So, here I am on the precipice of another MN trip… cancellation. This time, I have everything I need, gear, bike (in for repair at the moment), time off, etc. However, the one factor beyond my control, the weather, has stopped me in my tracks. The jet stream is in an uncharacteristically northern position laying a series of storm systems, one on the next, through the central USA. The weather has been odd to say the least this spring. Between severe tornado outbreaks, midwest flooding, severe drought in the south and west, one is left trying to decide where to go.
Why is this particular trip so hard? Well, geography I guess. From the southernmost state of the northernmost is a logistical problem if one is trying to beat the extreme heat and cold. In Texas prime spring riding begins in mid-February and runs through early May. In Minnesota, it can still snow in mid-May, and often on the fishing “opener”, and the remnants of the winter sand and rock salt still lay on the road. In June the temps in Minnesota are pleasant and in the 70’s and in Texas and much of the US south of Iowa already in the 100’s and high 90’s. Pick up in the fall, October is pleasant enough in the south, but in Minnesota the leaves are changing and snow by holloween is not totally uncommon. The last time I went grouse hunting up near Duluth in mid-October, it snowed all weekend.
Riding north, out of the heat is a possibility; however, the trip home grows hotter by the day. Last Wednesday in Minneapolis it was 103 degrees. On the days in the 10 day outlook it that it is not raining, the temps from Dallas to Minneapolis are consistent within a few degrees. 18 hours in the saddle in temps from the mid to high 90’s can be dangerous.
So as time runs out on the “Trans-country” I am left to find a new way to while away the next two weeks.