Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 17--Day t--Birds and Bears and Mounds, Oh My!

That's Effigy Mounds National Monument, not far from Marquette, Iowa. Yes, I made it to state number three! Also, since I've never been to Iowa, I can check another state off my list (now, to find a Subway...). 




The first town I came to in Iowa was Lansing. What a nice town! As I pulled in, a guy from a business across the street says, "Are you a traveler? We can help you with whatever you need! Need to charge anything? We have a nice grassy space to camp if you'd like. Anything we can do to assist you, you just let us know!" I thought that was a pretty nice welcome! If it hadn't been only 10:30, I certainly would have considered his offer. 


I took care of a few tasks, then took myself to the Nutmeg Cafe and Bakery for second breakfast/early lunch. The waitress was also quite nice. She asked where I was from, and gave me a pushpin to put on a big world map (Olympia was even on it!). There were no other pins on Olympia. I saw a request for volunteers for RAGBRAI. Turns out, RAGBRAI finishes in Lansing this year. It's gonna be crazy for that small town!

Colorful bikes



I somewhat reluctantly left Lansing. I probably would have really considered staying if I had known what was coming. Let me tell you, this part of Iowa is NOT flat! I had three long climbs. Fortunately, each was followed by a nice descent. The climbs weren't really too bad, it's just that the heat and humidity add a lot to the misery. Sweat was dripping off my arms and face.


A couple of miles from Marquette I came to the Effigy Mounds National Monument. They are prehistoric Indian burial and ceremonial grounds. There are quite a few of them, and some are shaped like bears and birds. There are several hikes, some quite long, that go to these mounds. I did the shortest hike which was 2 miles round trip. It took me by a few of the mounds, as well as Little Bear Mound. In person, you can make out the bear shape. However, it's hard to tell in a photo. I think it would be cool if they built some raised platforms where you could get a better view. The trail also went to Firepoint, a good view of the Mississippi, Prairie du Chein (in Wisconsin), and the bridge over the river in Marquette. The only not so much fun part was the bugs--in this case, the blood sucking mosquito. I really should have Deeted up again. Even though it was a bug slapper of a hike, it was good to get off the bike for an hour or so.

Effigy Mounds NM

Compound Mounds (several strung together)

Supposed to be a bear mound

Mounds up the hill


The view from Firepoint of Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin


I rode the remaining miles into Marquette. I had to ask Google how to get to this County Park. It has the really uplifting name of Bloody Run County Park. I think it is so called because you have to constantly run from the bloody mosquitos (actually, it sits along a creek called Bloody Run). There are no showers, but the price is finally right--$10. So far, I'm really liking Iowa!!!



Total miles today: 55.8

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