We decided on a shorter day today as the hills and humidity are taking a toll on us. Enjoyed coffee and showers at the campground and talked to our new friend Fred.
Pretty cool to cross the Rothbun Dam as it is over a mile wide. The weather was not cooperating with us this morning and I am not complaining as we have been so lucky with weather all throughout our journey. The wind proved to be too much for me so 5 miles into our ride we stopped for cherry pie and ice cream. When we got to the highway the wind was blowing so hard we decided the safer option to be the backroads. This would add just a few extra miles. What’s a few more miles:)
We traveled thru the hilly countryside and towns of Moravia and Blakesburg. We had seen Eddyville on the map and wanted to stay in that town as we have a good friend that has a lake house in Eddyville, KY. Yes..we know we are in Iowa:). Tonight was a hotel night which I am quite fond of….checked in at the Eddyville Inn and spent the rest of the day checking out the local pubs. (2058 miles)
These photos definitely don’t show the wind
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Woke up at the Princeton Fairgrounds and changed in my little yellow house. Enjoyed a great breakfast at Homemade Cafe. I went to pay and was informed Chris and Orville Trainer picked up our check. We had met Chris the night before for just a few moments….yet ANOTHER random act of kindness during our journey. A few unexpected stops today due to one of my tires leaking. Today was a huge day for us as we entered Iowa, put in a 70 mile day, and pedaled across mile 2000! A fabulous end to our day was the wonderful Lake Rothbun retreat. (2019 miles)
Woke up to more news regarding heat warnings….figured we should get a big breakfast in at the Corner Cafe and check out the town before pushing out. Out goal was to pedal 25 miles before resting in Trenton during the hottest part of the day. We took a tour thru Jamesport which is an Amish community but it being Sunday there wasn’t much to see. Arrived in Trenton and quickly found a McDonalds to hang out at. We spoke to a super nice couple that convinced us to alter our route. They promised flatter roads and a wide shoulder:). A great move as the roads were great and we arrived in Princeton early evening. The bartender at Crossroad Bar and Grill helped set us up with camping at their local fairground. She even cleared it with the town sheriff:). Such a hot/sticky night we didn’t bother getting our sleeping bags out. (1950 miles)
Another day of rolling hills and Gene had a tough time getting going today. I am pretty sure he is low on fuel even though he blames it on bad nights sleep at a hotel. We stopped in Clarksdale and caught part of a softball game and after traveling through Maysville and Weathersby we had a really nice rest stop at Flannery’s. Really happy the road flattened out late day! We were able to catch some racing at the track and a livestock show in Galliston. The livestock show ended after dark so we headed to the Sandman Hotel. Gene wanted snacks so he stopped off at Casey’s and pulled in 10 minutes later with a police escort. I guess they wanted to make sure he arrived at the Sandman safely. (1898 miles)
Did we mention Atchison, KS gets the top rating for the hilliest town we have come across? We conquered a few more hills on the way out of town. We headed north on HWY 7 which also gets top billing for most dangerous road – narrow, no shoulder, and additional traffic due to bridge closure. It was not long before Gene navigated us to a back road…a road that turned out to be quite interesting.
We planned to cross the Missouri River at St. Joseph and time was of the essence as there was talk of levies breaking in this area. We saw the National Guard set up at several schools as we neared the river. My inquisitive guy talked to a few of the people in charge and they assured us the latest check on the levies pointed to “all good”.
I was exited to get to St. Joseph as it was not only a new state but family awaited us. We met Mark and Becky Reinig for dinner and a concert. We had a perfect evening to sit outside and enjoy the music and good conversation. (1838 miles)
Believe it or not this is the first morning where rain delayed our start. We rested in our tent and packed up late morning during a break in the weather. Our destination today was Atchison, KS where we couch surfed for the second time. We were fortunate to time our hours on the bike right as we did not hit rain until we pedaled into Atchison.
Our host Kyle along with his brother Derek and parents Marsha and Ron gave us a warm welcome. We enjoyed dinner with the entire family and look so forward to the day we are able to pay it forward and open up our home to travelers.
We had thought about crossing the Missouri River at Atchison but found out the area is flooded so we will travel further North to cross into Missouri. (1796 miles).
We woke up next to a fireworks tent which was my least favorite sleeping spot……
sorry no photos to share:( After a quick good-bye to the proprietors we started our day by pedaling through Ft. Riley. It was pretty cool they let us ride through the base.
The heat is not letting up and the humidity is kicking in. We definitely find the humidity a bigger challenge than the dry heat in Western Kansas. Our pedaling must go on and we are extremely thankful for the lemonade stands and community pools. We set up camp in the town of St. Mary’s which was a great stop as we met C.C. and had time to check out Saint Mary’s Academy and College.
The next day we enjoyed Banner Creek Campground near Holton, KS. We pulled into this campground on the lake early which afforded us to really enjoy our site – steaks on the grill and fireworks!
St. Mary’s College was founded in 1848 as an Indian Mission. It was operated by the Jesuit order as a seminary since 1931 and closed in 1968. In 1978 the Society of Saint Pius X purchased the property. They still do the mass in Latin and are very traditional including their dress, a majority of the women and girls wear dresses every day. The current college has no direct ties with the previous Jesuit St. Mary’s College.
Post written by Jenny Charles
Editor Gene Marcowka