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Drifty 5

If quarantine is good for one thing, it does a damn fine job of drumming up wanderlust. The 5th Edition welcomed our largest group yet while still keeping it within our Adventure Guidelines for the Covid Age.

This is the part where we’d write about all the horrible weather that teams had to struggle through. The cold rain in their tents, the hail on the bike ride, and the swarms of gnats. But there was none of that. The weather was nearly perfect which makes for a boring writeup. They made up for it in Adventure though and there was plenty of goose poop.

It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book in real life. Make the trip what you want it to be.
— Hodags
A fantastic adventure of unknown proportions.
— Team G&E

From the moment we blew the starting line bugle, Lost HQ got deluged with adventure updates. Between the texts, tracker updates, and social media posts it was like trying to follow the headline ticker on CNN. We’re not complaining, we’re impressed.

Rather than trying to weave them together into a velvet-covered novella, we’re going to lay them on you just as we got them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We present to you The 5th Edition of the Driftless 250, in ~140 character stories:

  • One of the Surwillos showed up at a start line with nothing but an ax and a fishing pole. 

  • Nate started the event with poison ivy on his legs. Hard to tell if he somehow got that at the kickoff party or….?

  • Day 1: George’s team left the start line 30 minutes after everybody else because one bike did not have a chain on it. They didn’t seem too disappointed.

  • Then, they got moving and Joey’s rear luggage rack fell off his bike completely because the bolts sheared off.

  • Team Evo had their trailer break about 3 miles into the trip. A random Wisconsinite stopped, politely offered replacement nuts and bolts, and invited them over to his garage. They were then on their way.

  • Day one brought the only smidge of rain that teams would see on the entire trip. Some teams got downpoured on, some didn’t catch a drop.

  • Steve-r-ino bought a souvenir, forgot the souvenir, then biked back for it, somehow got lost, came back with corn cobs. Nobody can explain how it happened but everybody blamed the Missouri Tavern

  • “No flat tires. Yet.” <— This team didn’t knock on wood.

  • All the teams faced serious up hill pedaling as their inauguration to the Driftless. Many of the teams did it after a stop at Missouri Tavern.

My friends called me crazy and they wished they would have signed up.
— Sara

Team G&amp;E recorded the northernmost foray into the Driftless Area to date and the Hodags biked into Iowa. On purpose.

Team G&E recorded the northernmost foray into the Driftless Area to date and the Hodags biked into Iowa. On purpose.

  • Team G&E were first to push off into the river at Transition Number A.

  • The islands received monikers which surely all have a backstory: “Savior Island, Luck Island, Poop Island, Goose Poop Island”

  • One of the canoes went keel over gunwhale in the river… there were some electronic casualties :(.

  • The Surwillo’s caught a couple fish but nothing to write home about and not enough to feed the family of 8 they were traveling with.

  • Carrion Crawlers and the GRRFs dodged a barge. As the horn bellowed, two of their boats beached themselves and Christian just let it honk at him. 

  • We heard reports that Chris Knitter made salmon tacos one night on an island which is either highly suspect or highly impressive. This isn’t the Cascadia!?… is it?

  • Somebody saw Team Evo’s naked butts while they were taking an evening river bath.

  • “It’s quite fun to free associate the name of your canoe with stuff while you’re paddling for 4 days.”

  • The Ohio boys found an island without trees which led them to dig foxholes in the sand to put their hammocks in.

  • There’s nothing like scraping goose poop off an island before setting up camp (Team Evo).

  • And at the end of the paddling, The Hodags and Lauren & Brian had the most upbeat spirit out of anybody coming into Transition Number B. That makes us smile.

I hope that waiver I signed said something about raccoon attacks.
— Surwillos

There’s nothing quite like trying to fall asleep under the unblinking gaze of a raccoon that was just found inside somebody’s tent.

There’s nothing quite like trying to fall asleep under the unblinking gaze of a raccoon that was just found inside somebody’s tent.

  • A single raccoon went on a rampage through camp one night. IT stole something from the Surwillos, then it was in Sara’s tent, then it was creeping in the tree above a hammock. 

  • Carrion Crawlers win an award for the most homemade gear setup They had a handmade stitched together sleeping bag and kitty litter panniers that made other teams jealous. 

  • E of team G&E highly regretted bringing a mountain bike with front fork shocks that you were able to lock. That’s all we’ll say about that. 

  • Whatever you do don’t trust the locals that tell you “the hills aren’t that bad” or “it gets flatter past *insert random landmark*” – Emily of the GRRFs

  • Did we mention that Team Knitter had biked ALL THE WAY FROM MILWAUKEE to the start line of the Drifty. So by the time they set off on Leg 3 they were about to complete a full cross-state pedal within a week.

  • “Notable Moments: •Poop Island •Last Hope Island •Skunkridge (wildlife at Wyalusing) •Shannon’s Lost Gloves (and subsequent barbed wire encounter)” – Scrappy Lil River Rats

  • Also, Scrappy Lil River Rats had a secret team name which was “Team No Ralphing”. They crossed the finish line as Team 1 Ralph.

An extra pair of underwear is always a good idea.
— Also Sara
If you go in blind and find your way regardless, doesn’t that make for a better story? That’s Drifty for ya. No expectations, no frills, just a rollicking good time.
— Aaron

You know what they say, a flat tire in the Driftless is worth two in the city.

In 2021 you’ll have two chances to see what it’s all about. Check out the calendar for the latest.

driftless 250

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