Peg’s Posts: Time to tour.
Here’s where the anxiety came in: after suffering a fibular stress fracture in early May, I’d been on the bench from pretty much any activity that made me sweat. Except for walking and to and from the parking garage at work, which in recent days drew a sweat even at 8 a.m. Had a recent handful of 15 and 20-mile rides prepped me for 40+ miles? A clear blue sky and a forecast of wicked weather the remainder of the weekend convinced me that yes, I was plenty ready. Our small group of riders met just south of Garmin headquarters and headed west on wide-shouldered county roads. Everyone in our small posse was Edge-equipped. One rider knew the roads well and had our route planned in advance, with several cut-offs and add-ons noted as options. Still, it was nice to know I could call on my Edge 705’s maps for a backup route. I still wasn’t convinced I had the morning off from mom duty. Should an emergency arise back home and I need to retreat once I was in unfamiliar territory, I knew my 705 could get me back to start.
Our pace was modest and the group’s objective unhurried, so we took time to capture some photos along the way. Our Tour de Southern Johnson County revealed a few tree nurseries, roadside produce stands and other treasures. Like an abandoned house where one of the riders’ daughters had ventured inside and snapped some unique still-life photos. One of those photos landed her a national award and a scholarship at a local art institute.
The next discovery quite literally took my breath away. A 600+ acre property, exquisitely manicured and marked with white fencing throughout and a grand, bricked drive. One rider reported there was a 40-stall horse barn on the property, better equipped than the house itself. As we rode on, admiring the details we could see from the road, I wondered out loud “how many linear feet of fencing?”, “how long does it take to mow all this?”, “does someone really live here?” The writer in me went to work, creating a story and photo album of the happy, centered extended family that lived there.
The rest of our ride unfolded with a few more quaint discoveries, steady forward motion, and, thankfully, no distress calls from home. Once I uploaded my ride to Garmin Connect, I zoomed in on the map to determine the specific location of that amazing horse farm property. I’d forgotten to mark a waypoint when we stopped, but it was easy to figure out the exact location in Garmin Connect. Thanks to the precision of GPS tracking, the tiny little loop in my track showed where I’d taken a turn up that grand drive. The property was named Mildale Farm and a quick search dashed my fairytale of the family living there. It’s actually a Johnson County Park property and the buildings and grounds are rented out for weddings and other such fancy affairs. Somehow, I was disappointed it wasn’t a private property. But next time I roll by, my mind will create new stories. If you’re rolling through southern Johnson County soon, see it for yourself.
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