September 10, 2017
Today I traveled in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. It was a beautiful day and a great ride. It was also a good learning experience. So what did I learn today? Let’s start with Iowa. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been before. I was taken aback by the corn fields that go on forever on gently rolling hills. I’ve seen lots of fields but nothing like this. They went on forever with only the occasional barn or tree to interrupt the landscape. They were mesmerizing. Then, the small towns all look like they are preserved in the 40’s or 50’s. Just like in the movies.
I also learned about Herbert Hoover. I visited his museum in West Branch, Iowa which is one of those towns I just described. I have always enjoyed visiting presidential museums. It’s great to get to know each of our presidents and learn about their early years and careers. Hoover was born in the proverbial 2 room house in a small town. He managed to go to Stanford, became a world famous mining engineer and became very rich as he had a knack for finding gold and other precious metals. He was brought up in the Quaker religion and later was dedicated to feeding the starving around the world. Calvin Coolidge set the ball in motion for the Great Depression but Hoover got blamed for it and was only a 1 term president. I love to see how each museum portrays their presidents mostly in their good points. While they all show the bad stuff, they present that in the most positive light possible. If you ever get a chance to see Nixon’s library in California, you’ll see what I mean.
From West Branch, I headed North to Minnesota. I rode over to the banks of the Mississippi and rode a shoreline trail all the way to La Crescent, MN. What a great ride, with constant views of the Mighty Mississippi and rolling, twisting roads. At one point I found myself on a wonderful stretch of road and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the long version, by Iron Butterfly came on the helmet speakers. That’s why I ride!
I found a motel across the river in La Crosse, Wi and called it a night. There were only 4 showers for all of us BMW riders at the camp so I was glad to finally take a nice hot shower. I smelled like s**t and so did my clothes. I wonder why people pulled away from me at the museum. I took advantage of the guest laundry. It was a long but great ride. The best so far on this trip.