Today was a really good day, a long day but then it was always going to be as it was one of our longest stages (I think there’s another 46 mile day lurking up ahead…). The weather was wonderfully cloudy for most of the run – until about 3pm when the sun broke through – and it was a welcome change to be out of direct sunlight for most of the day. About one third of the route was paved but the rest was gravel roads – again quiet roads but very dusty when the odd car did hurtle past. Again there were dogs but mainly harmless, excitable dogs who usually had nothing else to bark at but corn and cattle; so we were the cause for excitement this week!
As I ran into the finishing town I was passed by a horse-pulled Amish buggy and a fleet of trucks towing beaten-up derby cars – two scenes which reminded me I really am seeing some of the small town America that very few people see!
Not a very eventful day for the two runners but the crew managed to make mischief! About mile 15 the Roadrunner passed me a little later than expected and Carl wound down his widow to say ‘There’s been a little problem but it’s ok’ and with a little grin drove on. Then I expected Steph to drive passed… but nope she wasn’t there following. I went through scenarios in my head but it wasn’t long before we’d hit the next stopping point and Pat and Carl could explain – Steph had park on the side of the road and ran with us for a bit but on returning to her car had found it completely stuck in the mud at the side of the road! A passing truck had tried and failed to pull her out so she was awaiting a tow from the AAA. When she arrived a short while later we were relieved to hear she hadn’t had to wait the hour plus for the AAA to get to her as a local tractor had done the job – thank goodness for friendly farmers!
Tonight we’re staying in Kalona at, ironically given the day Steph had, the ‘Pull’r Inn’ and had dinner at a ‘family restaurant’ in town. Great food – I had steak – with very enthusiastic service and a lovely evening.