Thursday’s route travels just 54.6 miles but we will start to experience some hills as we climb 2,257 feet. We will visit the towns of Ionia and New Hampton for the first time in 40 years! We will also make our inaugural visit to Lawler and then a final stop in Protivin before heading north to Cresco. Thursday is RAGBRAI Jersey Day.
Unfortunately, at this point we lost all ability to use cellular data and were actually enjoying some cellphone silence. This was a great day for all of us and the ride was very easy. It has been fun for the closer we move East as all of these towns were very familiar to me during my childhood. Notable memories for me were seeing a young man traveling along the route in a conventional wheel chair. Saw one older man that was a double below the knee amputee with prostheses that was riding on a conventional bike. He even clipped in which I though seemed very risky as it seems like it would be a challenge to unclip. I also met a nice 8 year old boy on a very fancy road bike (along with Dad) that was riding the route to Cresco.
Cresco is a very familiar town to me being so close to Decorah and Ossian (my boyhood home). Noah was able to find a very nice camping spot at the local county fairgrounds right next to the race track and the crew felt that a trip to Decorah in the truck was in order. Lee and Dan were excited to head to Mabe’s Pizza in Decorah and enjoy some of the food we both enjoyed while attending Luther. After that we headed back to the campsite and called it a night, prepared for our trip through a part of Iowa that brings back many memories to all of us, but especially me. More on that a little later.