On Sunday my husband Strange and I will start the 400+ mile ride across Iowa. The first challenge was how to get to the start. We're fairly new to IA and don't think anyone loves us enough drive us all over the state. We found a charter through Brancel Tours that would take our bikes on a semi from the finish to the start, and us on a bus along with them. We loaded up this morning and started the trek to Lansing.
The plan is to camp in Lansing tonight and then ride the bus to Orange City in the morning, where the ride starts. The one hitch is that, growing up in the eastern greater Los Angeles area, I never camped. There's not great camping in Colton. I've never put up a tent and don't have all the wisdoms. Luckily, Strange has some glamping experience, so he's at least watched others put up his tent (I kid, I kid).
On the way here, we made an impromptu stop at a national park that we saw a sign for. It was a monument to local Indian effigy mounds. We stopped, visited the museum at the ranger station and learned a ton about our state.
We got here, got our bikes loaded on the semi, and found our spot among the tent city.
Our tent is up, we had an outstanding keto-friendly meal at a local bar and grill, and the mosquitos have found us. I feel like I'm having the full camping experience and totally loving it.
Lansing is a gorgeous town of about a thousand, seated in a picturesque location on the Mississippi River. We learned that it's called the "driftless area" because the glaciers didn't come through and flatten it. It's a hilly area and we'll be riding it next Saturday.
The fire station is hosting quite the party up the road and people are already making friends. On our way back from dinner in town, Strange and I walked past the police station and city hall. A car of people stopped at a group of police officers on the side of the road to ask for directions. As we walked around, they pulled away and nearly ran me over. One of the policemen laughed and said, "Well, whaddaya expect? They're from Vermont."
Well, wait until you hear where I'm from, buddy. But, I'm very quickly becoming an Iowan.
I'll try to update this humble blog each date, but more frequent pictures of this fair state and bike riding tomfoolery are available via Snapchat (@drisis, for the LOLZ).