Day 26: River Life

Dara and I talked while Steve finished packing. Sounds like she’s doing a good job helping to raise her grandson. We took a great scenic ride along the river to the trendy Millhouse coffee shop. They had all the “B” ingredients for trendy: brick, barn wood, breakfast burritos, and bagels.

While riding to the bridge, I noticed Sherman’s nice vintage bike. He bought it brand new – a 1971 Schwinn Suburban. His daily routine was to clean up the bike path of loose gravel and overgrown trees and bushes. Thanks Sherman, it was great to meet you.

On the new bridge we met Doug and Leslie, self-proclaimed wheelchair buddies. They were amazed by our adventure and we asked Doug if we knew Sherman. “Not by name – but now I do”, he replied “I see him all the time”. Doug explained the story of the recent tragedy on the bridge – two young men were killed by a drunk person who drove on the sidewalk-bike path before they installed the bollards (posts to keep the cars out). So sad.

In Iowa, we rode along the river and thru Credit Island – so named because they would trade provisions for furs etc there. Oddly we saw a army tank there and learned the difference between a short ton and long ton (Americans use short ton of 2000 lbs and British used to use long ton 2240 lbs). How did I not know that!

We had a nice chat with Barry in Buffalo (Iowa that is) and we swapped stories of past bike tours. Lunch on the shore of the river was not complete without a quick swim in the Mississippi River. The next segment on highway 22 was not nearly as nice.

Finding campgrounds close to our route is often challenging. We saw one on google maps on the edge of Muscatine, but when we got there, they said google was incorrect – no camping here. They must have seen our hearts sink because they generously offered to make an exception and let us camp behind their education center (museum). Thanks Dave for trusting us!

We ate at least 3 plates worth at the nearby Chinese restaurant buffet for dinner. Yum!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 3 injured raptors – two owls and a hawk at the museum.

Scenic ride to the bridge and coffee shop
For Jack – our foodie friend
Trendy ingredients: brick, barn wood, bagels, and burritos
Sherman with his cool vintage Schwinn and his great attitude
Pathway on new I-74 bridge
Great conversation with Doug & Leslie
I had to laugh at the man eating turtle
I cooled off with a dip in the “Sipp”
Steve dipping his tire in the river
Short ton and long ton lesson
Thurston, one of the injured owls
The museum we camped behind
Steve made us feel at home with his hanging laundry

Summary: we rode 44 miles from campground in Hampton to Museum in Muscatine along the great river trail, the MRT (Mississippi River Trail, highway 22 and the city streets of Muscatine.

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