride, and continued west on Hwy 275 about 3 miles west of Ewing.
We passed Inman on the highway without needing water or supplies.
We stopped for coffee and snacks in O’Neill. The cloud ceiling began to scatter out, but the highway shoulders still held water so we stayed off the trail until Atkinson. We passed Emmet without stopping there because it was a bit south of the highway, as was the trail.
In Atkinson, we ate lunch at a restaurant downtown, I don’t remember the name, although “Hunter’s Welcome” was their claim. Pretty decent burgers.
Weather now was partly cloudy and the temperature was approaching 70oF, so we rejoined the trail in hopes that it had firmed up throughout the morning.
From Atkinson to Bassett, the trail was in good condition. Though at times, the gravel was deep enough to cause steering problems (a runner’s delight), it was still very good overall. We stopped at the City Park in Stuart for water, though it was on the north side of town, still not too far a ride.
Stopped for water at Grandma’s Park in Newport: