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2nd Annual Clear Lake, Iowa pre-MMM Meet; party of one?
Topic Started: Jan 27 2018, 09:59 PM (834 Views)
PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

As some may recall, for the one week interim between last year's 'Palooza Meet and the Minnesota Metro Meet the following weekend, I had thought it may not be a bad idea to try and hole up at a state campground in the quaint little resort town of Clear Lake, Iowa, just 80 miles south of Hayfield, MN, the location of the MMM meet, in order to kill a few days on the cheap, while enjoying the scenery around the lake. Well, as it turned out, I was correct, it was not bad idea. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. So much so that I have the exact same plans in store for this year. Yes, I shall do it again; kinda like Groundhog Day, only with more water, and less Bill Murray.

On the out chance that anyone out there finds themselves in a similar situation this year, with time on their hands to kill between the Metro Meets, I'm extending an open invite to join me.

For a night's stay at a campsite w/o elec, it will set you back $11. And a few $ more, if you need one accompanied by ole Watts'sname. The campground has direct access to a sandy beach right on the lake, which is nice.

There's a little ma & pa campground provisions store within walking distance of the campground. In addition to their bicycle and non-motorized watercraft rentals, they also feature seasonal, but fresh and by the dozen, sweet corn on the cob, as well as: beer, hard liquor, ice cream, munchies, bundles of campground firewood, and, one would certainly hope - for a campground fixin's store, s'mores fixins. I have not actually verified that, though, as marshmallows may be out of season, then. I suggest calling ahead to verify, if you're some kind of smore's junky. And, just as with the 'Palooza and MMM meets, the nightly campfires are customary, as well as, mandatory.

Of course, as my luck would have it, the camp store managed to run out of sweet corn by mid-week, forcing me to pedal my rental bicycle the 3 or 4 miles into town, to their Piggly Wiggly'esque grocery store, to get some. I then pedaled back to my campsite, bag of corn dangling over the front of my handlebars, like Almira Gulch tote'n Toto in a basket, where I quickly threw a half-dozen unshucked ears atop my campfire grill, to steam them, then proceeded to gnaw the kernels off the cobs, like a horse eating an apple through a picket fence. It was yummy. My remaining 3-1/2 sticks of butter did not survive the journey all the way back to North Carolina in my cooler, though, and I had to toss it out upon arrival home. Next time, I shall go bum some butter from someone in a big Winnebago parked at a neighboring campsite.

One of the highlights, in addition to dining on fish tacos while drinking margaritas, until the sun went down, at a popular outside bar and marina that overlooks the lake, was pedaling my rental bike the 17 miles around the, mostly dead flat terrain, lake. The scenery was beautiful. There are a series of, bicyclist only, trails, out on the edge of town, designed to keep cyclists off the rural 2-lane, windmill dotted, highway, as well as provide them with picturesque surroundings. One stretch winds through a stretch of woods, while another, probably my favorite, cuts through a large meadow of waist-high wild flowers and daisies. I pedaled completely around the lake three different times. That was as much as my 53 y/o knees could manage and bear, on a single speed bike. This year, if I can manage to rig up a receiver tube hitch to my Metro, I'll throw my Swagman bike rack on it, and tote one of my beater bikes with me to ride.

In all likelihood, this year's stay will be, yet another, party of one. But, should anyone care to join in on the fun, you're more than welcome. I'll need someone to consume the other half dozen ears of corn and half of stick of butter so it doesn't go to waste.

Happy Trails,
PTA2PTB
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MR1 Kingsbury
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I'm sold.... That's a great post description of the Metro Meet interim. Sounds like a wonderful plan. Since its really only 2 days to MMM from GEOP. We're planning the details already. I bet we can get some MMM attendees to gather up here also.
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mt999999
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Self-Declared "Genious"

I only wish I had the free time to do it! I might be tempted if both meets were further from me, but Johnny's is so close that I can drive home in just about 2 hours time, and unfortunatley, I need to work a few days between the meets. Hope to see you in April!
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freegeo
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What day of the week do you think you would be at the campground?
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PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

MR1 Kingsbury
Jan 27 2018, 11:23 PM
I'm sold.... That's a great post description of the Metro Meet interim. Sounds like a wonderful plan. Since its really only 2 days to MMM from GEOP. We're planning the details already. I bet we can get some MMM attendees to gather up here also.
Great! The more the merrier.

Here are some links to some of the pic's I took while I was there last summer:

https://imgur.com/YBt3Ef6
https://imgur.com/xZmJQ10
https://imgur.com/XeDvlrR
https://imgur.com/goSAeD8
https://imgur.com/kEnC6pp
https://imgur.com/UiugpGc
https://imgur.com/6qaOmIC
https://imgur.com/Lj6FPv3
https://imgur.com/cbawq9B
https://imgur.com/VK5anHx
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PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

mt999999
Jan 27 2018, 11:39 PM
I only wish I had the free time to do it! I might be tempted if both meets were further from me, but Johnny's is so close that I can drive home in just about 2 hours time, and unfortunatley, I need to work a few days between the meets. Hope to see you in April!
I know what you mean. It's no practical, for most working people. It only works for me, because I have over 4-wks vacation each year that I have to use or lose, and it's too far for me to drive all the way back home, after 'Palooza, then, spend 2 days driving out to Minnesota, the following weekend. I just take the whole week off, along with the Friday and Monday flanking it.

And, yes, I hope (expect) to see you in April, too. Clive has agreed to sublet me the half of his campsite that was originally slated for you.
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PTA2PTB
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freegeo
Jan 28 2018, 12:14 AM
What day of the week do you think you would be at the campground?
Depending on my departure time from Johnny's on Sunday, I'd like to think I will make it there by late Monday, or early on Tuesday. Last year, I stopped off to see an old HS friend in Elyria, OH, and didn't get back on the road until 8:00 pm on Sunday. I stopped, at a rest stop somewhere off I-90, to grab a couple hours sleep, and when I got back on the road again, I almost didn't make it past Chicago before the traffic got heinous for the Monday morning rush hour; that actually spans close to 20 hrs, so I'm told.

As for my departure date and time from the campsite, I'll play that by ear, and my biorhythms. Most likely, I'll depart the campsite, making the, just under 90 minute, trek, going straight up I-35 for most of the way, on Thursday evening. As everyone that's ever been there knows, Jeff & Jen are wonderful, gracious, and easy going, hosts.

On Friday, I'll help out with setting up the tent, and whatnot. Last year, my job was to be the designated driver, of tent stakes. Driving those things in, with a sledge hammer, will wear your ass out.
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PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

MR1 Kingsbury
Jan 27 2018, 11:23 PM
I'm sold.... That's a great post description of the Metro Meet interim. Sounds like a wonderful plan. Since its really only 2 days to MMM from GEOP. We're planning the details already. I bet we can get some MMM attendees to gather up here also.
You driving the Metro, or the motorhome? If motorhome, and you want water hook-up, you'll probably want to book your site well in advance, as there are only about 8 sites, out 180, that have water hook-ups, and they were all booked up, when I was there.

It appears they won't let you start making reservations, for an August stay, until May 6th. If, by chance, you're going to try to book a site with water hook-up, let me know, and I'll try to book my campsite directly adjacent, as they're all located at the opposite end of the park from where I camped last year.

https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/campsiteDetails.do

"Arrival date may be beyond Reservation Window
Select arrival date before Sat Apr 28 2018
Come back on Sun May 06 2018 and try again
See other dates by using the calendar below"
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MR1 Kingsbury
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I think that's way to far for the motorhome this year. At 8 mpg it's also way too expensive.... I'm considering leaving the rv in ohio for a week and taking SageBunny across the states for MMM and maybe visitin a niece in Schaumburg. The logistics are tricky with the westies along as well, but the wheels are turning now so I might have the solution before April.
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freegeo
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I usually take a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off work. Thursday I usually stop somewhere for the night.

I, like you have 4 weeks vacation so I may try and take a extra day off. Have to wait until it gets closer to know.
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PTA2PTB
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freegeo
Jan 28 2018, 10:53 PM
I usually take a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off work. Thursday I usually stop somewhere for the night.

I, like you have 4 weeks vacation so I may try and take a extra day off. Have to wait until it gets closer to know.
Unfortunately, you being somewhere just outside Indianapolis, IIRC, it's almost the same distance for you to go directly to Hayfield, as it is to stop off in Clear Lake. It's not a good half-way stopping point for you, so far as grabbing sleep and logistics go. But if your boss would let you take an extra day off, you could head for Clear Lake, a day early, and hang out with us 50+y/o "old skool" cool kids.
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freegeo
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PTA2PTB
Jan 29 2018, 12:55 PM
freegeo
Jan 28 2018, 10:53 PM
I usually take a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off work. Thursday I usually stop somewhere for the night.

I, like you have 4 weeks vacation so I may try and take a extra day off. Have to wait until it gets closer to know.
Unfortunately, you being somewhere just outside Indianapolis, IIRC, it's almost the same distance for you to go directly to Hayfield, as it is to stop off in Clear Lake. It's not a good half-way stopping point for you, so far as grabbing sleep and logistics go. But if your boss would let you take an extra day off, you could head for Clear Lake, a day early, and hang out with us 50+y/o "old skool" cool kids.
I'm 50ish year old too. So I would probably fit in, or at least blend in.
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PTA2PTB
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Think you might be able to make it there, for a day or two?

I believe I'll leave Ashtabulah right after the ceremonial Sunday breakfest send-off from Waffle House, just like I did last year. Nothing like having a belly full of greasy comfort food goodness, to travel on. That should put me going through Chicago on I-90 around 8:00 or 9:00 pm. Hopefully, the traffic won't be too bad at that time. I'll likely go just a little further west, and stop at the rest stop in Minooka, IL, for a couple-three hours of sleep, then push on for Clear Lake, when I awake. And if I happen to be near Le Claire, IA around 10:00 am on Monday, I'll stop by Antique Archaeology, so my Metro can get a selfie with this in the background, and possibly buy myself a stupid expensive T-shirt, that I'll likely never wear.
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freegeo
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The area I work in is pretty flexible when it comes to vacation or time off. I will have to check how early I can put in for my vacation. By the time August rolls around i may want a extra day off.
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gogart


It's nice being part of the retarded, group after 37 years at the same job now I can do as I please. This year after the Palooza, I guess I have to head east, Because last year I sorta got some good friends just a little up set at me when I told them that I was In eastern OHIO. And they told me that they are only about 2 hour's or so east of Johnny's over In Allegany New York So I guess I will be going east first then west over to the Minnesota. See everyone at both meet's again Gogart
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