journal header

Home | Getting Started | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday
Friday | Saturday | Wisconsin | Iowa | Going Home

Thursday, July 26, 2007
Cedar Falls to Independence – 62.9 miles

Bill and Ed took off for the morning leg at 7:15 a.m.  They coasted downhill two miles on a very crowded road, choked with bikes, but had no long lines for coffee.  Thank goodness!   Coasted another 2 miles and hit a few rollers before stopping at the highly recommended Farm Boys for breakfast burritos.  Again, lucked out, no lines.  They were not disappointed in the burritos!. 

I  had a very scenic ride through Amish country, particularly between the towns of Fairbank and Otterville.  In Fairbank ate a fabulous pineapple brat, topped off with fresh apple pie.  Burp!!  The beautiful Little Wapsie River runs through this quaint little town.  Stopped along the way to Otterville and spoke with an Amish man in his buggy who was watching the riders.  He had lots of questions about our ride and whether I had seen Lance.  Allowed pictures of the buggy and his horse, Terry, but no pictures of himself and granddaughter who kept trying to get the reins out of Grandpa’s hands. 

Stopped at the Amish Plainview Country Store and picked up some candies and enjoyed the shade trees.  Lots of photo opps on this leg of the ride.
Amish buggy
  Amish store

Camped on the lawn of 89 year old Mrs. Anderson’s house, next to the high school.  Tonight’s dinner was ham balls at the Methodist Church….rated a 3 for their efforts.  It was very hot and humid under their awnings so it was hard to enjoy the meal while sweating profusely. Rated the showers THE BEST….compliments to The Shower Guys.

One of the RV'ers camped near us had a cute little daschund puppy, reminded me of my friend Janie's daschund. I learned it was a piebald.....a black and tan with the ticking of Willie, our 12 yr. old German Shorthaired Pointer. The piebald reminded me of a minature Willie with his spunk and coloring.....miss my daily Willie slurps. The piebald (what a name) pup was our evening entertainment until.....

Weather warning announcement from the locals that a storm was headed our way and was expected to hit around 11:00 p.m.  It actually hit around 9:15 p.m. just after pitching the rain flys.  Lots of lightning, thunder, and rain throughout the night.  Very hot and humid conditions throughout the night.  Wouldn’t be RAGBRAI without at least one night of adverse weather.  Ed’s seam sealing was effective! 

On a sad note, we heard later that one of the RAGBRAI riders drowned in the nearby river about 9:00 p.m. that evening. He was near the dam in only about 3-4 feet of water and probably didn't realize that water under a dam often swirls strongly underneath the surface. This was our hottest and most humid evening, just before the storm, so suspect he was probably taking a dip to cool off.

Mrs. Anderson's son told us that the river flooded it's banks in 1999 (if I recall the year correctly) and almost reached his mother's house. FEMA brought in trailers for many of the residents to use for temporary shelter until displaced residents could move back into their homes. He also mentioned that there is new housing being built but more people are moving out of town than are moving in so the houses aren't is nice that RAGBRAI can bring an infusion of dollars to this little town.

One of the mega RV'ers politely asked Mrs. Anderson's son if they could plug into his mother's electricity. He politely said, "No". We are grateful that he and his mother permitted us to camp on the lawn.

Ms. Anderson's
  Little Wapsie River, Fairbank
Mrs. Anderson's home, Independence, IA
Little Wapsie River, Fairbank, IA