Shakedown, Day 2

While there is something cozy about camping during a storm (as long as there is no drama like falling tree limbs or gale-force winds), it’s also nice to sleep inside. The storm seemed farther away and the flashes of lightning bounced behind my eyelids as I slept.

Gus, a postal worker, had left for work at o-dark-thirty, although Larry went up to see him off. Sally fixed me breakfast when I got up and we sat and chatted for a long time. Finally, late-morning we headed up the road (even though Gus and Sally live right off the trail it’s inaccessible to La Porte). There is a legendary bakery there and, as it was graduation weekend, we snagged some of the last baked goods.

Here’s a fun fact about La Porte City. Did you know that the actress Annette Bening grew up there? And she still has family there? She brought the fam by for a family reunion a year or so ago.

By now we were deep in the heat of the day and a SW wind had come up (headwinds!) so it was clearly time to head back.

Hot though it was, the air was cooler in the shade of the trees that line the trail. First, though, we had to backtrack to see just how badly the bridge was damaged by the flood of 2008. Check for yourselves, friends.

After making me stand on the side of the bridge so he could take a picture of it in the background! I got to take one of Larry standing farther back? The joy of NOT having a fear of heights.


The trail back went faster. I was getting some good experience handling the loaded bike on the overgrown limestone trail. Think single track without hills.


By the time we got back to Center Point, which is where the trail was closed for replacing, we were tired and hungry and hot. We toyed with checking into a hotel but didn’t come across one so we rejuvenated ourselves the RAGBRAI way, with a greasy bar meal and a nap in the park.

Feeling like a Rogue of the Night, we hit the surface street. It was dark by then and the skinny moon was obscured by clouds. It. Was. Dark.

This is how I looked when we got to the trailhead in Boyson. I look like my mother. When she was 75 or so.


We had the last bit of trail to Hiawatha to ourselves. We sped along, fast, lit, and out-of-control, or something to that effect.


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