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|Saturday - Maquoketa to Clinton|
|Morning in Mequoketa
Sure do miss having a private bathroom first thing in the morning. Rick woke up to find his inflatable mattress doesn't keep all of its air over night. Either that or the laughter created by Heidi's dance in the wee hours formed a vortex and sucked all of the available air into it. Our host didn't make it out to wish us off, and that drunken night by the girls probably didn't help win her over to our side. Just because it's the shortest day doesn't mean that Rand MacNally can't make it shorter for us. A quick trip by the last place City Girl was sober just to see if "Fuck Iowa" guy was able to get a ride home last night. The street in front of the bar is bare. He made it somewhere safe. Why do those cops want us to turn and head north. The finish is down south. Never miss a chance to go south. The last thing Johnny Law said to us, "That's probably a smart move." And it was. A few other souls braved the shorter, non-hilly, almost car-free highway. The rewards outweigh the, er, ah, non-rewards. It appears that there is no penalty for taking the alternate route.
Once in Preston we find that there is plenty of breakfast food. That's what it's like to get fresh ham and eggs instead of nuked Canadian bacon and Wonder Bread. Where are all of our drinking comrades to share in this feast? We have some cold ones for them. Wait a second, this is the downside of the short route. No real bikers to knock back cold ones with us before noon (or 10:00a). We did find Anna-Banana and A-spot, J-spot's mother's name on a massage sign. If it were a host it might have let us stay inside, or at least use the facilities. The road to Goose Lake was paved with the soundtrack of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. We can still do the Time Warp on our bikes (even the guy pulling a hundred pounds can throw in a little pelvic thrust). Little did we know what was waiting for us in the next town.
That was a lie. Many years ago, Heidi and Laurie were in Goose Lake and ran into a scary child: Tourette's girl. Has she grown up and left town? Will we meet some other child to scare the bejeezus out of us? Well, if that's what Goose Lake is known for then so be it. Welcome the living Baby Drowsy. She has a kitty. She has a boom box with hits of the 70s (or as we like to call it, the Bud Bus standard play list). She is our only entertainment until the black train of death showed up. It looks like no one on Evil is winning today as the whole crew joined us in the ballroom of the Goose Lake Tap. How does a group bike so fast while being so wasted? Must be the good clean living in the off-season. As this will be our last time to party with the all of the good folk for another year, we better stay for five more rounds after the next three rounds. The tower of empties has been erected and felled. That's our sign to hit the alternate route home. At the end of the street we turn left and let the others go right (much like what will happen in the November general election - stupid fucking Americans).
The direct highway to the final town is nice, paved and relatively flat. The only thing missing would be a place to tinkle. Sure there are plenty of fields along the way, but we will try the private drive with the huge dog. It's good we got that out of our system, who knows how much longer until we can use the facilities. It could be about as long as three-quarters of a mile. The all-downhill real route is nicely shaded and now filled with the sounds of the Reverand Horton Heat. The end is not near, it is here. Evil Dave said that they were going to beat us in. No matter how hard they ride, those on the hypotenuse have the distinct advantage over the two legs. Hook-up is waiting there with snooty beer and snacks. Please, no Little Debbie. Can't take anymore of the whore. As the sun starts to fall low in the sky, we load up the van, say our goodbyes to City Girl and load up. Then we call City Girl and ask her if she wants to take her luggage with her or just leave it with us until next year. One last set of goodbyes to City Girl and TeaMartini heads out to Dubuque.
While not on the official route, like we were ever restricted to it, our ride ends in northeast Iowa. Meatcake with the Entringers and free beer at the West Dubuque Tap (plus some hardcore martini shots - ouch!) makes end of the greatest week of the year that much sweeter. Until next year, "Fuck Whitey!"