Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Plaguing Central Iowa
September 4: I woke to the greasy aroma of bacon, always a great way to revive in the morning, preferable to smelling salts for certain. Trevor and Teeni cooked me and their four children a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, and cheese. During the meal we discussed some hot button topics in Iowa farming: subsidies, free-range vs. confinement, and the end of small farming amid the domination of massive agro-businesses like ADM and Monsanto. The couple wants their family to be able to eat natural and healthy local grown foods, but their goal is becoming harder to attain, even in an agricultural state like Iowa.
Our meal was not without some physical comedy, with the four kids showing off their ability to repeatedly injure themselves. Buster Keaton may be deceased, but his legacy lives still.
With my brain and stomach full I said goodbye. I left Highway 175, the first paved highway in the Iowa Territory, joining the Pioneer Trail thru Morrison and on to Grundy Center. I chose not to go to Dike, knowing we just aren't compatible.
As I went locusts hopped around me like numbers in a Powerball drawing. I reveled in their company for a bit, but was glad to see them finally go as I approached Grundy. Carrying a biblical plague in your wake is hardly the way to make a great first impression on the locals.
Either way Solomon Grundy is mad, so is Mike Gundy. Who is angrier? Watch the videos and decide in our interactive poll. Grundy Center itself was perfectly nice, I ate at the Pizza Hut there, visited the Dollar General, and left town.
Eleven more miles took me to Beaman, whose motto, "You're not dreamin' you're in Beaman," sounds as if it was stolen from one of the later "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. I would have preferred "another Beaman Coke please."
Unfortunately, Beaman, which had been my intended target for the day, did not seem to have a good park to stay in or any actual residents to speak with about lodging. The only restaurant was closed, the owners on vacation.
Still having some energy, I kept the wheels turning towards Conrad, just three miles westward. A walking path called the Comet Trail connects the two villages and I had traversed half the distance before fatigue slapped me down like a Rick James palm to the face. I could go no further - a conveniently placed strip of grass along the trail became my home for the evening. I planted the tent and my butt down there and shortly was asleep.
23 miles/1529 total miles