Day 12: Goodbyeeee Iowa - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 16, 2016

Day 12: Goodbyeeee Iowa

On November 11, 1940 a storm blew into the great lakes area and killed 145 people. Most of the 49 who died in Minnesota were duck hunters who went out to the little islands on the Mississippi River without winter clothing because the storm was not expected. Weather forecasting was inprecise at best back then.

The death toll would have been worse had it not been for a local pilot who flew over the little islands looking for stranded hunters and dropping emergency supplies.

Today I rode through the area where these events took place, except that the river has changed a lot since then. The dams and locks have changed the character and ecology of the river. One historical panel I passed said that during some years you could actually walk across the river on occasion because of the water level and natrual islands that existed at the time.

Today I was back in Wisconsin and rode to prairie du Chien. I had hoped to go a litle farther but the locals kind of freeaked me out.

"There is a big storm coming in!" more than one person told me all the way down the river.

So I stopped at McDonald to check the weather and get a $1.00 ice tea, except they didnt have $1.00 ice teas and I had to spend $1.69 which was a little annoyging but that is beside the point.

I sat down near to an older guy who was sipping coffee and reading a book, and pulled up the weather channel on my phone, trying to figure out what the radar was telling me.

"Where ya ride'in to," said the man.

"I was hoping to make it closer to Cassville but am trying to figure out what the weather is going to do. Are you a farmer?"

"I used to be. Now I'm retired."

"So you would know what the weather is going to do?"

"Wellllll, I dont pay as much attention to the weather as I used to, since i retired. I have some native American blood in me though so you would think I would have a sense about such things."

"Native American huh? Then you should be able to pull a blade of grass and wave it around in the wind and give it a sniff and know what the weather will be for the next 24 hours," I joked.

"I wishshsh," he said with a chuckle.

"So how do you know what the weather is going to be?" I asked.

"With this," he said pulling out his iphone.

We looked at the radar and then he looked outside.

"It's pretty dark out there. I think we are going to get a storm. Its probably best you dont ride any further."

Huck Finn would not have minded but by this time I had sort of lost interest in riding anyway and figured after three nights of camping, and a storm on the way, I would get a hotel. I looked online and, being Saturday, most of the hotels were booked solid except for one I had passed on the way in to town. So I high tailed it back got the very, and I mean the very last, room.

Time for a shower and a nap.

This is what the Mississippi River looked like in Huckleberry Finn's day
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Making coffee outside my tent in the morning
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Leaving Iowa on the Lansing bridge
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Looking back at Lansing from the bridge
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From the Wisconsin side
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Saturday morning fish'in
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Lots a fish'in going on
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Interesting train. Looks like a passenger train with a freight locomotive
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Today's ride: 39 miles (63 km)
Total: 763 miles (1,228 km)

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