Average speed: 10.1 mph
Vertical gain: 2,024 ft.
Current Elevation: 761 ft.
The first half of the day, I was heading east on Highway 34, with strong crosswinds from the right, that tended towards headwinds. After lunch, I turned left on Route 1 North, and now the crosswinds became tailwinds. The afternoon went very quickly.
It was a hot day, in the low-90s. It was not a big problem while riding, but in the evening, after I checked into my motel and walked a half an hour to dinner, I thought I was going to swoon from the heat. I did not have on my solar-protecting clothing.
Today was my earliest start in the morning so far on this trip. I was camped in the town of Ottumwa. All my previous camping on this trip was in the mountains, where it was cool, and in fact, often cold, in the morning. Last night, I never even got in the sleeping bag, it was so warm. I just lay on top of my air mattress, with the sleeping bag next to me, and sort of pulled it over top as the night progressed. In the morning, I awoke at 5 a.m., already warm. It was not comfortable just laying in the tent. So I figured, hey I’m up, may as well get going. I packed up and was on my bike at 6:31.
I rode to a diner three miles away on the way, Riverside Family Restaurant. At 7:53, I was riding after breakfast.
Lunch was at Riverside III Family Restaurant, in Fairfield. The waitress said it was different ownership from the morning restaurant, but they seemed awful similar. And the food was good. I dawdled over apple pie and tea for dessert.
In the afternoon, I stopped to chat to a farmer, who answered many of my questions about how the farming works. He explained that the sprayers I had seen on previous days carried a 500 gallon tank, which was good for 53 acres. Most fields are much bigger than that, and so they get resupplied from trucks in the field. I have seen this happen.
This guy was about 35 years old, and had grown up in the farmhouse we were standing in front of. Now he lives in a nearby town, but comes to help his father work the farm.
He explained about the different crops, the different silos, and how the crops are harvested and taken to the grain elevators. It was all really interesting.
Tomorrow, I will reach Muscatine, Iowa, on the Mississippi River. That is also where I will reconnect with the Adventure Cycling routes.
This trip is really moving along!