Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Trains are too Quiet - Fairport, IA


Left the sad little campgrounds at Davenport. A few loaded cyclists where departing, but none headed in the same direction as me. I'd not have been able to keep up, but it would still have been nice to know I wasn't leaving alone. I think I'd have felt better if Ragbrai had ended as intended, but I kept thinking about the bitter-sounding volunteer lady. Seven months for nothing. It bothered me that something as grand as Ragbrai ended with disappointment.

The flooding along the edges of Davenport was much apparent. I had to shove my bike through mud and foot-high heaps of algea left behind from the retreating waters. Debris floating through the river-side woods. I left it behind quickly and got onto the Great River Road national route, which I'll be following until I veer off to catch the Katy trail through Missouri. Near the city, the shoulders where badly paved and full of debris, but after passing out of the riverside industrial sprawl, which was interesting in and of itself, I was surrounded by field, grass, and wildflowers on gentle hills.

By 3pm, I called it quits. I was worn out from ragbrai, sore, and it was(of course) sweltering out. In Fairport, a tiny speck along the Mississippi, I spotted a little shelter by the river. The facility belonged to a civic club I forget the name of, and I relaxed there, ate, and read until the sun went down and the people went home. After five days of washing myself and my clothing under Ragbrai's communal water-stations, immersing myself in the river felt amazing. The Mississippi flows south, and I'm going with it - there is a comforting thought. A tugboat bore its many barges past. Several trains passed through, 50 feet from my camp. Compared to the noise and activity I had become accustomed too, these where unobtrusive guests.

Swamped bike trail in Davenport.

A thistle of some description. I'll have to learn more about these new wildflowers.

Road sample #1"

Flooding on the Mississippi

The river at Fairport, just next to my home-of-the-night.

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