Day 2 RAGBRAI-Onawa to Dennison-47 miles with 2020 feet of elevation

O’dark thirty with gear on the Penske at before 6 am with a 6 am rollout. 

With a cooler than normal day we headed out peacefully with day dawning. 

The scenery was beautiful. 

We rode over 18 miles to Farm Kids in Soldier, Iowa for breakfast. 

Julie Marders, a fellow rider with our Grind Kings group, after breakfast in Soldier she encountered this marginally socially acceptable duo riding along as only they could at RAGBRAI. Photo credit to her. 

We rode from their to Ute. It was the lunch stop. It was great although it was too early to eat. 

We left Ute and headed for Charter Oak and the headwind picked up and it a little challenging but more beautiful scenery. 

I got to the top and there was a state trooper who took a picture of us and then let us take a selfie. The featured image today. 

Bigger day tomorrow. Wi-Fi good at HS in Dennison. Peace out. The adventure continues. Namaste Tres

RAGBRAI-Day 1-Rider’s expo

A great collection at DesMoines Toyota. 

A sweet shuttle bus ride to Onawa, Iowa. 

I got a text from the candidate that the sister and brother in law were having a good time in AFRICA. 

Home sweet home in Onawa. 

We collected up and did the expo. Always the most amazing. 

New Bianchi Orso. 

The scene is always incredible. 

I am in the coolest building in town, the Onawa Public Library. 

Wi-Fi will be commodity of the week. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Indian Mounds, Tennessee to Des Moines Iowa

I had another great breakfast and a quick turn in the family cemetery. 

Gabby the wonder dog. 

The girl campers were returning for the family banquet tonight. Shout out to Mandy camper, Savannah, for subscribing to the blog. Killer. It was a loooooong drive with no real cool stops in an effort to be here by dinner time.  Drove by Hannibal, Mo home of Mark Twain. Lots of corn and soybeans. Met Rich and Chrysa for a quick dinner and early night. Need to load for RAGBRAI by 7 am. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Dunbar Cave State Park-Clarksville, Tennessee. 

I woke up and got to my front porch and Gabby greeted me and made herself at home. 

I had made a reservation for the Dunbar Cave at 9 am. Blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, ham and cheese omelet and more of that great grape juice. The girls were back for camp and it was Tara dress up day with tea and the Virginia Reel. 

I left everyone for the cave and Clarksville. 

The cave was a show cave that was used in the 1800 and 1900’s. Roy Acuff owned it at one time. It had been abandoned for a couple years in the 70’s before the state purchased it. The cave was heavy with graffiti and many columns had been vandalized. Some were intact. There were some big rooms and it was an 8 1/2 mile system. I walked the upland trail in downtown Clarksville, home of the Austin Peay State University Governors. 

I walked some the historic downtown and it was fairly quiet and I went to Dover to a place called The Land between the Lakes. Pretty cool. Quiet afternoon am getting ready for getaway tomorrow for IOWA. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Indian Mound, Tennessee on the way? to RAGBRAI. 

I had change up some plans due to work and found a great b’n’b in Indian Mound, Tennessee which was about 800 miles from Ruskin and a little more than half way to DesMoines, Iowa for my Grind Kings and Rich and Chrysa meet up. Lots of music while driving, an eclectic mix, N Fla and S Ga- the greatest live album ever, Live at Fillmore East-The Allman Bros Band, some Arthur Rubenstein playing Chopin, Aaron Copland-Appalachian Spring, Dave Brubeck-Time Out and a ton of  Creedence in Tennessee.  I arrived. This blog post will be for two days of activity. My cottage. 

The house owned by Mandy Williams my hostess who is great. 

The family cemetery. 

Mandy runs a girls camp and it is a type of old school country day camp with skills like biscuit making, pillow making, corn shucking, fresh vegetable sorting for the customers of a private local cooperative and apron making among other lost home skills it’s great. 

I rolled out on my ride with some good advise a little maps look revealed what my drive in had shown me I was in the middle of nowhere. A good ole fashion country breakfast of eggs, thick sliced country bacon, real home fried potatoes, 3 types of melon, homemade butter milk biscuits with you guessed it the best sausage gravy I have ever eaten. Made me think of my real good bud, Dave, who is pretty much a sausage and gravy addict. Mandy makes her own preserves and squeezes a local grape for juice that is incredible. The plan was to see some things from the drive in and then go across the Cumberland River on a car ferry near where I was staying and ride across the river. It was a tale of two rides. 

There is big farmland and it’s next to what looks like swamps. 

I rode to high spot with an old fashion water tower that was just like the one that was next to a place we stayed in summer. It was like a flashback. Did I say this a pretty good size hill for me? 

I got back to where I was staying and the road looked like this. 

It was pretty good hill to get up. “Country grade”.  I zoomed down the long hill that took me to the TDOT river ferry that took me to Cumberland City on the other side. Did I tell you it cost me 75 cents. Talk about cheap mass transit and ferry service. Round trip. 

I really think this ferry service is here is it allows people on the other side of the river to go to a day time shift at TVA Cumberland. 

Massive place. 

This is a fossil fuel, code for coal, power plant and at the visitor center they had a multiple directional car rinser. Sure made me think it was necessary to take a certain type of particulate off all those peoples new cars. I did not get very close to the visitors center. I was directed to head out to Erin, Tennessee. A quaint piece of Ireland in Tennessee. More climbing out of Cumberland City. 

It was as advertised. I love the Star of  David at the local Presbyterian Church. 

I was out and back to the ferry and to the orther side of the river. 

I will go to a Caverns tomorrow a little break after today. 37.5 miles with 1670 feet of elevation. It was great. Peace out.  Namaste Tres

Largest July 4 Parade in Florida-Brandon, Florida

Mariella and I marched with the East Hillsborough County Democrats Club at this huge parade in Brandon. We were forming up in the parking lot and Gwen Graham was marching in the parade, as well. See featured image. The Dems has a trolley car. 

A few pics of the sights and sounds. 

The candidate. 

The banner and crew. 

It was a great time and a lot of people got to meet a lot of candidates. 

Peace out. Namaste Tres

Big Bam-Cuba to Eureka-61 miles

It was the last day of the trip and we had 2680 of elevation. It was a great evening of Missouri Hicks BBQ and a great all female progressive rock band. 

The day was very overcast and it was a concern that it was really going to pour. 

We had breakfast at 18 miles and did not look back. My C2C friends were great all week. I will be back. My hosts, Rich and Chrysa, were so unbelievably generous. Peace out Namaste Tres

Big Bam-Waynesville to Cuba-57 miles. 

We headed out just before six. It was a big climb out of Waynesville and he did 2650 feet or so. The wing is slowly getting better and my C2C friends have been great. We went past Big Piney and Little Piney River. There’s was a bad bike accident on a downhill into Big Piney. C2C fellow rider and RN, Julie Wilmering was on the scene first and really did a fantastic job of managing a very confused head injured bicycle rider before EMS came. I arrived and the FD arrived 5 minutes later with an ambulance coming. She was incredible. Big Chapeau, Julie. The scenery is outstanding.

On to Newburg, Rolla, Fanning and Cuba. 

The C2C gang last night. 

Finish in Eureka tomorrow. Peace out Namaste Tres