Sunday, July 8, 2007
First post from Iowa.
I don't know how or why but at some point between when I was born and the beginning of this summer, I got the image in my head of a flat Iowa. IT IS NOT FLAT. It's also not brown and plain like I imagined. It's beautiful rolling hills of farmland. The sky seems bigger here, the colors richer.
Yesterday, I rode 87 miles. The day before that we rode 100. The day before, 88. That's why yesterday Amelia and I were in hysterics. When it's 95 degrees with a tremendously strong headwind and you get 8 miles out of your way and have to backtrack over a hilly gravel road, there's no better solution than laughter. I thought I was laughing hard the other day when Marie and Derrick and I were riding together and making up new lyrics to "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain." This topped even that. It was different laughter, I suppose. A reaction to that sort of ridiculous humor that these outrageous conditions embody. You can't do anything but laugh, and then suck it up and climb the hill while your back tire spins and your bike threatens to jump right off the road, all the while you're covered in dust because a 2 ton truck just drove by and spit up all the loose gravel. Oh, and you're covered in sweat so it all sticks to you. But it was hilarious. HYSTERICAL. Had we gone crazy? Maybe so. The "shower" we found awaiting us at the church in Marshalltown was probably the best I've ever had in my life -- a hose and an empty bottle of Dasani that we refilled with handsoap from the bathroom. What a day.
PS - We crossed the Mississippi River!