Here in Junction City KS, Phil and I hiked across the street this morning to Stacy’s Restaurant. We found it to be a Republican hotbed of conversation. Seems like every other table was discussing the convention or something else wrong with America. Mostly pro-Trump, from what I could tell.
We took I-80 and mostly backroads to what we thought was Glenwood Iowa. Unfortunately, our GPS took us to the center of tiny Minneola Iowa instead – not sure why that occurred. More backroads took us to Glenwood, where well outside the town the roads were closed off. We decided to go around the barricades and eventually made our way to the high school, where Jack was already set up.
Wow! Here in Glenwood again. Five years ago, our Ride Across America had taken us to this place, where we’d camped three nights prior to RAGBRAI 2011. Seemed surreal to be here again. It was stiflingly hot then, and just about the same today.
We parsed out our gear, i.e. what would travel with us and what would stay in the car. Phil and I then set up our tents. Jack gave me pointers on the REI setup, since he too had a Half Dome. Then a drive over to the elementary school in Glenwood, where Jack had arranged to park both our cars during RAGBRAI plus another week. The extra week warranted an extra donation to the PTA, who promised the cars would be watched by patrol. They even had a special place for us to park, shielded from view by a garage building. Jack and I returned to the tents at the high school by bike.
Cars gone. Officially on tour. Soon enough, Jack, Phil and I headed out for fuel, which ended up being a Brick Red Ale at the Keg Creek Brewing Company. We then milled around the square in Glenwood, crowded with lots of merchandise and food booths, with a fun retro rock band belting out tunes in the heat. A friendly hippy-like lady wearing cloth wings approached me to discuss the plight of the monarch butterfly. I expected her to ask for a donation, but instead she simply asked me to participate in tossing out some “bombs” containing milkweed seeds during the ride. Sure!
Had fun watching a couple of (well…) homely ladies, probably stoned, rocking out to the band. Sorry, don’t mean to be judgmental, but they were just plain homely. They sure were having fun. Hey, I’m just describin’ the sights.
We finally returned to the Keg Creek Brewing Company for BBQ sandwiches and corn, and more beer of course. Oh man, that Iowa sweet corn!
It was a very good start to our RAGBRAI. Soak in the atmosphere. Let the spectacle begin!
We did our best to chill out in our tents, but conditions were really muggy. I laid outside on my back searching for stars to appear. I never did see any, but it was fun watching a 4-rotor drone dart back and forth in the sky above the sea of tents.
Riding around Glenwood, Iowa today: 2.8 miles
Cumulative Distance this tour: 2.8 miles