Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dusty Details

For those who haven't been to the Dusty 100 before, the meeting/starting point is the small parking lot beside the monument with three flags, about one km east of the Metis Crossing campground. (Where, incidentally, there's a music festival happening this weekend.) There's plenty of parking by the flags, a picnic table, and a rustic outhouse but no water, so bring your own water. (Only water refill on the route is at 60 km.)

Bugle call is 9 am.

Remember, this is a completely self-supported ride.

Here's the map. And the Ride-with-GPS version. I'll have cue sheets to hand out at the start. My cue sheet is better than the Ride-with-GPS version but even with the latter, you'll probably figure it out. The GPX file is here. It's from a few years ago when the start was at Victoria Settlement, but the route is the same.

Unlike some gravel events where there are multiple route-length options, The Dusty 100 is intended as an all-or-nothing venture. But if you're really not having fun and want to bail, we won't judge you. It happens every year.

The most obvious place to do so is at the 38 km mark. The paved highway 855 will take you back down to Metis Crossing, for a shortened loop of about 55 km. (You may want to zip up to Smoky Lake first for a photo with the giant pumpkins. There's a store across the way too.) 

At the same junction, you have the option of taking the former rail Iron Horse Trail instead of Township Road 592. Both will take you to Waskatenau. The IH is a little longer but more scenic. When I was out there two weeks ago, the Iron Horse was in pretty good shape but who knows what it will be like this Sunday.

A pit stop at the Petro-Can in Waskatenau is highly recommended. This is no regular gas station.The baked goods are sublime. 

There's no official apres-Dusty gathering planned, but when you get back to the parking area, feel free to linger, visit, and share tales of gravel heroics. Bring a cooler and stay a while--or head home, if you need to. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, you do NOT have to bring your own bugle. Bugling is provided.

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