Shawnee Bikepack v2 - good intentions

Part 1

I had a brilliant plan, I had a free day in which to do all of my packing, and I had intentions of hitting the road as soon as Jacob left. At the end of that free day I had a brilliant plan, a pile of gear, and intentions of getting up early to finish packing. In a twist that will surprise no one, I still wasn't ready when Jacob left later than planned, and my intended 7 a.m. departure was pushed back til around 9. So much for good intentions.

The drive to Grand Tower took just over two hours. My yogurt breakfast had long since worn off by the time I reached my destination, but no restaurants or even gas stations were in sight. The next hitch in my plans was when I arrived at Devil's Backbone Park campground, where I'd hoped to leave my car overnight, only to see a note on the office door stating that it would open at 1:00. Of course, I could have avoided this by calling ahead, but it was too late to worry about that now.

Shawnee bikepack v2
Even if I didn't get to park at Devil's Backbone Park, my short visit there gave me a chance to get a picture of the trailhead sign.
I headed to Grand Tower and drove aimlessly until I saw a sign for City Hall, where I asked about a good place to park overnight. The guys inside told me I could leave my car parked there. Problem solved!

Shawnee bikepack v2
My car's home sweet home for the night.
My gear was pretty well packed already, so it was just a matter of remembering how to tighten down the straps on my seatbag again and then hanging the bags. I'd though this short summer trip would be easier to pack for than our March ride, but my lighter blanket was no more packable than my warmer sleeping bag. With less food, I was able to take a smaller backpack, but I have a long way to go before I have this whole gear thing nailed down.

Shawnee  bikepack v2
This route would have been way better on my gravel bike, but I haven't figured out how to (or, to be honest, tried that hard to figure out how to) get the front roll to work with those handlebars. Basically the only change I made was to add a little air to the tires, and I'm pretty sure the fork is still locked out from the March ride.
 Finally, just a couple minutes after noon, I locked my car, powered on my Garmin, and set off towards Ferne Clyffe. In the lead-up to the ride I had focused my worries on the stormy forecast and disregarded the heat. I was soon to realize my mistake.

Part 3


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