Woke up feeling fresh this morning, stomach seems to be all healed up. John made us Scottish oatmeal with raisins and vanilla almond milk with a touch of honey. Plus the best coffee we've had this trip. Well. I've had. Rachel's cutting her addiction loose and reverting to tea.
Goodbye's are always bittersweet and this one especially so. Naomi and John took such good care of us, so that while this could have been an extraordinarily low couple of days, it wasn't. Instead it was a treat to spend an extra day in a house full of art, adventure, clean sheets and generous meals. But pedal on we must so off we went.
We rode bike trails along the Iowa river almost the whole way to Cedar Rapids. The first segment, to Waterloo, was all paved, green light filtering through the veil of cedars (I assume, I don't know trees) that bowed over the path. Every so often we caught a glimpse of the river, of an old man with a cap and his fishing rod, of a couple of happy kids out on boats.
Construction blocked the bit of trail from Waterloo to Evanston, where we caught back up with it and rode an easy 20-something miles on a blacktop path through the riparian forest. The pavement gave way to gravel, then to dirt, sometimes totally grown over with grass, until 10 or 15 miles out from Cedar Rapids. Sometimes the mud got real sticky, catching the tires and making each pedal a slog. But for the most part, it was incredible to be off the road. One of the pieces of this trip I didn't really think through was that the best roads are often the most traveled.. or at least well traveled. So on a bike, we can only really access places you can access by car - until now. It looks like we're going to have trails almost clear to La Porte, Indiana, our next teaching spot.