I slept great last night. There was a short period of trying to figure out what animals were around me. Something galloping through the field to the west, probably a dear; something splashing in the pond to the north, sounds like fish; some coyotes howling and yipping to the south, sounds far enough away not to cause any problems. The next thing I remember is waking up with the sun already above the horizon.
The roads around the park were pretty busy for so early in the morning. As I was finishing loading my bicycle, I older fellow pulled up and asked if I had a good rest. He asked if I was part of RAGBRAI and we talked about my trip a little bit, where I had been and where I was headed. In this part of the country I think it helps to say I have family near Grand Island, NE and and heading in that direction. It makes me sound more local than to say I’m from Brooklyn. Although he didn’t say, I think he may have been the local sheriff checking on a call on his way into work. As he left, he looked at a piece of paper that looked a bit like a note from a message pad. Since I was already packed up, there really wasn’t anything for him to do or say about camping in the park.
I road the short distance to Mt. Ayr and stopped to get something for breakfast. There were remnants of RAGBRAI that had passed through the day before. A clerk at a convenience store told me they were serving 200 customers and hour yesterday. I tried to stop at the library for internet, but it didn’t open for a while so I pushed on.
I made it to Bedford by lunch. Their library wasn’t open yet either, so I found a park to eat and rest for a while. The library in Bedford was built by the Carnegie’s in 1916. There are Carnegie libraries throughout the plains that are still used to this day. What a great and enduring way for the family to spend their wealth, helping so many communities.
Iowa produces more pork than any other state. I think the pig farms are possibly the worst smell I have come across. I’m used to the smell of cattle farms and feed lots. Pig farms are on a whole other level of disgusting. Even the small farms smell bad enough to make to make you feel nauseous.
The hills are getting further apart. Over the last 20 miles of riding today, I only had four long climbs. It was pretty easy to make it to Clarinda by the end of the day.