Friday, June 24, 2016

A rest-less night, literally...

...But before leaving Iowa City we did manage to locate the 'lost' package of electro-mix right at the postal station it was intended for. This, after one bicycle trip, 2 Uber rides and a plea for help from a Post Office employee. All in a day's work!  That evening, my Iowa City 'Couchsurfing' hosts (a lovely international, intergenerational household), drove us out to a restaurant in nearby Kalona, in the heart of Amish country.  Tidy goat farms, horses, buggies and women in bonnets - picturesque as anything.

After a hot and muggy walk the next morning, I paused in the town of West Liberty and went looking for a camping spot, and in this case judgment failed me in my choice of location.  Afternoon was spent writing and showering at a public swimming pool. And as I was settling down for sleep I was visited by the local constabulary, nice officers who moved me over to the (off-season) county fairgrounds where camping is permitted.  There had been rain forecast for that night and was another reason for their concern (aside from the 'private property' issue.) Had it still been light, I'd have had time to scope out the situation, but as it was I made yet another unfortunate choice(!), and situated myself under a large roof in a semi-sheltered place - with a drain in the concrete floor below (which should have been a clue!).  A serious storm blew in on schedule, one that my little tent would never have withstood. And just as it seemed that the worst of it had passed by, it started pouring in earnest (and thundering, and lightening-ing), and kept it up all night.  Needless to say, the shelter floor was soon flooded out and, after jamming stuff into whatever bags were nearest at hand, I took cover in an animal barn where I was able to hang sodden tent parts on the dusty racks and shelves that stood in there.  And there I sat until the birds began to wake up, and it was light enough to see and re-pack! 

It would have been a good day to stop and recover, but I'd made an arrangement to meet with an local matriarch in the next town of Wilton, and so I set off again under still-threatening skies, and sure enough, before long a 'severe weather alert' had been posted on my phone.  No surprise when it started raining again.  After a few miles a nice lady stopped and offered a ride (her teenaged daughter silent and frowning disapprovingly),  Whimpering slightly, I accepted, and was delivered to another vintage motel, unprepossessing from the outside, but scrupulously clean, where, after keeping the aforementioned appointment, I had an early night. Sheesh.

Now in Davenport - tomorrow (weather permitting) I will cross the Mississippi River!

Vintage soda fountain (Candy Kitchen) in Wilton, IA - set to re-open soon with new owners.

Parents of the new owners let me inside to take a look.

The local lady I met had run this business with her husband for about 50 years.

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