After 220 days without driving privileges, the State of Minnesota finally restored my right to drive on January 4, 2020. Once I could prove that I had been seizure-free for 90+ days, with a little help from Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. And once I had my driving privileges restored? My first order of business was to try and figure out a way to make planets align and get 10+ new courses played in a weekend.
Between work, family activities and poor weather, it took a few weeks to make it happen! But this weekend I FINALLY had the opportunity to sneak away for a few days to disc golf. I essentially had three options:
1. Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN
2. Sioux City, IA (and courses to the West of Sioux City)
3. Des Moines, IA
I thought Fargo-Moorhead would be out, due to deeper snow pack and colder temps. And with the courses in Sioux City and the small towns in Northern Nebraska, I thought it would be very risky…gambling on driving 40-50 miles, only to find that a town had pulled its baskets for the Winter. So Des Moines, Iowa it was!
After spending my morning working on some scanning work for my day job at mapformation, I hit the road for Iowa. My first stop on the day was at Watertower Park DGC in Osage, IA. A fairly simple, open course with homemade baskets (numbered 10-18), this was the only of three courses in Osage that I had yet to play. So it wasn’t necessarily something I was looking forward to, particularly walking my way through calf to knee deep snow. Rather, it was my attempt to add a new course played to my collection, in an area where there wasn’t another new course for me to play within 50+ miles in any direction.
For the conditions, my -1 (26) wasn’t a terrible score, with an estimated 922 rating. But I wasn’t there to impress anyone with my score, as much as getting a “+1” in my course collection. So, mission accomplished. 🙂
After a quick stop in Osage, I headed for Ankeny, IA, which would serve as my headquarters for the weekend. I booked a room at the local Super 8, just looking for a cheap place to crash. But I came away pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of the rooms, the comfort of the bed, the quality of the food at breakfast, and how friendly and helpful hotel staff was. If you’re ever in the neighborhood and need a room, I would check them out!
After I pulled into Ankeny, I still had about 45 minutes of daylight, so I decided to roll the dice and see if I could play a quick nine holes at Faith Baptist Bible College. When you arrive at the course, there is a large sign that clearly states that the course is only available to students, faculty, staff and invited guests. Though I decided to find staff at the college and see if I could beg my way on the course, since I was the person who designed their tee signage. Upon finding staff in an administrative building, they couldn’t have been more nice or helpful! They made me feel welcome, even calling Security staff to let them know the guy in the blue DGA sweatshirt, with red hair and sideburns, was to be considered an “invited guest.” Which was a good thing, as Security officers drove by me a couple times while I was playing, just to make sure they knew what was up.
It was starting to get dark after I made it back to the car, so I headed back to the Super 8 to relax before dinner. Here’s to hoping I’ll get to knock a bunch of new courses out tomorrow!
Magic Number = 478 (1,522 Courses Played)
About Tonn’s Travels
How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.