Day 41 - Dawson to Rock Creek State Park - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 13, 2016

Day 41 - Dawson to Rock Creek State Park

I lost my shorts yesterday.
Now don't go getting any ideas.
Maybe when I was younger - - you would be permitted to wonder.

Like my lime green shorts back in the late 70s.
The ones that Amy use to hoot about.
And that Liani and Jane got into a fight over who could squeeze into them.
At 3:00 in the morning during an all-night party.
James Brown would have been proud.

But, no. Those days are long over.
I just didn't zip up my pannier completely.
And they blew out. Nothing exciting.


Anyhoo, I had a quiet morning ride out from Dawson.
Stopped in the Woodward cafe for breakfast.
Even on weekdays the little town has cyclists - lots on weekends.

The High Trestle Trail uses an old railroad crossing -
It's a couple of hundred feet above the Des Moines River valley.
I stayed on trail until the middle of the day.

One thing I did notice - the lack of public space.
Casey's Stores dominate Iowa - in every little town.
They have replaced the Mom & Pops.
Beer, sodas, chips, candy, hot dogs.
No place to gather - no place to sit down.
And leave their trucks running outside.
Just in and out - gas and a 12-pack.

But no, in Maxwell there was an old grocery store - perfect!
The owner had shelves lining the wall with every beer can.
I asked about "Billy Beer" and he knew right where it was.
Fresh cut meats to order and a family business.

I got slammed by mid-day storms.
Fortunately, I was in Cambridge and stopped in for a burger.
I mentioned that I was from Wyoming.
The cook laughed about finding an old man with oil wells -
And a bad cough.

Then it was back on the road - literally.
Ar first it wasn't so bad - light traffic.
But then I started getting afternoon commuter traffic.
And the hills - the hills - I had roller coasters.
I stopped by a UCC church in Baxter for water and camping ideas.
They were having choir practice.
I was drenching wet and exhausted.
And they treated me like a pariah.
It was clear they wanted nothing to do with me.
Didn't even offer a glass of water.
I am saddened by my denomination - it is dying.

So I changed clothes by a downtown bench.
(Except for my shorts - which were actually long pants, now)
And rode another 20 miles and 20 steep hills.
Why must Iowa roads follow the section lines?
Haven't they ever heard of the words "contour" and "diagonal"?

I got into Rock Creek State Park late - -
Exhausted, dripping wet again, and a little befuddled.
Set up my tent, showered, put on my "emergency" clean clothes,
then had a nice long talk with my sister in the tent.

Sunrise at Dawson in the Grove
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The Roadsides Are Ablaze with Wildflowers
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View from the High Trestle Bridge of the Des Moines River Valley
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Another Trail Shot
So Quiet and Contemplative
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The Ubiquitous C Store
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And the Delightful Maxwell Grocery - Complete with 1000 Beer Cans
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Barn and Sky
(And Hills, Too)
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Today's ride: 85 miles (137 km)
Total: 2,166 miles (3,486 km)

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