Tentist and the Teapot

Ashkum, IL.

I breakfast with Allan and lingered with conversation and coffee. I stayed until 8:00, the latest departure time to arrive at my campsite mid afternoon. I was only a few blocks away from my route so I began my journey again without delay.

The 15-20 mph wind was in my favor so the miles flew by quickly.

I really like these small Illinois road with nice views and low traffic.

I arrived at the Ashkum Village Park and visited with a few residents before looking for the best stop to setup tent out of the wind. I found a local pizza house that delivered and enjoyed my dinner. The low predicted tonight is 37°. I think fall is here.

Tentist and the Teapot

Wenona, IL.

Today didn’t start as usual with me riding off to the next place to sleep. I met Dave here at the campground, he and his wife are camping in a nearby site. Dave offered to ride with me to Wenona. As we rode we bonded a friendship while enjoying a bike ride together.

The rolling countryside through fields of corn and soybeans brought us into small rural towns. Henry, the town where we stopped for lunch is nestled on the bank of the Illinois River.

The ride ended in Wenona, where I has planned to camp in the City Park. This is a nice park with a restroom with a shower. A few minutes after I arrived and was settling in, two men stopped in to welcome me and asked if I needed anything. I told them that I was all set and thanked them. We began talking, they were curious about my tour. Allan offered to have me stay in his guest room. He shared with me the history of this town and dinner at the Boardwalk. 

Tentist and the Teapot

Kewanee, IL.

It was raining yesterday as I arrived in Muscatine so I got a motel room that was right on my route. The Travelodge Inn was cheap with no frills but within walking distance of food. This morning I want to leave early for the long day’s ride to Nancy’s campground, Johnson Sauk Trail Park. I ate a small loaf of banana bread before the motel breakfast buffet.

Johnson Sauk Trail State Park

I rode the bike trail around the city to the bridge crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. The morning fog was a raw cold and I dressed in fall clothes to start.

I stopped for lunch at 11:30 with 40 miles behind me. I removed my outer clothing, the sun was out and now it’s nearing 70°.

At Cambridge I left my route to Kewanee and followed CR 1200 in a straight line to the campground, shaving ten miles off today’s mileage. The day ended early in the afternoon with 75 mile. The last 16 miles were on a small county road that rolled through farmland with scattered wind turbines.

We went to Kewanee for dinner at Cerno’s Bar and Grill. What a great way to end the day.

Tentist and the Teapot

Muscatine, IA.

Cool start and cool all day, feels like fall.

Wind and rain in the forecast. I only got wet for the last two hours.

This will be my last night in IA. Tomorrow I cross the Mississippi River for the last time this tour.

Tentist and the Teapot

Oxford Junction, IA.

Yesterday was a frightening day. I was staying the morning with the dogs while Nancy went to a Thrift Shop a few towns away. I would then ride a short day when she got back. Nancy called me and spoke in a frightened voice, “I don’t remember the name of our campground, I don’t recognize the shop I just walked out of, I don’t even know how old I am, I think I might have had a stroke”. She said that she was about to drive but didn’t know where to go. I told her the name of the campground, New Wine Park, and told her to put this into Apple Maps and let it guide her back to our site. I googled hospitals and when she showed up we drove to the one in Dyersville. They brought her right in and started the examination. They told her that it didn’t look like a stroke but something called Transient Global Amnesia. They suggested we go to the Iowa University Emergency Hospital in Iowa City for an MRI.

We went back to the campground and picked up the dog to bring with us. We were there for just about twenty four hours before the doctors decided that she did not have a stroke. She was told that it was Transient Global Amnesia. We got back to the campsite around noon and tried to sleep.

Today after helping Nancy pack up the campsite I rode back to the route and then detoured to the Field of Dreams movie site. Nancy met me and we walked around the set.

Some visitors dress for the part.

Leaving the Field of Dreams I chose not to backtrack and get back on route. I rode back roads through farm fields to reconnect. The temperature was cool today, a high of 67°. I really enjoyed the rolling countryside.

I then headed south and east to my sleep spot at the Community Center in Oxford Junction.

Tentist and the Teapot

Dyersville, IA.

I left this morning in heavy dew with 97% humidity. The temperature warmed as I began the rollercoaster hills through farmland.

My route has taken me away from the Mississippi River and into the farms. The roads are quiet and have gentle long climbs with fast drops into the valleys.

New Wine Park is a nice County campground with some nice hiking trails.

After settling in Nancy took me out for dinner at the brewery in town, The Textile Brewing Co. their slogan is “If you brew it, they will come”. Tonight was Trivia Night so we formed a team with two women sitting at the table next to us. We had a fun time and enjoyed great beer and delicious food.

Tentist and the Teapot

Monona, IA.

A nice early cool start and enough miles to get me back on schedule made up yesterday’s low mileage.

I crossed the Mississippi River on a tall and narrow grate bridge.

I found a nice coffee cafe on the river bank and stopped in for breakfast.

There are more hills in the miles now.

Monona City Park is where I’ll sleep tonight.

Tentist and the Teapot

Stoddard, WI.

Today didn’t go as planned. I wanted to get to De Soto, another 20 miles farther, but every motel within riding reach was booked full. There aren’t any camping options either.

Leaving the campground

This town, Stoddard, has a nice city park but no camping allowed. I was able to get permission from the Sheriff to set up a tent for an overnight stay.

I’m glad that I did call the Sheriff, a park official came by at 8:00 PM and told me I couldn’t stay after the park closed. He checked my story and I was allowed to stay the night.

Tentist and the Teapot

Perrot State Park, WI.

After a wonderful sleep I woke to the sounds of Eagles and Sand Cranes. After coffee and visiting the women’s yoga group that were also camping here I headed out into the cool wind.

In Fountain City I stopped to visit Brone’s Bike Shop, Nancy found this on her way to her campground and suggested I stop. WOW! The perfect bike shop! They trimmed the inventory down to just high end bikes and components. Now comes the good part. This is a bike shop, coffee house, and ice cream parlor!! As I looked around the owner said that bicycles, coffee, and ice cream are the three most important things in life so he brought them all together in his business. We talked for an hour while drinking awesome coffee and a pint of the ice cream.

Sometimes you get the perfect roads to finish the day. I finished up on a road through the Trempealeau Wildlife Reserve to finish in Perrot State Park Campground.

Tentist and the Teapot

Stockholm, WI.

The best choice to camp determines the miles. I’m getting into more hills now. Today had a nice temperature but a bit of wind. I had a nice visit with Nancy when we met on the route as she was heading to her next campground.

I found where the Giant people lived, tell Jim V.

I’m now following the Mississippi River.

Tonight I’m sleeping in Stockholm City Park. My campsite is right on the bank of the Mississippi River