Day 19: The Best Day Yet - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 23, 2016

Day 19: The Best Day Yet

I learned something today. I learned that I like open farm land with big skies and little traffic. I'm guessing that doesn't make me unique but I thought it worth mentioning.

Muscatine, Iowa would be my last view of the river for the trip and for the rest of the day I rode, once again, on The Northern Tier route.

I enjoyed it immensely. I guess I am just a long view, big sky kind of gal.

The coffee at the Super 8 was a disgrace. I mention this only because I had to stop at McDonalds for coffee because of it. It's one thing to have a terrible hotel breakfast but to have coffee come out of a machine that looks clear for the first couple seconds as it flows into your cup, followed by a brownish watery who knows what kind of thing that followed, is a disgrace and whoever is responsible should be doing hard time. Come on Super 8 in Muscatine! Get your act together!

Since my stove and coffee were already packed I would have to make a second stop. And since the breakfast, as I mentioned a moment ago, sucked, I got an Egg McMuffin as well.

From there the day improved with each pedal stroke. It was hot but today I didn't care. I rolled easily through the landscape, aided by a gentle tailwind.

Being Sunday traffic was lighter than normal, which I'm guessing, means about 5 cars an hour instead of 8 cars an hour. Heaven.

I am heading to Galesburg and the train home so today my goal was Cambridge, which was a little further east than I need to be, before heading south, but they have a campground, and who cares anyway.

Except when I got to Orion and struck up a conversation with the locals in the grocery store someone said, "we have a nice campground here."

That sounded inviting. So I headed a couple miles out of town to what is officially called the Hillcrest Event Center.

"We mostly host special events," said the owner, but anyone can camp here.

As it turns out tonight "anyone" meant only me, and the campground host.

"But I can make you something for dinner," he said as I sat alone in their little restaurant drinking a gallon size coke because it was still pretty hot outside, even though I haven't complained about it once in this entry.

Except that people kept showing up to the pool.

"We decided just to have a little family Barbecue," the owner later said as I was sitting by the pool after taking a welcome dip. "We are going to make brats. Is that okay?"

Of course it was, so I joined the extended family in a little family get together yucking it up and eating brats and home made potato salad and so forth until the sun started to fade.

What a great day!

Since I was the only one there beside the campground host they let me pick any spot I wanted to camp so I set up my tent under a large pavilion so I could sleep without a rain fly.

Around sunset the humidity dropped and there the breeze picked up, and with no rain fly it was comfortable and relatively cool!


My last barge of the trip
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My last Mississippi River crossing of the trip (Crying face emoji here)
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Beautiful farm in the Mississippi River flood plain
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Fun with shadows
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Farm Country
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Over Joy-ed
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This farmer is taking climate change seriously
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Church in the middle of farmland
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Relaxing by the pool
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Pool sunset
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The best campsite of the trip!
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Today's ride: 53 miles (85 km)
Total: 1,243 miles (2,000 km)

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