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Spencer

Hank – We planned to get up at 5:00 am but neither one of us could get to sleep. Kathy told me I could change the alarm to 6:00 if I was tired in the morning. At 4:00 am I did just that. Between the insomnia, the heat, and the freight train that came though at oh-dark-thirty, I had a tough time sleeping. Kathy didn’t fate much better.

In spite of our late start the day went well. On the way out of Sheldon a road cyclist caught up to us. It was Jeff Grant who works at the Sheldon newspaper. He didn’t bring his notebook along so we won’t make the paper this time. We chatted about what we were up to and other topics. He and his wife have two daughters in college and they’re home for the summer. He’s been living in Sheldon for 30 years and he’s done RAGBRAI. He’s also been to Spokane when he ran Bloomsday back in the 90s. We enjoyed chatting with him until we got to Sanborn where he turned back.

Sanborn has a Freedom Rock in its city park. We also saw one in Hawarden. Jeff told us that the artist was commissioned to do one for each of the 99 counties in Iowa. The large stones have painted scenes depicting military veterans. So far the parks also include monuments listing local veterans of the various wars since the Civil War.

We continued another 10 miles to Hartley where we had a snack and checked out the town. The downtown area was a ghost town because everything is closed on Sunday. There was a cool Phillips 66 cottage house gas station on the main road.

The last 20 miles to Spencer went fast and smooth. We were just starting to feel the heat when we got there around 1:30. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed a couple of margaritas and lunch. After putting it off a little more we finally rode to Leach Park where we could get a campsite. The park is next to the Little Sioux River, which is still very high from the recent flooding. Much of the park is under water, including all the tent sites. The RV campsites are on higher ground and they were almost full. We had a choice of two sites and they were next to each other. We think we took the one that will gave us shade the longest during the rest of the day. We took showers and then hauled our dirty clothes to a nearby laundromat.

Kathy – Today was a great ride! We rode a total of 47 miles with some hills but only a small bit of elevation. The temp was 85 with high humidity to go with it. Happy we cruised through the miles before the hottest part of the day.

When we were leaving Sheldon, Iowa this morning a few ladies in the local store told us there was only one hill to our destination in Spencer, Iowa otherwise it was a completely flat ride. We had about 20 hills but all were gradual, so no real problem there. I just need to remember not to ask people who drive about elevation. I would tell Hank during our ride up each one, “This is our ONE hill, forget the rest because they don’t matter, this is the ONE.” 😅 People who drive often don’t realize there are hills. You just don’t notice them when in a car and pushing down on a gas pedal. As cyclists carrying 75 and 95 pound bikes, we notice the hills a lot more. It kinda runs along with asking a driver how many miles it is to a destination. They often say just a few miles, where as in reality it can be 5 – 10 more miles. In the end it really doesn’t matter because we are doing the miles and elevation regardless. Just my little thought for the day.

The Iowa landscapes were very pretty today. We enjoyed the variety of farms and small towns. We even saw one area that was a field of wildflowers. I was pleased to see others are also planting flowers to Make America Even More Beautiful. 🌺 💐 🌸

Lastly…just saying, it doesn’t matter how beautiful you landscape your hog farm…it still STINKS! 😷🐷😝

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4 Comments

  1. I am so enjoying reading about your adventures. That Midwest heat and humidity is the main reason I relocated to Spokane years ago. Gotta love it – or just endure it. Be safe and keep up the wonderful, entertaining posts.

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    1. Happy you are enjoying our blog Dianna. And, I totally get why you moved to Spokane away from this humidity! 😄 Wishing you all the best! Kathy

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  2. The story about the 99 commissioned painted boulders in Iowa was very interesting. ..and the perception of cyclists hills and mileage. I am amazed at how many miles you accomplish given the freight you are carrying. Wow just wow. Stay safe and dry..

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    1. Thank you! Yes, we are carrying a bit of weight on the bikes but all the traveling is going well. Hope you are enjoying the blog. All the best, Kathy

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