A head pops out of a passing vehicle and screams, “Tax fucking all scum, doob!” in my general direction.
A cannabis policy recommendation? Am I being insulted? My cold-addled neurons finish rearranging the phonemes and I get “That’s fucking awesome, dude!” The head is commenting on the bike. I flash a smile and a wave. Road rage incident successfully averted.
I leave the ACA Northern Tier route in Muscatine, Iowa and use the Great Rivers South route to connect to the Bicycle Route 66 west of St. Louis. This takes me to the east bank of the Mississippi through Illinois for a couple of days.
After nearly 3000 miles (5000 km), I finally meet a couple of fully-loaded, self-supported, long-distance cyclists of the camping variety. Molly and Scott (@mollyann.scott) are heading to the gulf coast from Iowa City. They just started their tour a few days ago and are gradually building up their daily distance. At least I’m not the only one camping out here in this freezing weather.
The evening campfire becomes more than just a wasteful reversal of carbon sequestration but a genuine morale booster, keeping away the chill.