Trip Start May 19, 2010
Trip End Jul 24, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. It is very easy to slip out of the habit. I'll give some of the highlights since Lincoln.
Lincoln - In route to Lincoln, we found a kitten on the side of the road. Nicolette barely missed running him over with her bike and we stopped to check him out. Amber, being the big softy she is, decided to keep him. We named him Bradshaw York the First because he was found between Bradshaw and York county in Nebraska. His name is pretty ridiculous though so it might change. We made it into Lincoln and got help unloading bags at the Marriot Corn Husker (always a plus). The hotel was awesome, but really crowded between us, a singing group and two weddings. Nice hotels are always fun, but smaller hotels are better for us to take over. Once we dropped luggage we took Bradshaw to Petsmart and the vet to get him all set up. We managed to sneak him into the hotel too in Josh's pocket since he weighs only a pound. The rest of the day was pretty good until I got word that one of our riders didn't stop at the meeting spot outside of town and continued on into Lincoln. He got pulled over by a cop too and unfortunately it was not the first time he didn't listen to safety matters. He was sent home the next day, which stinks because I really liked the guy, but I could see the point in regards to safety. We had dinner that night at Misty's which was good except I filled up on their bread. The next morning we had breakfast with Senator Bob Nelson at the hotel which was a nice opportunity for staff and the riders. I spent the majority of the day enjoying the hotel and resting, but I did venture out later that night to go see a Saltdog minor league baseball game. It was pretty fun and I ended up staying almost until the 7th inning. That is definitely one of the perks of this job - all the free stuff!
Shenandoah - We left Lincoln early that morning (stopped off at Panera first for some breakfast and coffee shhh) and quickly made it into Shenandoah. We had a last minute hotel change too because the town paid not only for our hotel rooms, but also gave everyone their own room. The hotel was very cute too - right in the heart of their downtown. I spent the majority of the day cleaning out the Queen which had managed to get pretty gross from all the luggage. As the riders started coming in, more and more people showed up to support the riders. The town really pulled out all the stops for us, not only giving us our own rooms, but also providing us with a great BBQ cookout, free tickets to the local movie theater (finally saw Toy Story 3 - so good!) and providing us with a free breakfast. As if that wasn't enough, they also managed to raise 1,800 dollars. I was floored by their hospitality.
Mt. Ayr - We left Shenandoah after a great breakfast (french toast!) and headed to Mt. Ayr. The town also paid for our hotel rooms and provided us with a really cool dinner. They brought out about 10 tractors and led us on a open air shuttle over to the American Legion. At least 100 people showed up to support the riders and gave them a standing ovation as they came inside. It was really moving to see all of their support and respect that they have for everyone. The food (as always) was great too since many people brought their best recipes. They gave everyone free t-shirts too and live entertainment. I'd really have to say, Iowa has been (surprisingly) one of the best states.
Centerville - We left this morning, early again, and headed on to Centerville. I felt for the riders on the drive over because the road was pretty rough, but I didn't hear many complaints later. Amber and I essentially got the day off too since Jeremy is now in the other vehicle and can go back to sweep the route. We made a few more signs, tried to find a car wash for the Queen (HA!) and made a quick stop to the post office. Other than that, I was able to relax until around 3 when the riders started showing up. We had dinner at the city square too which was in the middle of their downtown. Lots of people came out to support the riders and I talked with a couple of WW2 vets. Brian and I snuck away at one point too and got a really good Peach Pear Apricot smoothie at Tangleberries. Today has been a rather drama free day, thank goodness. Tomorrow we have about 80 some miles to Fort Madison where we have another rest day. I'm looking forward to seeing the Mississippi River for the first time!
PS. Anyone know the difference between the Elks, Mooses and Eagles? They are all different organizations supporting us in Fort Madison, but I can't keep them straight.
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