Friday, September 5, 2014

Mt Pleasant to near Cascade, Iowa: September 4 & 5, 2014

Yesterday morning, Thursday, Cal left Mt Pleasant at approximately 7:30.  He was pleased with the direction of the 10-15 mph wind - at his back – perfect for a biker!  He rode north and a little northeast on country roads that were familiar to him.  Due to the wind he average higher than normal speed.  I caught up with him in the town of Nichols, but there was no place for lunch so we continued to West Liberty where we found a Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. – Great food, but way too much food!!  Cal continued riding north, crossing over Interstate 80. South of I-80 the topography is relatively flat, however north of 80 that changed!! Hills, Hills and more Hills!  Plus, by now the temperature was 90 degrees!  He had 15 more miles to go to the town of Tipton, IA where we planned to spend the night with friends.  He made all 83 miles today, but he was one hot tired guy! 

Leaving Home for the Ride to Canada

Meeting a Seed Corn Picker

Loading Corn on Trucks out of a Corn Bin

Our friends in Tipton were part of the group on our first trip to New Zealand in 1996.  Another team member from Iowa City in that same group joined us for dinner.  It was great spending the evening together, catching up and of course they wanted to know about our recent trip ‘down under’. 

This morning, Friday, the wind changed!  It was coming out of the north/northwest!  Cal did not get on the road until 8:30 due to us lingering over breakfast!  However the wind and hills slowed him down so that by 11:45 when we stopped in the town of Wyoming, IA for lunch he had only gone 30 miles.  This afternoon the hills continued, one after another, and then another!!  We are in the northeast part of Iowa which is hilly!
Corn Fields starting to Mature for Fall

Freshly cut hay - What a unique smell

The Beauty of Farmsteads
However, hilly topography allows for better photos.  I told Cal that when we were traveling in flat Illinois, it was hard to get photos, as the corn was right there beside you.  Here in northeastern Iowa, when on a ridge, I have great views for photos of the area.

Around 2:00 this afternoon I had gone approximately 4 miles ahead of Cal, stopped and was reading a magazine when I heard thunder in the distance.  A storm was rapidly approaching, so I drove back to find him.  He wasn’t ready to stop riding until it began raining, and when it started, it poured!  We sat waiting for a while, but the radar showed more was on the way, so we decided to call it quits for the day, after only 43 miles.

More Hay being cut - Just before the rain

The Road Ahead

Wyoming, Iowa Fire Station

Tonight we are in a motel west of Dubuque, Iowa.  Cal needed a new battery for his bike computer, so we were able to go into Dubuque where we found a great bike shop.  Also, the positive thing tonight was the beautiful red/orange sunset, “red skies at night, sailors delight”!  We look forward to a clear day tomorrow, however there will be more hills and they predicted a north wind!!! 

Tomorrow we hope to get to the Mississippi River, at Millville, Iowa. At Millville there is a ferry that crosses the Mississippi River to Cassville, Wisconsin.  

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