Ida Grove – Audubon

More Ida Grove 

After posting yesterday, I found a stand selling roasted sweet corn, and I sat in a little park downtown to eat it.  There was a guy there playing a tuba and tapping time with a tambourine; first he played “As time goes by,” and then I could have sworn he played “Moon over Bourbon St.,” but it may have been the heat.  I put a buck in the tip jar, and noted that he also was selling his CDs — “The Tubador”.   I passed on that.

The downside of getting in early is that you have a lot of time to wander around trying to stay out of the heat.  While sitting in the shade near the campground, I saw a man walk by carrying a bag of ice on his head.  “Nice hat!”

“Yep, it’s a fantastic buy for a dollar.”

I got a chicken pita at a stand, and the black couple in front of me were wearing “Barnes/Jewish Hospital” jerseys.  They were indeed from St. Louis, and they said they usually come down to ride in the Tour de Cape. 

When I got back to the campground, there was a guy on the little stage (earlier occupied by teenage dance school performers).  He had long white hair and a white beard, wore a monk’s robe, and was bellowing something about “Riversaance”.  All I really caught was the part where he yelled “Huzzah!” and various costumed folks in the park yelled “Huzzah” back.  Shades of Madrigal Feast. 

Later the Riversaance crowd came to the beer “garden” (a closed-off street with a $1 cover charge).  I got my picture taken with fairies.  I’m still working on the photo uploading — I’ll come back later to the Iowa Telecom truck and see if I can put a few directly into the Coppermine pics folder.  The band was actually really good — local guys, including one of the band directors, someone was telling me.  They had two guitars, a bass, drums, and a four-piece brass section.  I wound up dancing to “Honky Tonk Women” with Tammy from Georgia, who appeared to be a) young enough to be my daughter and b) drunk enough to dance with me anyway.

Then off to bed, and woke up at 5 when the neighbors started packing up. 

Ida Grove – Audubon

Okay, remember when I said that the first day had the worst hills?  This is the sound of me chewing and swallowing those words.  The worst of it was that there was a 15 mph headwind for the section headed south, which was over 30 miles of a 77 mile trip.  Average mph for this trip: 15.4. 

The high point was stopping for almost an hour in Manning, where I had a really great piece of raspberry-rhubarb pie at the Senior Center.  I stayed in Manning almost an hour, from which you can deduce that I was damn tired.  


I got into Audubon about 1:30 and set up my tent in a nice shady spot.  My new neighbors were just finishing setting up theirs, and I wound up loaning them a tent peg (I brought twice as many as I need.  Belt and suspenders.).  When I got my tent set up, I unrolled the sleeping pad, tied open the front screen, and sat down in the doorway.  My involuntary groan of pain attracted the neighbor guy’s attention, and I explained that the ride today had pretty much literally kicked my ass.  We came to an agreement that the combination of headwind + uphill = pain.   He’s Arnie Bronk from Milwaukee, and his wife is Helen.  She’s some kind of nurse, and when I said I was a geneticist she gave one of those “Oh, God, GeNEtics…” cries.  A lot of people have nightmares about genetics.  Many of them my former students, no doubt.

Anyway, after a nice shower and swim in the municpal pool (finally got the “fairy dust” glitter out of my hair), I sat around and rested in camp a while, and then finally came downtown.  I’ve had a turkey burger and a grilled chicken sandwich so far.  Later I plan to go to St. Patrick’s Hall for cavatini and pie.    

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