I rode the last three days (210 miles plus) this year – but my husband and son rode the whole week (500 miles plus) from Sioux City to Davenport (actually Moline, Illinois, where the Team Skunk bus was parked). Here’s the stuff I (and they) liked the best.
Most charming little overnight town: Eldora – beautiful courthouse and square; Storm Lake close runner up.
Best meal: pulled pork sandwiches at the Masonic Lodge in Wilton, Iowa (Day 7); runner up – Mexican restaurant in Storm Lake (Day 1) and Monica’s for pasta Bolognase in Coralville (Day 6); homemade glazed donuts from Bread Garden in Iowa City; the Skillet where we hunkered down during a rain storm in Mount Vernon (although still miss the Lincoln Cafe there).
Best homemade lemonade: Not the chemical stuff – lemons, sugar, water. outside Moscow, Iowa
Best ice cream: the The Outside Scoop (food truck from Indianola and visits Des Moines weekly!) Best flavor: lemonhead custard.
Best overheard comments:
“I’m kind of leaning towards Walker – he’s the governor of Wisconsin”
“Great shirt – I’m tired of looking at all these bike jerseys” (someone praising my son’s Kafka shirt)
“I used to think this guy I work with from Iowa was such a nice guy. Now I realize after being here he’s not that exceptional.”
Toughest ride/but most gorgeous scenery: Day 5 from Cedar Rapids to Coralville (via Mount Vernon, Lisbon, Coralville Dam.)
Most memorable shower: Cattle wash at the Hardin County Fairgrounds in Eldora.
Awesomely generous overnight hosts: Jim and Myrna in Cedar Rapids (great company, conversation, shower, dinner, bed, tour of revitalized NewBo area and beyond downtown)
Best beer garden: Back Pocket Brewery; runner up: Jackson Street Brewery in Sioux City