Staying last night in Okoboji at the Leafstedt house was amazing, but made leaving this morning even harder. Mrs, Leafstedt cooked us an amazing breakfast (seriously, Iowa sausage is unparalleled), and afterwards we took off on highway 9 headed east.
We were lucky enough to have some fantastic cross/tailwinds that followed us for the rest of the day, making our morning quick. Though we're definitely not back in New England yet, the towns are getting closer together and it feels like there are a lot more people- easier to find rest stops with a place to grab a cold drink and a snack. Iowa, you've done pretty well so far! While we rode in the morning, we experienced the "polar vortex" that our friends have warned us about - which basically consisted of strong wind and a little bit cooler temperature. We are definitely not complaining about it being less than 90°, though.
With beautiful clouds and surrounded by corn fields, we got some good drafting in on a fairly deserted highway. Got some good video, too!
We stopped for lunch in the town of Buffalo Center at a grocery store. This grocery store happened to be attached to a small cafe, where we sat down at a table and ordered some food to supplement our usual regiment of fresh fruit and protein. While we ate, some men gathered at the table next to us drinking coffee. Much like in Platte, this group of guys gets together to drink coffee at one of the few places in town. We talked to these guys for a bit about what they do in Buffalo Center (among other things, some of them own land that has wind turbines on it!) and I grabbed a photo since they seemed like such great guys.
After lunch, we headed east again on highway 9 for another quick 30 miles before we essentially could stop for the day in Forest City.
We had seen a billboard coming into town that said that the Winnebago factory was there and offered free tours all summer long! However, when we got there we discovered that it had closed for the day, and so our first afternoon activity was a no-go.
From there we headed to the bowling alley, which Don's sister had told us would be a good way to occupy ourselves. Sadly, they looked closed, too! So we headed back into town to grab some dinner and found a terrific Mexican restaurant despite the rest of the downtown looking pretty empty.
As we discovered, Forest City is an unexpected haven of tasty Mexican food and inexpensive drinks!
After dinner, we headed back out on highway 9 to the east to the bowling alley, which was now open. The owner let us in, despite the fact that we were one of two parties in the entire place and there didn't seem to be any more people coming in for the night. We played a few games, drank some beer, and enjoyed some vending machine dessert items.
After a good exposition of bowling skills (I won a game, and Dave won a game), we decided to head to our campsite. Pilot Knob State Rock was about 5 miles east, so we slowly headed east as the sun set behind us. We entered a deserted campground, set up camp, and are headed to sleep now. Crossing our fingers for more speedy winds and smooth roads tomorrow!