Nate got an early start this morning; Michael got a full night’s sleep–an improvement over the night before.

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It’s a cool morning (advantage: Nate), which we haven’t had in a while. We’re expecting some winds, but hopefully not any worse than yesterday, which were manageable.

First stop for each of us today is breakfast. Nate beelined to McDonald’s, where he scores free food almost daily:

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Michael opted for an amazing local cafe, and got this:

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Farmer’s Breakfast at Reid’s Beans: Eggs, toast, home fries, bacon, and fresh fruit.

We’ll (each) be stopping at Wal☆Mart to restock a few items before cycling into less-populated farmland west of Iowa City.

Check back later for updates.

Update (Day’s end): We both had some fun experiences today as we cycled from west of Iowa City to Montezuma, IA, about 80 miles away. We took nearly identical routes, but the staggered start of course put Nate on the roads ahead of Michael, and first to discover that Iowa has hills! (All those hills in fàct put today’s ride on par with the Top 10 Climbing Days east of the Mississippi!)

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Much of the route into Iowa City was on Herbert Hoover Highway. We discovered that 31st U.S. President’s birthplace/hometown was near our campground last night. Had we known, sleeping in tents would have had extra meaning. #Hooverville

That’s where Michael stopped for breakfast–his first of three full meals! He consumed close to as many calories as he burned today, trying to replenish from yesterday’s deficit. Not eating enough proved problematic; It took Michael until àfter 1:00 p.m. to have enough energy to ride well today. Meal two, at JJ’s in Iowa City, definitely helped hit the numbers.

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We both enjoyed Iowa City. Michael spent more time than intended on the University of Iowa campus, south side of the river, looking for a Walmart that doesn’t exist. (Thanks, Google Maps!) The UoI campus is beautiful though.

After Iowa City stops, Nate happened on a meat packing business and walked away with generous samples of jerky.

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Farther down the road, and looking again to refill bottles, Nate was invited into the local VFW and chatted about our journey with the patrons there.

Later in the day, Michael stopped at what looked to be a small campsite to refill his bottles. Instead he met a couple of Iowans who are starting “a community”–they have four or five tents and a building on the fenced-in property–for people who want to live a simpler, off-the-grid lifestyle with them. They’re raising chickens, goats, a “few other animals,” and their son, Lyric, so far. Despite the several posted No Trespassing signs, the couple was welcoming, and happy to fill Michael’s bottles with water and Gatorade.

Eventually we both got to Montezuma. Nate stopped on his way through town to get ice cream; Michael likewise stopped for ice cream but had a third meal, too (a deli sub).

We’re staying at Diamond Lake County Park outside Montezuma. Our campsite is on a nice fishing lake, and we essentially have a peninsula to ourselves–although there’s ample evidence that geese were here first.

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The shower is among the top three of the trip (we’re not comparing friend’s or family’s of course!). Seriously, the picture just doesn’t do it justice!

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That’s about it for now…

Check out Michael’s Relive video.

 

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