DAY 27   JUNE 23   104.9 MILES

No hour of life life is lost that is spent in a bicycle saddle.  
                                                                        Winston Churchill

Rising at 6 AM, we were clipped in and pedaling to breakfast only 30 minutes later.  Shortly after our departure, a light rain began to fall.  It lasted only about 30 minutes and dampened us nicely but we were dry shortly afterward.  The skies threatened for the remainder of the morning but the sun finally prevailed around noon.

The mighty Mississippi came into view around 11 AM.  As we crossed it, we entered the state of Iowa.  Lots of photos were shot for the occasion.  I was surprised at the width of the river so far north.  It appeared to be about half as wide as it is in southern Louisiana.

It is interesting that, while the color of most of the barns and other farm buildings in New England are red, they are mostly white or grey in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.  Originally, barn wood was preserved by coating it with linseed oil which gave it a reddish hue.  The red color was continued when paint became the preservative.  The farmers of the mid-west prefer the lighter colors due to the lack of heat buildup in the summer months.  Some of them, however, continue with the red color for the sake of tradition.  

The hills have returned!  However, they do not compare to those in New England.  These are considered "Rollers" as they are much shorter and have considerably lesser grades--fortunately!  Most were only three to four percent climbs and could easily be negotiated.  Of course, the Rockies and Cascades still await us.

Who crossed the Mississippi and swallowed up another state before lunch today?  We did! 

Tip:  To gain the best results from your riding, go out and purchase the proper equipment.  Padded shorts and padded gloves, a bright colored jersey, a taillight, cycling sunglasses and, of course, a good helmet.