Day 27 - Maquoketa, IA to Monticello, IA - Two Far 2020 - NTF (Not Two Far) - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2020

Day 27 - Maquoketa, IA to Monticello, IA

You can't trust weather predictions

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We left the hotel this morning with what looked like a five hour window between the end of the morning storms and the beginning of the afternoon storms.  The forecast said large hail and damaging winds were possible with strong afternoon storms, so we wanted to make good use of our window.

It had recently quit raining when we left, but the sky was still pretty dark.  Luckily, our route had us "riding toward the blue" as John says, so we were optimistic.

After a brief stop for a little breakfast, we were on the road about 8:45AM.  I saw this at the front entrance to the store.

I don't know what birds could use this nest, but that's what it looks like.
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A view across northeastern Iowa. The sky didn't look too bad.
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We made a quick bathroom stop at about mile 10 and got back on the road.  At mile 12, we had another .5 mile 8-9% climb.  We were able to power up this one.  There was only one other place with an 8% grade today and it was much shorter.  So, we were wondering - are these Iowa hills feeling so much harder for us this year because we're:  A-old, B-lazy, C-out of shape or D-trying to climb on a loaded recumbent tandem?  We decided it's a mixture of A and D. We can't do anything about A and there's not much we can do to lighten D.  We keep telling ourselves that every climb makes us stronger - and when we get home in the fall, we'll have blissfully flat Florida routes to enjoy!

Not long after our first stop, a car pulled over beside us.  We stopped and the man driving asked about our plans for the night.  He warned us about the forecast for severe storms and told us he could get us a cabin at a nearby campground.  We thanked him for his concern and told him we had  hotel reservation ahead.  He said he had hiked  around Europe and so many people had helped him, he always wanted to do what he could for other travelers.  It was such a thoughtful gesture.  I wish we had gotten his name and photo, but thank you would be road angel for your offer of assistance.  We really appreciate your kindness.

More pictures from today

We are seeing more livestock in Iowa than we did in Illinois. These cattle were at an operation that advertised bulls for sale and breeding. Later down the road we passed a pig farm that we could not see, but the odor was unmistakable.
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Keith A. SpanglerThe passer by story was so cool. Love when it happens.
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1 week ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Keith A. SpanglerWe do too. It seems that every year something like that happens and it makes our day. We've had people flag us down just to talk or offer us water. It also seems that every year, someone in a restaurant stops by to talk and then picks up our tab (as Kathy L. did earlier this trip). Perhaps the most memorable incident was when we were approaching a small town a few years ago. Some older gentleman, going the other way, did a U-Turn and flagged us down. He said that he always wanted to take a bike trip but just had never done it and now he was too old. He then gave us $20 bucks for lunch and drove off. To this day I wish we had gotten his name.
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1 week ago
Cow pens - fattening them up for market?
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Grain augers
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Lots of hay baling going on this week. We've seen several tractors loaded with hay on the road.
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By about 11AM, the sky was looking clearer.
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This is my Iowa picture postcard shot for the day.
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Mike ObermeyerYou're right it could be on a postcard.
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1 week ago

About noon, we stopped at a bar and grill in a tiny community about nine miles from our destination.  We thought we had time for lunch before the weather got bad.  As we were talking with a couple of guys inside and waiting for our food, it got windier and darker.  They wanted to drive us to Monticello in their truck, but we said we'd be fine.  We took the food to go and biked as fast as we could toward town.  We had light rain for maybe three or four miles, but it never got heavy.  The sky was black behind us and blue ahead.  When we got to the hotel, the rain had stopped and we had dried out.  We checked in and not another drop of rain has fallen.  They're still calling for strong storms tonight, but you never know.  We're happy to be here safe and dry today.

I took these two pictures riding through downtown Monticello.

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Today's ride: 41 miles (66 km)
Total: 579 miles (932 km)

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Alain AbbateWell done. Few things are more satisfying than outrunning nasty weather.
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1 week ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Alain AbbateIt feels good to outrun nasty weather, but to outrun nothing but a few sprinkles and then have an afternoon of sunshine is an odd sort of letdown. It's more satisfying to get in just before a torrential downpour.
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1 week ago
Keith A. SpanglerGlad you made it safe!
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1 week ago
Lou HarminTo For 8 years I was Mayor of Monticello. Of course, that was New York so you didn't get there. Non the less, I read you every day and continue to follow.
Here in Meadowcrest it was 90 plus degrees and I spent my usual hour in the swimming pool. Lovely, just lovely.

lou
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1 week ago