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ADT JOURNAL: CHAPTER 47
Hudson, Iowa to Geneseo, Illinois
This chapter was written and sent on the internet from the Ewe-Nique Bed & Breakfast in Geneseo, Illinois.
May 14, Thursday
We passed the northernmost point on the ADT today in George Wyth State Park. Heading south on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail we encountered south winds gusting to 30 mph.
We ended the day in La Porte City, stopping first at its bakery. Even though they were officially closed, the friendly owners welcomed us in. After chatting a minute with them, they got the newspaper next door to interview us and gave us each a free donut. We next met with the Mayor, Jim Lewis, for a little bit. These friendly small towns really add to the enjoyment of our trip.
40.7 miles, 10.8 mph, 3 hours, 43 minutes, 1195 miles total
May 15, Friday
We continued our ride down the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. Today was quite warm with high humidity. We again had a strong south wind but the rail trail is bordered by trees on both sides most of the way, so we were barely affected by it. A large dog ran alongside us for almost five miles, reaching speeds of 18 mph. Finally, we stopped at the Glory Hole Quarry and told him to iStay.i To our surprise, the dog stayed put and quit following us.
We rode into Center Point and the home of Tom Neenan, head of the Iowa Trails Council and ADT Coordinator for Iowa. After showers and lunch we drove 5 1/2 hours south (in Tomis car) to Columbia, Missouri to attend the ADT Society spring board meeting.
We had fun that night seeing all the state coordinators we had gotten to know last year and that we had seen at the fall board meeting. We also met Brian Stark, a 26 year old man from Nashville, IN. Brian is running the ADT from coast to coast, having started at Cape Henlopen, DE on March 8th. He is doing well and making good time, having reached Santa Claus, IN before being picked up by West Virginiais coordinator, Lu Schrader, so he could attend the board meeting as a guest. Brain is a great guy and we had fun trading trail stories and we gave him some contacts for further west.
26.5 miles, 10.6 mph, 2 hours, 29 minutes, 1222 miles total
May 16, Saturday
May 17, Sunday
On our car ride home, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant in the Amana Colonies. These villages were settled by Germans in the 1850is. They lived communally until 1932 and the iGreat Change.i Thereafter each family owned its own home. The colonies thrived over the years and are now one of Iowa's big tourist attractions.
May 18, Monday
While in Cedar Rapids, we stopped in the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library. Even though it is normally closed on Mondays, Roy tapped on the door until he roused David Muhlena, the librarian, who gave us a personal tour of a most interesting museum which displays Czech & Slovak history, dress, and immigration to the United States. Their website address is www.ncsml.org. Not far from there we rode through a Czech village, stopping at the Sykora Bakery. After getting on the Hoover Nature Trail, we got hammered by the weather again, this time with temperatures in the high 80is and more strong south headwinds. We seemed to be drinking gallons of water to no avail. Parts of this trail are not yet completed so we had to use roads in those areas. We spent the night in West Branch, the hometown of our 31st president, Herbert Hoover, after stopping to tour his birth home (a two room house), village, and gravesite.
54.3 miles, 10.4 mph average, 5 hours, 9 minutes, 1276 miles total
May 19, Tuesday
We followed the Mississippi upriver to Davenport where we had made arrangements to stay with Laurieis cousin, Kevin Brohm and his wife, Julie. Since we arrived in town a bit early, we stopped in a riverboat casino and won $7 on quarter slots to pass the time. You can tell weire really big time gamblers.
Later that evening we met Vern Gielow, a local trail supporter, plus a man from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and a representative from the Quad Cities Convention Center. As we leave Iowa, we know we have done more press interviews in this state than the rest of out trip put together.
61.6 miles, 12.6 mph average, 4 hours, 51 minutes, 1338 miles total
May 20, Wednesday
Back on the road, Harv rode with us to the start of the Hennepin Canal Trail and then returned to his car to meet us further down. The Hennepin Canal trail is a grass covered towpath which will be crushed stone or paved some time in the future. We rode for about two miles through a bumpy but newly mowed lane when we came to an abrupt end of our path. The canal had obviously previously crossed the Green River on an aqueduct that no longer existed. Trying to circumvent this problem, we first pushed our bikes through a newly plowed cornfield on the left but when it became obvious it was not the route, we tried another cornfield on the right. After about 1/2 mile we reached a road although by now the threatened rain had begun to fall. Bypassing this incomplete section on road, we met up with Harv and decided to give the towpath another try. Unfortunately, this grass had not been mowed and the tall weeds bumped against our panniers and slowed our progress. Next we encountered several fallen trees which we had to lift our bikes over and then softer mud which squished under our tires. The rain continued as we reached a road crossing and Harv went for sodas as we repaired a flat tire on Billis bike caused by a 2i thorn. When Harv returned, thunder clapped and the rain intensified. We decided enough was enough and we headed into the town of Geneseo to find a B&B (called the Ewe-Nique, they greeted these wet, weary travelers with big towels.) After a hot shower, laundry, and some rest, the day began to brighten.
37.7 miles, 10.6 mph average, 3 hours, 31 minutes, 1376 miles total
© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1998, Lynchburg, VA.