RAGBRAI Day 5: Knoxville to Oskaloosa
July 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
Sorry for any delay in this post! We RAGBRAI riders are devastating the data connection here in Oskaloosa.
Another gorgeous day in central Iowa! A cool start to the day led to a high of just 82 degrees, making the day extraordinarily comfortable. Some puffy clouds dotted the landscape with shade, making some great scenery and preventing sunburns. The ride was another short one – just 2 or 3 miles longer than yesterday. The ride was hilly, but not quite as much yesterday.
We got onto the RAGBRAI route at 7:22 again. At this point, we may or may not be trying. Knoxville didn’t give us a spectacle of an exit like Des Moines did, but it was fine because of the great views of the area in the low morning sun. Breakfast was egg sandwiches with bacon and cheese about ten miles in. They were delicious as always, but not deserving of a photo feature on the blog.
We crossed a massive earthen dam before arriving in the town of Pella, home of the famed window and door company. We never expected the town to be so strange, however. It seemed like a hybrid between a suburb and a farm town, with clean streets, nice homes, and a golf course right next to corn fields and barns. Besides the layout, what really stuck out was how Dutch everything was! A great majority of the residents were blonde, we were invited to wooden shoe races, wooden windmills dotted the skyline, all the food in town was Dutch, and there was a massive tower dedicated to the Dutch tulip. Evan doubts Holland could be more Dutch.
Most of the rest of the ride was largely uneventful. The towns were very spaced apart, so there wasn’t much to to except pedal. The expression “pass the corn” has changed in meaning from something you might ask on Thanksgiving to a synecdoche for the entire journey. There was a break right near the end, however. Someone offered their shady front lawn as a respite from the ride, laying out towels to lie on and pet goats and chickens to take pictures with. Very Iowa.
The town of Beacon came right before Oskaloosa and offered live music in the form of one elderly man playing the sousaphone and shaking a tambourine. It wasn’t that great, but it was clear he was having the time of his life. You go, sousaphone man!
Our campground is slightly past Oskaloosa in the town of University Park. The tent city is in a shaded park, keeping everything cool and allowing us to rest for another great day tomorrow!