Canyon Run 2007 – Day 12

We breakfasted at the Terrace Grille in the hotel. This restaurant is decorated on every wall with detailed frescoes of Roman and tropical scenes. We sat close to one and are pretty sure it was hand-painted in place.

Apparently we were not supposed to park in this garage. When we tried to leave the attendant pointed at the “circle-slash motorcycle” symbol on the gate. Hey, we just did what they told us at the hotel. It took a 10-minute phone call with the supervisor for her to finally let us out – at the cost of one parking space.

We had hoped to avoid the wind by getting an early start, but it decided to start early too. Thus it was another 300 mile eastward slog leaning the whole way. Reports had the winds at 20-35 knots. Willo’s tank bag came loose again, and she also lost her iPod remote. This was too bad as it was a piece of junk and she was hoping to return it. The buttons on this remote had the habit of sticking “on” – so if you push the “volume up” button you end up with full-blast audio; if you push the fast-forward button you scan through an entire 18-hour audio book at munchkin speed. Do not buy a Monster brand remote for your iPod.

I was beginning to recant on my earlier opinion of the midwest as “not boring”. The land itself is beautiful, but everywhere else I’ve traveled, country like this is always followed by something else – mountains, ocean, river, something. This was all drum-roll and no cymbal crash.

We arrived at the house of Donald Chi in the early afternoon. Donald is in dental grad school in Iowa City, and he took us on a tour of the town. This was the perfect day to visit – school was out for the summer, so there weren’t too many people, but those who were around seemed young and hip. The day was warm but not muggy. The town felt like a miniature version of London or some other European city, full of coffee shops, pubs, bookstores and other interesting places. We paid a visit to the weekly farmer’s market, where we loaded up on cookies (not having any use for produce on the bikes – nor was there much, it being so early in the season). We found a great independent bookstore, where almost everything begged to be read. We dined outdoors at an excellent Italian restaurant. It seems we happened upon the tourist-brochure-perfect day in Iowa City, since in winter it’s miserably cold and in summer it’s sweltering and muggy. It was a wonderful way to finish the day.

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