We made the 6.5 hr trek to visit family in Thornton, IA. A very peaceful town focused on the farming community. There are many good things to be said about a slower pace, although it is hard to adjust towards when you live in a Chicago burb.
I decided to take the MTB along and search out any local areas to ride. Thanksgiving morning is the tradition to go for a ride and I headed out to Pilot Knob State Park for a couple hours of climbing around on horse trails. The park has the 2nd highest point in Iowa. I stopped to view 8 wild turkeys wandering in the woods. Also, I was followed for a while by a coyote which can be a bit creepy when riding alone. I decided to simply ride gravel roads on Friday as that seems to be a common event for Iowans. I had remembered the issue of dogs shortly after passing a few homes. Therefore, I decided to pace myself around homes and keep an eye out. Not long after, I came upon another farm house and didn't notice a dog sitting 5 feet from the road. He stood up as I came by and quickly started running after me. This dog was no mutt of a farm dog but a doberman pinscher. Holy cow, I'm spinning like crazy, and not so fast as I'm on my Singlespeed with a 2:1 ratio for the woods. I'm freaking out and the dog is gaining. He gets close enough for me to spray him with my water bottle. He slows for a second and then continues on. I spray him again and he finally starts to slow and turn towards home. Enough of the stupidity of riding gravel roads in Iowa with dog issues, I headed out to the main paved road as quick as I could and headed back to the family.