Tuesday Day 3: Jefferson to Ames
After the train bullshit it was time to say farewell to Jefferson, Iowa forever. I didn’t wait for coffee, I didn’t wait for a banana... I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. So badly that I didn’t even eat a clif bar, of which I have plenty. I literally left on an empty stomach.
The first town we passed through, Grand Junction, didn’t get the memo - there was NOTHING. Okay, I guess breakfast could wait for the next town, Dana. Dana is a town that appears to be so small that it’s population could very well be... Dana. Didn’t matter- my go-to RAGBRAI breakfast place was in Dana. I discovered that instead of just trying getting the breakfast bowl as I did on Sunday, for $2 more I could get that AND apple cinnamon nut French toast with strawberries and whipped cream. Hell yeah.
Finally having some fuel, I took off for the next town of Ogden. Between Dana and Ogden exists the largest windpower farm I’ve ever seen. It went on for miles and miles. There’s something so damn cool about those things. Ogden was pretty crowded. I stopped for a bathroom break and to refill my water bottles and went on.
I stopped briefly in the town of Boone. It had been almost four days since I had a Coke Zero and there was a gas station right there. Man, that tasted good.
I left Boone and then spent about five miles in bicycle heaven. Slight downward grade to the road, a strong tailwind, and perfect road- not a crack or pothole the whole way. It was awesome. Of course it wouldn’t last and the tailwind was gone for the day.
After some more miles of headwind I saw the same roadside tent as yesterday and stopped again for another banana and shot of pickle juice.
Before I knew it I was in Ames and approaching Iowa State’s football stadium. This was where the ride ended for the day, but not in the parking lot. They directed us to take a right and then we went through a tunnel and were actually on the field, doing a loop around. Pretty cool way to end a day’s ride.
I got back into camp, showered/changed, and then rode back to the stadium to meet Billy Jo’s cousin Shawn and her husband Joe, who live near Ames and did the ride for the day as well. We rode into the downtown area together and grabbed drinks at a local brewery with maybe the worst service I’d ever experienced. We then went to there house where I got to pet their goats and we had a great dinner and some drinks. Shawn drove me back to camp and I almost immediately passed out - exhausted. I woke up freezing so I got into the sleeping bag. Hours later I was drenched with sweat. I decided to just open it up as a blanket if needed for the rest of the trip. The things I’m learning about tent life :)