As I sit here with a full stomach after a long day of riding the day
blends together into a green blur. More corn, cows and beans, but not
in any pejoritive sense --it's actually quite beautiful.
At lunch we were joined by another rider who was out for a day jaunt.
He was very envious of our trip and would have joined us but thought
his wife would object. He recently retired and had time to ride his
bike more. We had covered only 40 miles but he said he had already
clocked 120 miles! He planned on making it a 200 mile day. At his
average speed of 18 mph that's still a much, much longer day than we
would consider. Our longest ride so far has taken us only 8.5 hours.
We were inspired. Up to just west of Des Moines we had seen no riders
at all but today we saw several and yesterday we even saw a loaded
tourer going the other way. We have been told by many about the
Ragbrai, which is a ride across the state with up to 10,000 riders.
People camp all over the place and folks open up their yards and
homes for general use. We can only imagine. Aside from complicated
navigation, that's all.
We are camped in a beautiful park, complete with big trees, limestone
cliffs and clear running streams. It's a cool and quiet night with few
mosquitoes and we are enjoying it greatly.
Ted, on raccoons, and the Holy Gloves:
At the moment, I am having rather poisonous thoughts towards a
certain raccoon. While I was showering, and dad was on the phone (at
the top of a hill) one of the little pests broke into our noodles, and
our breakfast and our powdered milk! Soon after, the beast was back. A
few feet away from our table, and us, as we were eating our (very much
boiled) dinner. We hissed at it, and showed it our fangs. That's
scared the bugger(s?) off!! In other news, my gloves have recently
become the holiest things around. They're positively papal, and
therefore well ventilated. Not quite as...whole as they used to be.
They're better than blessed, and they're also comfortable on a saintly
level. Needless to say, they needed replacement after being
sanctified. They only become more powerfully Popelike the longer I
wear them. I fear soon they shall become holier than the Grail itself.
Really, though they've got more holes than a than your oldest pair of
socks. And on that note, I shall leave you so I can fend off vicious
hoards of noodle craving raccoons, in