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|Wednesday - Iowa Falls to Marshalltown|
Iowa Falls - The Morning
Same old story. The birds are chirping and Rick's colon is bubbling. The mansion's bathroom was left open all night and the morning paper was already there. Got that Iowa Falls bad boy done by 6:15a. Candy whipped us up some breakfast. Who needs the always-open café? She is a little worried about the weirdoes camped on the curb. Let's not fill her in on the whole "money, strippers, fucker" saga. Lucky for all of us that they come on in and help themselves to some of our good eats. It seems like we're dawdling a bit too much. Gonna have to hammer if we're going to beat that train. Dammit!
A dozen miles just melted away. That cross wind wasn't too bad. Just don't look at the map. Dammit! The bar in Ackley is hopping at 9:30a. A huge crowd is at the circular table. No one is amazed that it's the NADs and Marsha hanging out her second sheet. Steve's new job not only supplied the team with protein and carb-loading items, it also filled his wallet with extra paper. Here comes another round. It will be nice to find someone to lead a draft line.
Cleeves, Steamboat Rock, Eldora
The nice man from De Soto read our minds and offered to draft. We're planning on stopping at Steamboat Rock. These are the plans we made. Who put Steamboat Rock at the bottom of a hill? Rick calls back and asks if we have everybody. Not hearing "No" they continue on. The plan was to stop at Steamboat Rock. That was the plan. When you make plans, you stay with them. Never leave the plan unless you can visually confirm that all are there. We pull into Eldora one member shy. Did we not learn from Ireland? Rick, Heidi and Steve load up on corn and find some seats next to the gouge tap. No, we can't get a deal. Just wait until that penny-pinching woman leaves. The guy wants to help a brother out with a freebie or two. Laurie makes it into town and she is not amused. Rick rightfully takes the blame. He knows better. Will a cold one help?
Gifford is the second non-town of the day. That's okay; we're meeting Babs in Union. By the time we get there summer has arrived. It only took until mid-week. Rick thinks he saw Marty the bartender from Keystone. It's him and he's riding with Checker. Being friendly might pay off on our January trip. Barb has already met a rider who might have a hook-up for us in Marshalltown. Her name is Angel, how apropos. The shade in town keeps disappearing. There is a wireless access point in the middle of farmland. Encryption is on. Are you fucking me? Dammit! Barb meets back up with April and we've got a place. Score! It's good that she's our driver for the rest of time. She also talked to some locals who said there's an alternate way into Marshalltown. For some reason we decided not to take it. If rule one is "Always stick to the plan," then rule two should be "Always take the alternate route, especially if it is suggested by locals." After a couple of hours of beers and naps it's time to take on the last 24 miles.
Bangor (I hardly know her)
So now it's hot and there's a decent headwind. What would make it better? How about some hills? Check. Now take us off of the pavement. Hard packed dirt and rock isn't that bad. There is some discussion going on behind the stereo. Steve and Heidi decide to ride ahead. We don't need to turn into Team Tension. What we also don't need hills of very loose dirt. Who mapped out this fucking route and why didn't we listen to those nice old ladies in Union?
On the way into town we run into Babs. The host house is on the southern edge, just a few short miles away. She did not see Heidi and Steve come by. Where are the peeps? Try the first bar on the left (we would never turn to the right for anything). Rick and Laurie head out to the south side and a need to end the day. Wasn't that a bowling alley on the right? On the right - dammit! The hosts are up ahead on the left (thank goodness). Team Girlfriend is staying there, but there's plenty of room in the back. The showers are available too. Not to jinx anything, but we hear there's a storm a brewing. Not only does our host know the weather forecast, he knows the WEP key for Union. He set it up. While Rick showers and does his hair, the lady next door offers up her house to our team. Storm a brewing? Don't care now. Tear down camp and give our new friend a beer. The driveway party - a tried and true tradition of fun. Eventually it is dark enough, and the team is clean enough, for us to go into town. We find a parking spot very close to fun (thank you Parking Goddess) and Rick says that if he finds a Chinese Restaurant with a buffet still open he's going in. Take a wild guess what the first open business was that we passed. Just ignore those open beer cans in our hands. Angry George is there and he's happy. Looks like we will be too. Once our tummies are full of what we hope is chicken, we head outside to fun. Where did the oppressive heat go? No really. How many cold fronts are we going to experience? Time to head back to the driveway party for a nightcap. Our host's son isn't coming home tonight so Rick gets a room to himself. Out like a light.