8.29.14 – 9.1.14  :: Labor Day Weekend
Cara and me.

  • Fri. Aug. 29 :: after work overnight in McGregor, IA
  • Sat. Aug. 30 :: McGregor, IA to Strawberry Point, IA (53 mi)
  • Sun. Aug. 31 :: Strawberry Point, IA to Anamosa, IA (64 mi)
  • Mon. Sept. 1 :: Anamosa, IA to home (55 mi)

Day 0 :: Fri. Aug. 29 :: after work overnight in McGregor, IA

We drove up to Dad’s house and had him drop us off in McGregor then keep my car to be retrieved the following week sometime.  Stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast joint.

Day 1 :: Sat. Aug. 30 :: McGregor, IA to Strawberry Point, IA (53 mi)

Following a nice breakfast and chats with the proprietors of the b&b in McGregor, we headed south toward Guttenberg for lunch and bloody marys at the Dam Bar on their patio overlooking the Mississippi.  The hills on this route, and lack of towns it went through from Guttenberg to Strawberry Point made it easily one of the hardest days of touring I’ve done yet.  Cara and I, upon arrival at the Franklin Hotel (fun little old place), promptly took a nap.  Exciting eh?  However, worth mentioning….this route is beautiful…ridge roads everywhere.

*route note: 5 miles of easy (heavily used so smooth) gravel to finish up into Strawberry Point

Day 2 :: Sun. Aug. 31 :: Strawberry Point, IA to Anamosa, IA (64 mi)

Headed south through Manchester, where we stopped in at a little bar, Grumpy Bill’s for some libations and got to know some Manchester cats hanging around on the back patio watching some drag racing and winding down after what as near as we could tell must have been one heck of a breakfast rush, involving meals cooked in a brown paper bags in a vat of hot water.

Detoured slightly through Delhi for lunch at the bar at Buliceks.  Then headed onward toward the real goal of the day: Stone City.  Arrived and holed up at the bar for a dinner of fried appetizers and beer.  Then climbed back up out of the valley and descended into Anamosa, which….continued the theme of a beautiful ride.

Evidently neither of us took any pictures of day 2.

Day 3 :: Mon. Sept. 1 :: Anamosa, IA to home (55 mi)

Woke up, ate our continental breakfast and headed for home.  Route had a bridge out, so ended up taking several country blocks of gravel to bypass.  During which, I saw my first ever ‘level c’ country road…nice!

We had late breakfast/lunch in Mount Vernon at the little cafe on the corner.  Then met up with Robin at Big Grove in Solon, where Tom and Susan happened to be too.  Rode for a bit with them, but their tandem couldn’t keep up with our laden touring bikes….so we split up pretty quick.

Thus ended a very, very good weekend tour.  I would do this route again in a heartbeat.  But this time…I’d note that there is a bar in Garber/Elkport at the halfway point to Strawberry Point that we didn’t know about!