MUERTO Challenge – June 15, 2013 – Dan Lockery
Friday came quickly this week and I wasn’t ready for it. Packing was last minute, dinner was picked up en route to Hal’s place. Dallas kindly agreed to drive us out (thanks, you’re awesome!), we set off just before 8pm.
Skipping sleep, we left Virden just before midnight on our chosen route that was adjusted earlier that afternoon in case of bad weather. Hoping for the best we rode off into the darkness. The estimated route would cover about 500km of Manitoba gravel, what could possibly go wrong?

Pic 1
(Leaving Virden, are we lost already!?)

After a minor hiccup escaping the town of Virden, we found the planned route and set off in search of new
scenery.

Pic 2
(Greeted by the sun on what was supposed to be a rainy weekend)
Pic 3
(Not interesting you say? This was the southern-most road/point on our trip)

Winds were shifting to the west and getting strong enough that heading north-south became challenging.

By this point, closing in on 12 hours, we started getting into a groove of heading east. Time for a challenge…

Pic 4
(Glenboro Golf Course, We got in on a breakfast buffet for a tournament, woohoo!)
Pic 5
(That’s a little vague, but not likely to stop us?)
Pic 6
(Followed shortly by one of the opportunities to cool our feet off)

The bridge was out and the new one not complete enough to take advantage of so we hopped the electric fence, stared down a stampeding herd of cattle, waded through the nice cool stream and pressed on

Pic 7
(Lunch and re-supply in Holland)
Pic 8
(Strong west wind assisted our travels east through the rolling hills)
Pic 9
(High point on our route at 1465ft, looking towards the Red River Valley)
Pic 10
(Storms chased us into Brunkild and finally it rained)

We stopped in Brunkild to re-supply. The rain cleared up and the roads dried quickly so we kept movingPic

Pic 11
(After talking with Pete, headed to Niverville for pizza and a nap out in right field)

The baseball diamond was a good place to camp (firm, smooth ground). The bugs were hungry but unable to bite through bivy sacks. They quit in the wee hours and then the alarm went off, we were rolling again around 4am.

Pic 12
(Woke up hungry, problem solved in Richer, thanks Timberline)
Pic 13
(Second opportunity for wet feet on Forestry Rd 29)

Leaving Richer we headed into the Sandilands area, the bugs were fierce. That was all the incentive I needed to keep moving. The water in the previous picture was axle deep and slow going so one-handed and swatting bugs
was the only way

(Breakfast sandwich to go, best idea ever, thanks Hal!)
(Breakfast sandwich to go, best idea ever, thanks Hal!)
Pic 15
(Fresh as a daisy (…or not), no physical/mechanical breakdowns though, awesome!)

We had a little re-route near the end due to a missing bridge where the maps insisted there was one. My stats included a total distance of 522km, elevation gain of 6255ft, total time of 39h 51m including stops and sleeping in the outfield.

What a good time (minus bugs)! Thanks to all that helped us out (Dallas and Ed with rides to/from Virden/Falcon) and Pete for riding out to meet up and chat and to all those that followed along. Good timesĀ indeed, I’ll look forward to reading about your attempt soon?
Dan