MONDAY 23 JULY 2010
Departure from Des Moines: 11:10 am
Arrival in Guthrie Center: 6:00 pm
Saddle/Total Time: 4:33:33/6:50
Average Speed: 11.6 mph
Wrong Turns: 0
Money Spent: $8.15
Woke up late. Little Rosa Parks was cuddled up, purring in my hands with her paws wrapped around my face. Ramon and I ate greasy breakfast at a little family diner. We hit the Des Moines trails and at one point, he turned around and we went our separate ways. I continued on the hottest, yet shortest biking day yet. My thermometer ranged from 92 to 103*F, depending on whether or not I was in the shade.
The Racoon River Valley Trail is paved all 45 miles between Des Moines and Panora. There were few people taking advantage of it, except for these two ladies I saw three times. First, they passed me, telling me there was a dairy shoppe in Redfield, then I saw them at the Dairy Shoppe. We chatted a bit. I told them I was heading to Council Bluffs. The third time, they were heading back from wherever they turned around.
"You know you're heading north, right?" one lady asked me. Told them I was going through Panora and Guthrie Center. "Oh, stop in Guthrie Center. A church should let you unroll your sleeping bag. Don't pay money for the motel."
"Someone will give you pie," the other lady said. I supposed Guthrie Centerites are nice folk. It was 7 miles down Highway 44 West from Panora to Guthrie. I stopped at a Methodist church right in time for their vacation bible camp dinner. I met the female pastor and another woman named Sherry. I requested hospitality and they offered me a spot, or, if I prefer, to go to the motel. I assumed they meant I could stay in the motel without paying. Then, they asked me to stay for the bible school dinner. The kids were all hyper and happy. We ate turkey sandwiches, chips, carrots, and lemonade.
Sherry drove me the half-mile to the motel on top of Tank Hill. She knows the owner. The owner is just as kind as everyone else I've met here so far; when I discovered I had left some things at the church, she drove me to pick them up, no questions asked.