Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Mighty Mississippi!!

Reporting from Le Claire, Iowa, on the bank of the Mississippi River!

Wow! What a day! People were up earlier than usual in the campground this morning, us included. I think we were on the road at 5:40 AM, with 52 miles to ride. And the 52 miles just flew by! We had a slight tail wind and what seemed like a lot of downhill! At one point I was cruising along at 18-19 miles per hour and it felt great! It is a sunny day here which is a real bonus for the ending town. When the weather is bad at the end of RAGBRAI, nobody hangs around and spends any money or has any fun! That is not the case today. We arrived here at 9:45 after stopping in most of the pass-through towns. We had to wait about 5 minutes to dip our tires and have our pictures taken-the wait now must be over an hour as thousands more have arrived behind us. Bob and Sally have now left as they are driving north to visit some relatives tonight. I will stay in Moline, IL tonight and head east starting tomorrow.

We were warmly greeted by the locals as we rode into LeClaire and there were many volunteers down by the river dip site to take photos of us riders as we dipped our front tires in the Mississipppi. We then rode (uphill) back to where our cars are parked-and there was the Yellow Bettle was waiting for me! I loaded my bike on top and then we walked and rode the shuttle back to town to see about getting our luggage. The baggage truck is on the edge of town and we decided to go into town, return to the dip site, and eat some lunch-one more pork sandwich!

A few notes about last night. We ate dinner at a church and as usual, had a good pasta meal. We then wandered around the town square checking out the entertainment. We ended up sitting at one of the stage areas listening to some music. The last group, Hen House Prowlers, were a bluegrass group and were very good. While listening to them I could look across the lawn and watch a group of jugglers put on a show. After the bluegrass concert we went for our traditional "Last Night Out" beer. I say "traditional", but the tradition did not start until we started doing RAGBRAI without the kids! It was a nice evening in town.

So I will hang out here (down by the river) for a bit longer and then haul my luggage back to the beetle (hopefully, I can catch a shuttle trolley). I will then find my hotel and get settled in there. I expect to be completely wiped out by the time I start to relax in a hotel room with a real bed, a bathroom, and air-conditioning!

That's all for now! It has been a great week of riding,

Hope all is well.

No comments: