Monday, July 24, 2006

RAGBRAI Day 2 - Ida Grove to Audubon

Today was absolutely grueling. 78 miles, 4000 feet of climb, and stiff headwinds.

But it was a great day because it started with Mr. Pork Chop.

He was set up about 30 miles in, and the pork chop lasted another 30 miles or so to Manning, the last town before the finish.

They had lots of stuff set up in the town park in Manning, including delicious smoothies, and the Brats from the volunteer fire department.

Everyone in Manning said the route smooths out from there to Audubon. This is hogwash, it was hilly the whole way. In fact, there was a 10% grade about 5 miles outside of town.

these hills meant I needed to eat more, at the incredible Garden of Eden smoothie stand 10 miles or so later. Today was blueberry.

I got in to Audubon about 1:00 and set up camp.

Audubon is most proud of Albert the Bull, who is anatomically correct. I understand his anatomical correctness was freshly repainted for RAGBRAI to remove the graffiti.

They like Albert so much they painted giant cow tracks on the street the whole way trhough town to Albert.

The DMCC camp site is about a quarter mile from Albert. Downtown is about a mile away. Audubon is fairly big. I went to check out downtown to see what is in store for us. You have to take a trolley downtown, which is a trailer pulled by a big tractor. Suggested donation is $2.

So here is what we have: challenging contests. (Click picture to enlarge.)

And the climax is "Audubon Idol." I wish I had my banjo and was capable of composing a tragic song about a little boy who was eaten by a combine.

They also had abundant food. I went for a ton of ribs from "Pink Floyds". Pork is always better if it comes from an establishment which is painted pink.

It remains to be seen whether the competative spectacles of Audubon can compete with the medievality of Ida Grove.

The Tubador was in both places. Here's a picture of him yesterday in Ida Grove. When I took this he was playing "Crazy", which he seamlessly segued into "Crying Time" by Buck Owens.

Today he was in a traditional jazz mode, doing "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey." The Tubador is amazing.

Here's the brutal route for today. The wind was from the south.

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