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Because of poor VERIZON signal strength along the Mississippi River Iowa Ridge the past few days, we once again combine two days in one blog update.
After spending a restful night in Barbara's GUTTENBERG MOTEL, we took breakfast at 6:45 am...setting off North on US 52 early...only to be greeted by one of Iowa's steeper hills to climb up out of the Mississippi River Valley...then, further delayed by road construction equipment cleaning up after the recent heavy rain flooding.
Our original destination of POSTVILLE, IOWA, was summarily cut short upon coming face to face with a most unique lady as SAM and ME entered the small but entrancing village of GARNAVILLO, IOWA. The next 24 hours stopped my world turning...
US 52...looking back on the riverside town of GUTTENBERG, IOWA.
Water Fountain in one of the many tidal basins of Guttenberg, Iowa.
Heavy local rains produce prodigious amounts of flood water draining into the town of Guttenberg. The tidal basins collect this runoff, keeping the down mostly dry.
Guttenberg Tidal Basins...looking South.
Please say HELLO to LINDA and GARY...out for an early morning ride. We all three started the steep climb up US 52 to EAGLE RIDGE, some 2.5 miles distant...with Gary's parting goodbye..."..have a good climb !! ".
Road Construction Crew Flagman.
Heavy equipment cleaning up US 52 hill up Eagle Ridge after the flooding rains of the past few days.
Near the top of the hill...looking back into the Mississippi River Valley.
Our final clear view of the Mississippi River...from here, we follow US 52 as it turns North West...away from the river...and out onto the broad plains stretching all the way to the Rocky Mountains...still some 1,000 miles to the West.
EAGLE RIDGE Water Tower.
US 52 crests atop Eagle Ridge.
...returning the endless panorama views...
A Chicken Ranch....perhaps one of the top foul-odorous places to walk...passing chicken hauling 18-wheelers carry the smell with them, too. Wondrous how such a tasty creature can produce such an obnoxious smell.
The far distance holds a small town...to capture my attention for the next 24 hours.
Please say HELLO to SUSAN and BOB...to become our hosts and in the case of Susan, mutual confidant.
Some of Bob's artistic handiwork...a new Fire Department Water Truck...created by Bob from the remains of an ancient retired Army Truck.
Not only is Bob's TOP GUN, probably the County's most lucrative business, Bob is also a volunteer Fireman, EMS Responder, and City Council Member.
Another of Bob's handiwork's.
Bob confided that wife Susan, a highly successful business woman of her own right, can be very persuasive...and did I ever fall into her Aura.
...not that I made ANY effort to wiggle free ...
As SAM and ME walked up to the TOP GUN property...including the 1800s home pictured above...in which I spent a restful night in the bedroom top-left..., Susan RAN out to intercept us.
Seems Susan had seen SAM and ME walking for the past two days and decided we would be her guests if and when we passed by. We did (pass by)...and she did (become our hostess).
Bob, his nose - and all else - engrossed in his spotless clean auto-body shop, was rebuilding for the third time a nearly new Chevy Sedan. Susan took the moment(s) to chat with me for hours on end...SAM and ME's walking far away on some other planet.
Without going into details of our near railroad track lives, enough to say I became captivated...to the point that I suggested to Bob he might want to consider me as his employee (so difficult, says he, to find good ones).
After only 15 miles walked, I agreed to spend the rest of yesterday chatting and being "toured" around town by Susan...staying on for dinner...staying on to sleep the night in their historic home...to be driven in the early morning by Susan some miles along US 52 - to make up the miles she had stolen from SAM and ME.
I again passed by the Soldier's Memorial in City Park...which, says Susan, will hold over 500 visitors on July 4 for the most spectacular celebration - and parade - any small town ever put on in the entire good ole US of A...and she should know, having been the exception to the rule that most middle Americans rarely travel more than 50 miles from their birthplace during their entire lifetime.
One last photograph of main street Garnavillo as Susan drove SAM and ME North on US 52.
Saying good bye is always a difficult moment for me to all the hundreds of new friends we have met in the past three + years walking America. Saying good bye to Susan was it's own unique moment...I remember little of the next many hours of walking behind SAM...indeed, it is now nearly 2:00 am (midnight) early in the morning of June 29...and I am still not thinking clearly.
Perhaps tomorrow I will be better...June 30 takes me one year closer to 80 !
...even so, the streams continue to flow...
...the silver road continues to stretch to the horizon...
...the crops continue to grow on terraced Iowa farmland...
...and, the evening skies continue to gather storm clouds for the coming rain...
...it is not too clear in my head..., SAM and ME's entry into the city of DECORAH. I know I missed a turn back on IOWA 51, adding nearly 8 miles to our walk...so much for gaining miles being driven by Susan this morning...
I know a Decorah Police Car pulled up alongside SAM..."...are you OK...?"
I know we checked into the local SUPER 8 Motel ($92.00), wolfed down "all you can eat" Cod Fish in the hotel restaurant pictured above. I know I have been at this computer since 6:30 pm yesterday (it is now past two o'clock in the morning) evening - now more than seven hours of manipulating hundreds of photographs into a (hopefully) rational storyline, creating and posting blog updates for the last three days.
I will now post this final (and current) update to both GOOGLE and FACEBOOK.
Then, will take a hot shower.
Then, slip into the feathers and listen to my six - yes six - pillows...
for, "Tomorrow Is Another Day"
- Gone With The Wind -
Early tomorrow morning, SAM and ME will walk and roll ever North and West on US 9...our attempted destination, the town of CRESCO...or perhaps the wee village of CHESTER, some 30 miles distant.