Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Days 2 & 3

Day 2 we woke again to blue skies and moderate temps. Our hosts live closer to Varina, the first town out on the route, which seemed like a convenient enough excuse for some of us to cut out the first 16 miles.

For all of the hills we battled the first day, day 2 was flat, flat, flat. The wind had picked up, but out of the East Southeast, and the route meandered enough to give us almost an equal amount of head/crosswinds and tailwinds.

Pocahontas was our first Dawghouse of the day, and the Hair of the Dawg was a big hit there. Later in the day we stopped at a golf course for a beer (we can't drink Hair of the Dawg ALL day!). As we approached the beer stand one of the bartenders shouted, "Hair of the Dawg!! I love your mix and have it at home!"

We rolled into Algona around 4:00 and went straight to Berte's Back Nine, our final Dawghouse of the day. They had an extra bar set up, where thirsty riders were happy to find a refreshing Hair of the Dawg margarita or mojito. They sold tons of them there. We were so lucky to find this spot. Not only did owner Leann promote our mix... she opened her home to us, complete with swimming pool! What a great way to end Day 2.

Day 3 we woke to find bodies all over the house, and poolside. Turns out Geoff, the owner of our favorite bike shop, and his team were camping out at Leann's as well. One of the guys gave me the forecast... 90+ degrees and wind gusts of 30 mph. Ugh.

The route was again, fortunately, flat flat flat. We set out to Wesley, and found the town, and Johnny's, Dawghouse #1, rockin'. We stayed maybe a little longer than we should have, and paid for it most of the rest of the day.

At a roadside stop, our riding companion and old friend from Mason City, mentioned a shortcut from Garner to final destination Clear Lake that would take 13 miles off the long last leg. I announced that I would complete the whole route, but by the time we got into Garner I relented. The sun and heat were brutal!!

I was happy to ride into Clear Lake, my home town, and spend the night at my sister's house, along with almost 50 campers in their back yard! As I'm typing this, bad weather threatens to the North. Hopefully it will slide off in a different direction so the thousands of campers in town have a dry and restful night. And now it's off to my own restful night, with hopes for cooler temperatures and tailwinds tomorrow!

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