powered by nightshades (srl) wrote in trans_usa_biker,
powered by nightshades

evening, june 18, cascade, iowa

i'm camped at the american legion park in town, which consists of a baseball diamond, a pool, and a large lawn that looks meant to be filled in during the winter for ice skating. i followed the suggestion in the adventure cycling map and called the police about camping here. i gathered from context that this is highly unofficial; after a long hold, they asked that i go by the police chief's house so he could check me out. police chief miyagawa looked 50-60, strolled out shirtless, and told me how to get here. i can only assume that he's a member of the legion or something. anyway, i'm here.

rode 53 miles today. the hills are starting to get more serious now. where before they were rollers that i could get over with good momentum, now they're long enough that i have to gear down and just grind over them. there are good downhills, though they'd be better if i weren't still having to look out for farm dogs. i had to pepper spray a large shepherd-mix today who kept getting a bit too close, growling rather than barking playfully, as i was barrelling down a hill going 15 or 20. at least there was no wind.

because of my decision not to push on to dyersville tonight--- another 15 miles, not 20 as i had thought--- i won't get to the effigy mounds national monument until monday, rather than sunday as i'd hoped. tomorrow is probably 75 very hilly miles, due to camping options being sparsely distributed. i hope my motivation picks up.

nature watch: hills; in some ways this part of the country looks like a storybook picture of farmland. corn. more corn. daylilies now, too, orange along the side of the road. i saw a little doe in the grass today, probably not much taller than my waist.

due to the highly unofficial camping situation, i elected not to pull out my stove for the enhanced mac and cheese (chipotle, onions, parmesan) that i really wanted for dinner. instead, i used the hotdog rolls, which need to be eaten anyway, for peanut butter and sorghum-syrup sandwiches. the syrup's only 25 percent sorghum (the rest is cane and corn), but it's still pretty damn good. dried pineapple for dessert, mmm.

met a guy at a service station on a harley with touring gear strapped in the passenger position. he'd been to bike week at laconia, nh last week, and was riding west. he left new england yesterday. my mind boggles at such travel speeds now.

i drank a chocolate malt today at a mom-and-pop convenience store while reading the DEA's poster for midwestern retail employees about commonly-purchased farm supplies which can also be used to manufacture meth. ("if you see anyone buying these items in unusually large quantities, please contact us or your local police.") corn's not all they grow out here, i guess.

i'm going to go read the new yorker and try to revitalize my spirits. tomorrow's sunday, which means lots of stuff will be closed. i hit 1500 miles this morning while riding back into bennett from the park on the outskirts of town. mileage-wise, i'm over a third done.
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