Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Day 24 - Cambridge, IL to Muscatine, IA
Mileage of the day: 58
Total mileage of the trip: 1122
I would like to apologize to my audience as the day did not bring much interesting news, scenery or happenings. As I began my pedal strokes of the day I took joy in the lack of wind. When I looked across the vast flat lands of western Illinois I saw the windmills dead in their tracks. I felt sadness for these powerhouse machines for their nonproductive day. I only allowed myself a moment of sadness before I continued flying through the day with no wind to contend with. I crossed the Mississippi River to enter Iowa.
My words cannot possibly begin to describe how much the people enjoy helping me through my journey. These two quick stories might help demonstrate.
The apple: I was craving an apple and I pulled into a convenience store in a small town and asked the clerk if fruit was available. She said, "No sweetie, but I brought an apple for my lunch and I would love for you to have it!" I could not fight with her long and accepted the apple graciously. I sat outside on the curb enjoying my crispy snack and three different men walked into the store and asked me, "Can I buy you a Gatorade, or anything?"
The duct tape: I needed some duct tape to repair a minor part on my bicycle and I asked random folks as they walked into Walgreens if they might have some in their car. One man, named Bill, checked in his car and came up with nothing. He wanted so desperately to help me, he offered to buy a roll and I could have as much of it as I needed. I felt terrible when I told me I had come up with a different solution and I did not need the tape any longer. He lingered in an almost pleading way to provide any assistance. Before he went into the store he said, "I have grand kids, and if they were on a bike trip I would hope people would take care of them, are you sure there is nothing I can do to help you?" It broke my heart to tell Bill I was 100% taken care of and I needed nothing.
I arrived to my host's, Nicole from couchsurfing, by 5:00ish and after tending to all of my needs we went downtown and had some fabulous Thai food! We also hung out with her family as they only lived one block away. It was a lovely evening and I had a great time getting to know Nicole and her family.