Friday, July 17, 2009

Record Cold Temps in the Midwest!

Pictures: Laundry day in Shabbonna, IL; A Sunny Day in IL; Not all roads are paved!; Liquid Sunshine Blocking the Road in Iowa.

17 July 2009 Sabbonna, IL to Coralville Lake Resivoir, IA 167 miles

We woke up to absolutely clear blue skies this morning—not a cloud in site! Dressing in shorts and t-shirts in anticipation of the warm weather, and the even warmer floor heat in the car, we drove into Sabbonna and found probably the nicest laundry mat we have frequented on this trip. While our clothes were swirling in the machines, we went next door to the Kountry Kitchen for breakfast. By the time we got done with breakfast, the sky was filled with clouds… there was not one spot of blue sky to be seen. So with cloudy skies above and ahead of us, again, we turned west along route 30 and the Lincoln Highway.

Most of the drive today was uneventful. We got a few sprinkles along the way, but most of the big rain was to the south of us. Our gas mileage was not so good …we did have a pretty good head wind , and sometimes a crosswind, for much of the day—right around 24 mph or so. We crossed the Mississippi from Fulton, IN into Clinton, IA—it is interesting to see how the river changes from the south to the north. In an effort to bypass the busy divided highway along route 30 in Clinton, we tried to catch a smaller road just north of it, but for whatever reason, missed it completely. After heading north for about 10 miles, we took one of the westward dirt farm roads until we came to another paved road. It was actually kind of fun…and I must say, this dirt road was smoother than many of the highways we’ve traveled on in California!

When we stopped in De Witt, IA for a bit to stretch our legs, we nearly froze. “NO,” he tells me…”you won’t need a jacket…we’re going through the south and the Midwest in the middle of July!” It was a “cool” 59 degrees at 2:00 in the afternoon. Even David is admitting that he is cold. According to the newspapers, this area is experiencing record low temperatures for mid-July, the last one set in 1883 or something like that.

On the road again…we continued west and finally decided to stop for the day as we were just east of Cedar Rapids . Heading south on the way to the second campground (the first one was filled to capacity), Hannah routed us on a dirt road which ended up being washed out due to recent rains, and the fill level of the reservoir. Dave got me going when he put the car in first gear and made it look like he was going to go straight through the water—I admit, I freaked and started yelling. He did turn around, and as we made our way out the dirt road, a mom and her fawn—complete with white spots—ran across the road in front of us. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera in hand, as I was still yelling at David!

We are stopped for the night at a beautiful campground on Coralville Lake called Sandy Beach. Clean, spacious, with great level RV sites, as well as tent camping sites. They only had one tent site left available, but when they found out we were only needing it for one night, they gave us “their best site”; apparently it is the one that people are always fighting over because of the view--it is on the point, over looking the lake. Another nearby camper who was leaving offered us their wood, so we are pretty well set for the evening.

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