Thursday, December 31, 2015

First Meal

The weather continues cold.  A little of snow still on the ground. Decided to cook my first breakfast at the rental house - cheesy eggs, hash browns, sausage, toast & coffee.  Was an adventure, as the stove here is gas and the range at home is electric!  May no look pretty, but tasted good.

I have not felt like venturing out in the cold to ride my bike. Was out for a little, picking up a couple things I wanted.  Rest of the day was basically playing on the computer, which Y have been doing a lit from getting here.  Great to have the internet without paying satellite rate.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Settling In

Woke up about 5:30 Sunday morning.  Was thinking of finding tte local Panera Bread for coffee.  After a trip to the bathroom, I decided going back to bed sounded better.  Finally, I got up and dressed.  Not having any food in the rental house, I made my list and headed out for supplies.

When I ventured out, I was surprised the snowfall was not as much as predicted on Saturday.  Had less than an inch in the top of the car.  Temperature was 27 degrees.   Could see the streets were icy.

On the road for shopping about 8:30.  There were basically no one on the streets of Albuquerque.  The stores are open, but only a couple customer (at a Walmart SuperCenter!)

After putting groceries in the car, drove over to Big 5 sports, looking for "Lobos" (University of New Mexico) gear.  The sent me to a shop specializing on fan gear.  On the way there, stopped by Barnes & Noble for magazines and check out bargain books.

Back at the house, stowed groceries and checked out my new Lobos gear.  Took a selfie and posted on facebook,  By then, I was ready for a nap.

I was awakened by a knock on the door.  Cousin Don.  Was not able to contact me by phone.  (I did not hear the phone in the bedroom).  Anyway, we visited a little, I got dressed, and we headed out for dinner.

Went to O'Neills in Central with cousin Don.  They had an Irish band.  Door was open to the other bar in the same place.  A sports bar with football games.  The Phoenix Cardinal fans in the bar where pretty noisy at times,  The Packers played terrible.  But we had a good burger, brew and conservation.

Mostly a chilly week is the forecast with more snot Tuesday.  Think it will be a good week to do stuff like opening a local bank account and such.  No plans for New Year Eve.  Probably leave it to the pro-partiers and spend a quiet night.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Change of Plans

Woke up about 2:30, nature calling.  Checked my e-mail and the weather forecast.  Not good for traveling in the East side of New Mexico.  MAJOR storm in that part of the state starting Saturday afternoon and continuing to Monday.  Cousin Don had talked with his friend (owner of the house I am renting) saying if I could get to Albuquerque by middle of the afternoon, the weather should cooperate and I can change plans and start into the house tonight.

Calculating miles and times, It would work if I just showered, packed the car, and head toward ABQ.  That, I did.  On the road out from Dodge City a little after 4am CST.

Pretty lonely across SW Kansas and a section of Oklahoma at tat time of a Saturday morning.  Not even a place to get breakfast until I had been on the road for over 2 hours.  Found a place in Clayton, NM.  The sun was just up when I got there.

After breakfast, I started looking for abandoned building and ruins (see upper photo).  Helps keep my mind on the road.  Strong wind from the NNW and temperature dropping across the high plaines of NE New Mexico.  Even saw some blue sky!

As I got to Las Vegas, NM, it started snowing.  Mostly blowing across the road.  Drove with that until about Glorieta Pass.  Once again, some wind-driven snow as I get into Albuquerque.  Stopped quile at a Verizon Store on the way to the house.

Found the rental house and got keys from the owner.  He grabbed the wring keys, so a little delay getting into the house.  Cranked up the heat and started unloading the car.  While taking breaks to that, I checked e-mail, facebook, and processed the photos from the day.

Called Don about eating, but he was in for the night,  Actually, I was a bit tired from the driving, so not looking forward driving for a brew and burger.  Satisfied my cravings with some of my snack I had in the car.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas on the Road

Thursday, between napping and checking the weather, I was able to get the bag pack and the car loaded for my trip.  Was able to get some sleep.  Did not need to make a early start, only about 450 miles to Dodge City.

Had some concerns when i headed out from the driveway.  The gravel road was icy under the snow.  I was not able to back up from the mailbox to drive down to RT 92.  Had to take the alternate rouse via US 6.

Once i got on the road, there were some unusual sounds from the front end of the car, specially when turning.  Everything had been fine until the car sat in the driveway during the snow storm.  Figuring there is nothing majpr wrong with the car, I took it easy as I headed out.  As i drove, the noise was abating.  Leaving Omaha, it was gone.  Think it bust have been some snow/ice accumulation giving the problem.

Was foggy this morning.  Not too cold (in the upper 20s).  The route for today was I-80 to York, NE, then South into Kansas and Southwest to Dodge City.  The temperature strated dropping after I went through Lincoln.  At about the Nebraska/Kansas line, it was down to 18, 

Salina, the temperature started to rise again with hints of sun to the Southwest. Did stop for a couple photos along the way.  Checked in my Dodge City hotel at about 3;30.  Temperature was a reasonable 47 deg.  Spent some time on the computer and then off looking for some food.  Opted for sub, chips and Gatorade from a convenience store.  Wanted to pick up a new water "go" cup, so one stop was all I had to make during my shopping trip

Checking, it seams that the southern storm is intensifying.  At last check, Roswell is expecting about a foot of snow and traveling is not advised from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.  Looks like I will have to skip Roswell in this trip.  Thinking of driving to Santa Rosa and re=checking the weather and roads.  Stay in Santa Rosa or drove on to Alamogordo.

A White Christmas

I have been bust getting ready for a trip (month long) to Albuquerque.  Goal is to see how it goes, living in the city, in a house, for a month in the Winter.  Decided the best schedule is to head out Christmas Day. Only bringing the hybrid bike with me on this trip.

Had most stuff sorted that I want to bring.  Just pack the car.  Wednesday we had rain with forecast 1" snowfall for early Thursday.  Surprise, we got a major snow - reported 7 inches. With the freezing rain under the snow, I had problems getting up the hill off Rt 92 to head back to the house.

I still planned to get on the road Friday.  Just was not fun packing and loading the car in a first major snow storm of the season.  Forecast is showing another storm hitting home Sunday/Monday.  I needed to get on the road - with some cushion for getting to Albuquerque on the afternoon of Dec 30th,

Set tentative itinerary for stops in Dodge City, KS, Roswell, NM, and 3 nights in Alamogordo, NM.  Have to watch the weather because forecast is for South routh storm through El Paso, Roswell, and Amarillo over the weekend.

Friday, November 6, 2015

2016 Calendars

2016 version of my "Bicycle Trails" calendar are in stock,  You can pick up a copy (suggested price $15) at Xtreme Wheels Bike & Sport in Council Bluffs,, IA or contact me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kenosha Harbor Ride

Monday I had to get out of mom's apartment.  Visited for a while at the rehab facility abd headed out for a bike ride.  Nice day on the shore of Lake Michigan.  Long sleeve jersey, full length tight bibs, and a light jacked.

Parked at the South end of the Southport Marina.  Rode the Pike Bike Trail to the torpedo display.  Back to the South end of the trail and rode most of the trail again,  Ended up with just over 5 miles.  Exhausted when done.

Stopped at the Boat House for a cheeseburger and pint of beer.  Burger had 2 different types of cheese!  Had a pint of local beer - "Fixed Gear".  Not sure which brewery it is made by.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

They are Coming to Take Me Away

Another trip to Wisconsin.  This time because my mom fell and broke 3 ribs.  Out of the hospital and into rehab facility.  Just not what I was thinking of doing later in October.

She is getting better, but going to be slow going.  Hoping I can head back home mid of the week.

This photo is of several items in a field along Hy-way 11 just out of Dubuque, IA. Interesting collection if sculptures.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Loess Hills Tour

Sunny, though a little chilly, morning today.  Loaded the camera equipment in the car when headed into town for Saturday breakfast.  After breakfast, I was a little tired, but decided to head the car North towards Harrison and Monona Couties.

Stopped at the Harrison County Visitor's Center.  Picked up the Loess Hills travel guide.  From there, North to Pisgah.  Drove the Fountainblue loop (see photo).  Checked out Preservation Canyon State Park. 

Back a Pisgah, drove the scenic byway to the Preservation Loop. Took that loop to Turin, IA.  By this time, I knew I was not going to see very much color in the leaves.  Some leaves were off the trees, most had not turned yet.  Maybe another week.  Did get several photos of old, abandoned (or nearly abandoned) barns.

Headed toward home.  Crops are about half harvested in this part of the state.  Lots of equipment in the fields in the afternoon. Was tired by the time I got groceries out of the car and into the house.  Did a little computer work and crashed to bed.

This evening, received a call from my Aunt Audrey.   My mom is in the hospital.  Fell in the afternoon, broke/cracked 3/4 ribs.  She's going to keep me advised. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Kenosha Harbor Bike Ride

Was planning to ride my bike along the Harbor Sunday with a cousin.  I was just too fried from the reunion festivities.  Went out for breakfast with my mom.  Rested in the hotel room.  In the evening, I went over to the Brat Stop for a couple pints of beer and a brat.

While at the Brat Stop, I picked up a Packer/Brat Stop t-shirt.  The clerk checking out my purchase asked if I was/is in the military.  She gave me a 10% discount because of my Army service.

From my bike ride, went to Mom's apartment.  We went to DeRango's Pizza for an early dinner. I ordered a bottle of Fat Tire and cheeseburger with fries.  Mom ordered diet coke and french dip.  Drinks came quickly but it too forever to get out food.  Well over 1/2 hour waiting for our food.  I do not recommend this establishment.

50th High School Reunion

This was my reason for driving to Kenosha County, WI.  Normally, I would be attending my army unit reunion, but 50 year high school reunion took precedence.

The reunion was held in the pavilion at Jeddy's Bar in Brighton, WI.  Its is a nice facility for the size of our group.  I was one of the first classmates to arrive and a couple of the last to leave.  Was an good way to spend 5 hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Good food, unfortunately they did not have a craft beers on tap.

Had to take a couple "Tylenol" to calm the brain from the noise.  I was exhausted and my speech was gone by the time I got to my hotel room.  Crashed into be early.  Great day.  Great to see and visit with so many of my classmates.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reunion Meet-Greet

Thursday afternoon, i got into Kenosha. WI area.  Settled into my hotel.  Met my mom and an aunt for breakfast Friday morning.  After breakfast, mom drove us over to Petrifying Springs County Park.

Much of the land of the park was originally owned my my ancestors.  A mural is being painted on the side of a barn in the park.  The mural includes my grandmother and her brother with scenes of the park.  For some 25 years, my grandmother worked summer in a concession stand in the park.

After a nap, it was time to change clothes for the meet and greet for my high school 50 reunion.  The function was held at the Brat Stop.  In the day, the Brat Stop was an 18yo beer bar and cheese/brat store.  Great time visiting with my old classmates.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Root River Trail

Not in a big hurry this morning.  Waffle and coffee at the motel.  Weather was threatening light rain/drizzle.  Forecast was a clearing, to headed out for Lanesboro, MN and the Root River Trail.  the trail is on an old railroad right-of-way.

This  town, about 50 miles SW of La Crosse, was a hub of bicycle activities,  The trail is paved with asphalt, a welcome break from the crushed stone I had been riding in the area.  As you can see in today's photo, even the bridge decking is paved.

Rode a little over 2 1/2 miles.  Facing a hill I would need to descend (and climb back!) I turned back to town.  Also, I knew i had a little climb as the trail comes into town, my legs were almost toast from the rides on the trip.  I have been riding every-other day.  Had a burger and fries at the little diner in Lanesboro.

Back to La Crosse, rested and soon time for dinner.  It was my day for a bacon cheeseburger and craft beer.  Headed downtown to The Old Crow.  Had the local Pearl Street Brewery "Oktoberfest" beer.  Was a nice compliment to the burger.  Stuffed, did not any ice cream to top off the night.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

La Crosse - Day 2

Needed a light day - Sunday was the day.  Light breakfast (the breakfast room was a zoo).  In the morning, I drove over to the La Crescent side of the river.  Mostly to find a Minnesota map (free, information type).  No luck, back in the room I rested and watched TV.

Headed out early for the pizza and beer cruise on the La Crosse Queen.  Took some photos along the riverfront while waiting.

Nice, relaxing 1 1/2 hour cruise on the Mississippi River.  Domino Pizza and an American big brewery beer.  But, I suffered through it (LOL).  Finished the night with a Heath Blizzard at DQ.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

La Crosse - Day 1

Had a great day in La Crosse.  Was not sure how things would turn out since my legs were still complaining from the climb to the tunnel on the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

Started the day with a waffle. coffee, and apple juice at the motel.  Looks like there was some light rain on the car and the sky was overcast.  Anyway, this was my day for a bike ride so figured to make the best of it.

Plan was to ride the Great River State Trail.  After some false starts to find a trailhead, I headed down the trail.  Rode South from County Z.  From the maps, its looked like this area would afford some nice views of the river (and Lake Onalsaka.  But, this was not the case.  On the sides of the trail was covered with trees and brush.  Checked the trail North from Countu Z - trees with a section of prairie restoration.  Lots of joggers out on this section of the trail.  Several cyclists, by more joggers.

After a 5 mile ride on the Great River State Trail, I drove North to find the Lytles Landing trailhead.  On the way back from that trailhead, I came across the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.  The refuge had paved bicycle trails and dirt walking/hiking trails.  Rode my bike from the parking lot near the river through the prairie and over to the headquarters building.

Back at the room, I processed the morning photos, watched some TV and rested.  Soon, it was time for dinner.  Was planning to sample the cuisine at Stolpa's Stein Haus.  Thanks to Steve for my first stein of beer.  Ended up with 2 steins of Hofbrau Dunkel - a German beer.  It was the closest they had for an Amber Ale.

Had a nice conversation with Steve.  He had 2 uncles that served in Viet Nam, one of them being in the SeaBees.  Very friendly place.  A another customer couple thought I might be a food critic since I shot a photo of my food.  Told them about my trips and trying to sample the local cuisine. Gave them and Steve's the link to my web site.

Ordered a "Stein Haus" Brat for dinner.  Still hungry, I order another brat and stein of the same beer.  Would have liked to have a local beer, but once in a while have to check out the European brews.  It was then time to head to the motel.  Made a look around the pub to get a photo of the place.  Steve was just leaving the place.

Topped off the day with a Heath Blizzard.  Was a great day in La Crosse.  Have to see what I can schedule tomorrow.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Coon Valley to La Crosse

Slept in a little this morning.  Legs (hell my whole body) were complaining from yesterday's bike ride.  Breakfast with Peg & Gerry and Kay & John.  Loaded up my bags, took a couple photos and off towards La Crosse and the bicycle festival.

Little detour to drive up to Ganddad Bluff.  Took a few photos. nice view of La Crosse from that location.

Down to the river to stop in the Visitor's Center pick up area information.  After that, it was time to check into my lodging.  registered for the bike festival (on line) Tried to nap, but no go.  Grabbed the camera and drove downtown to find the park where the festival activities were scheduled. 

From there 2 more blocks to Bodega Brew Pub.  Had a ham and cheddar sandwich with kettle chips. Washed it down with a pint of Surly Scottish Ale.  This was a nice, mellow dark amber all.  Surly is a Minneapolis craft brewery.

Ended the day with a DQ Heath Blizzard.  With the heat and humidity (it has rained in town while registering for the festival) the ice cream hit the spot.  In for the night, need to spend some time deciding activities for the next couple days.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

After some coffee and breakfast, I was off to Wilton to ride the Elroy-Sparta State Trail.  This was the first Rails-to-Trails in Wisconsin.  Planned to ride West from Wilton up to Tunnel 2, a 2 mile ride.  Was a humid, but not too warm morning (low/mid 70s).  Stopped in at the Hardware Hank's that sells trail passes.  Since i will be in the area for the long weekend and will be Wisconsin 2 more times later this year, I splurged with the $20 year pass.

I forgot how exhausting it  grinding up the constant 2% grade on these trails. Had to be stopped to rest my legs and slow down my heart rate a couple times during the climb.  My legs were almost toast when I arrived at the tunnel.  Had my headlight - but not seeing anything in the 1/4 mile tunnel.  Fog rolling out of the tunnel (see photo).  Took a couple photos in the tunnel and headed down the hill.  Really enjoyed coasting the 2 miles back down to town.

Back at the house, I processed photos from the ride. Then time for a shower (felt great).

Gerry and I headed into Coon Valley for lunch.  The bat (Legacy Grill & Pub) had craft beers on top.  Had 2 glasses of Capital Brewery's Wisconsin Amber with a cheeseburger and fries.  We were served by Leah.  Friendly establishment, good selection of craft beers.

More visiting with the family.  Then it was time to finish photos and write yesterday's blog posting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Decorah to Coon Valley

Slept in a little.  Motel breakfast, and loaded the car (did not bring much stuff in for the 2 nights).  Went into town to the bike shop.  See if they could fix/replace the computer.  Found out the sensor was a little out of adjustment.  They lubed the chain and ran though the gears.  No charge.  Gave them one of my calendars.

On to Effigy Mounds National Monument.  Watched their film and checked out the 3 mounds near the visitor's center.  No way my legs would make the 2 mile hike to the next mounds.  The Ranger suggested I drive down 8 miles further and check out Pike's Peak State Park.  Great view of the Mississippi River from a bluff.

On back North and East to Coon Valley, WI.  Stopped a couple times for some photos - Trains, river lock and misc landscape.  Cousin Peg found me call her on the phone in my car.  Got directions to the house and settle in for the evening.  Cousin Kay and her husband also came over the Michigan.  Nice visit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day in Decorah

Knew it was going to be a hot and humid day.  After my morning shower, I dressed in my cycling kit before breakfast.  After motel breakfast of biscuit & gravy, I was ready for bike ride.

Did good selecting my lodging - just 2 blocks down the street to the Trout Run Trail.  Started riding clockwise, riding as far as the fish hatchery, just short of milepost 5.  Took me just past where the Decorah eagles are nesting.  This section of the trail is pretty level and easy.  Another mile and the hills start.  Not ready for heavy climbing so turned back to my starting point.

When I got back, i still had legs left and feeling good.  rode further almost to milepost 1.  At this point, the trail is down between the levee and the river.  Decided to turn around and get back to the motel.  Good timing.  I was getting tired and did not bring water/Gatorade with me.  Stopped at the convenience store at the highway and started refreshing my electrolytes.  The last 2 block gentle climb to the car was rough.  Bike computer was not registering, so not sure just how fat I rode.  Guessing it at 7-8 miles.

Stowed the bike in the room, started processing photos from the ride.  Second shower of the morning and crashed on the bed.

Afternoon was for playing "tourist".  Drove to the fish hatchery.  Put the big lens on my camera, so it I could find the eagle nest,  I am pretty sure I was successful (see lower photo).

From there, i was scouting the trail - wondering if i should try riding other sections tomorrow morning.  On to the North side of town to check out the waterfall in Dunning's Spring Park.  Beautiful place.  Back to the room to process photos for afternoon nap before dinner.

At the convenience store just down from the motel, the suggested food at the Stone Hearth Inn (next door to my motel).  I was thinking of eating downtown at T Bock's Sports Bar & Grill.  Both had local beers on tap.  Stone Hearth being next door to the motel won the day.

Had a pint of Toppling Goliath Tsunami American Pale Ale.  It was the best of the local beers for the area.  Chowed down with an Iowa breaded port tenderloin (the kind the is about 3 times the bun size).  Topped off dinner with ice cream with chocolate syrup. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Forest City to Decorah

Internet was still out at my friend's place.  Had some breakfast and loaded the car.  Before 10 am i was o the road heading East.  I noticed there was a paoved bicycle trail along the South side of rt. 9 East out of Forest City. In Manly, Iowa, I stopped to take a photo of an old locomotive and caboose on display.

Chuck has suggested stopping at a local park near Osage, IA.  A natural spring in Spring Park near the Cedar River.  Fount the park and took a couple of photos of the spring.  Nice little park with vault toilets, shelters, tables, and discus golf.  Camping is also available in the park. (see upper photo)

On towards Decorah. Rails-toTrails trail along the South side of Rt 9.  It is the Prairie Farmer Trail, from Calmar to Cresco.

In Decorah, I found the Visitor's Center downtown.  Picked up trail maps and area information.  Went to my motel (little early and my room was not ready, yet).  Drove back downtown to take some photos.  interesting architecture in the town. Prominent on a hill is the Winneshiek County Courthouse. 

Driving around town I found the local Trek bicycle dealer.  Visited and got the skinny about the Trout Run Trail.  Next door they had sandwiches and ICE CREAM!  really enjoyed at large "Tornado" (their version of a DQ Blizzard).  Back to the motel to settle into the room.

Two brewery "tap rooms" in town.  Just like in Mason City, they are tap room - no food served.  Was able to find the Toppling Goliath Tap Room on Collage Drive.  Had a pain of Murph's - thier amber ale.  Their web site says you can order food for delivery.  Was going to do that but the gals behind the bar seemed to have no interesting waiting on me past the pint of beer. 

Drove back to Water Street (main drag in town0 and found Mabe's Pizza.  I was not looking for pizza, but they have sandwiches.  Ordered my bacon-cheeseburger with fries.  They had "Dorothy's" on tap - also from Toppling Goliath.  Did not like this beer. Too light and fruity.

In the morning, I can pedal from my room.  Its just 2 blocks from the motel to the Trout Run Trail!  Be on the trail early in the morning before it get hot and muggy.   Called it an evening.  Got a sick during the night - something I ate and drank did not agree with me.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Operation LZ - Sunday

Sunday morning I was on my own,  My host had duties at church.  Went to the Forest City Airport for another pancake breakfast.  Back at the house, I rested.  About noon, it was over to the function grounds for the Private Malone Car Show. 

Thanks for Chuck deciding to rent a golf cart to easy my proples getting around the show.  After the show, we had a sandwich and went to view the traveling "Wall" (see photo).

I processed my photos from the car show,  It was a task, I shot and processed 49 HDR photos.

The internet was down at the house, so we basically visited and relaxed.  Had some dinner, watched TV and crashed.  I was exhausted from the fresh air and walking around the grounds. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Operation LZ - Saturday

This was a party for Viet Nam Vets - a "Welcome Home".  Function being held in Forest City, IA.  Great for me that i am able to stay with a friend that recently moved to Forest City (and grew up in the area).

The morning started with the V.V.A. pancake breakfast.  Filled up all-you-care-to-eat pancakes prepared by Carl's Cakes.  From there, it was over to registration where I received my commemorative medallion (see photo) and copy of the program.

At another location, I received a Viet Nam Vet  lapel pin & certificate.  Soon, it was time for the opening ceremonies.  Speakers included Iowa Governor Branstad, A representative from the Department of Defense, Local retired Lt General, and a POW.

I was doing well until I glanced past the stage and saw a replica of a Field Cross in front of the traveling wall.  The image of the field Cross (I assembled too many of them during my tour in Viet Nam) brought tears to my eyes.

i met 2 guys that served in the 199th LIB (my main unit in Nam.  Surprised to meet two other "Redcatchers" at Operation LZ.

After the ceremonies were over, my host and I headed back to his place and rested.  Were going to watch the scheduled "Balloon Glow" but never say and "glow" - just tethered balloon rides.

Headed over to Mason City for dinner.  Had some great pizza at Little Chicago Pizza.  We were thinking of having a pint of beer at the Mason City Brewing Co, but there were no places to sit and it was too noisy in the place.  Headed home and called it at night.

Friday, August 28, 2015

On the Road Again

Heading to North Central Iowa for Operation LZ - Viet Nam veteran welcoming home event in Forest City, IA. Hit some torrential downpour just North of Story City, IA.  Got off the interstate and saw this interesting farm structure. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

House Moving

No, I am not moving, yet.  Yesterday a house came down the road, here.  Word is it was being moved from Council Bluffs to Treynor.  First indication I had was a letter from the power company that our electrical service could be interrupted for a house move.  My power was cut about 10:50 Thursday morning.  Next came the power company trucks dropping the wires.
And the county police started arriving and directing traffic.  L52 (257th St) was blocked south from my house.
The police left sounding sirens - seems there was a traffic accident in the area on US 6,  Traffic was heavy.  Several factors adding to the traffic:  Folks wanting to see the house move, house moving entourage and all their vehicles, and detour around the highway accident.

The Deputy Sheriff told me there is a delay - the "trailer" hauling the house blew a tire.  Grabbed the longest lens for my camera.  From my driveway, I could see the house was almost down to Cottonwood Rd.
Eventually, the house was on the move, again.  These Iowa hills are rough for moving something like a house.  As the house came closer (topping the hill just south of me) I saw a farm tractor pulling the house.  A friend of the tractor owner said the farm tractor was need in addition to the truck to haul the house up the hills.
The caravan moved across the neighbor to the South.  Surprisingly. the raised the house high enough to clear the mailboxes.  The next hurdle was turning the corner in front of my house.
With the slope and turn, the truck did not have the traction to move the house up the hill,  The faarm tractor was again called in for power.
To negotiate the intersection, the crew had to slip the truck sidewise and bring the house forward.
While all of this jockeying around crew discussion was happening, I too the opportunity to look at the dollies under the house.  Guess it the engineer in me!
Each dolly was equipped with a hydraulic mechanism to raise and lower the load.  I notice that not all of the tires were the same size. All same in one dolly, but verified from one dolly to another. 
Next, they used the truck and tractor to bring the house up to the intersection.  It took the power and traction of the truck and tractor to turn the house.  Several times, the crew has to stop and raise/lower the rams on the dollies.  At some time, they had one or two workers under the house steering and leveling the dollies.
It was an event for the community.  Several neighbors stopped by to witness to move.  In the photo are the mailboxes in front of my house.
Eventually, the house and the entourage headed East down Dogwood Rd.  The turn of the house from Northbound 275th to Eastbound Dogwood Rd took over 45 minutes.
Finally, the power company line crew was on the move to restore power.  Ended up I was out of power for about 3 hours.

I have not idea how much it cost to move a house like this one.  I did not think it was anything special.  Doubt I could have justified the cost of the move versus building new.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Car, Bike, Photography

Tuesday, heading out for morning coffee, dash of the car light up with braking/ABS system lights and messages.  It did not seem to be a big problem for driving.  I drove to town for coffee.  On the way home, I stopped by Lyle's where I get my car work done.  Made arrangements for repairs on Wednesday morning.

Loaded the hybrid bike on the rack on the car.  I decided to ride bike and take photos around town while the car was in the shop.  Had then change the oil and filter while in the shop - it was due.

First area of town for photography was the historic 100 block of West Broadway (photo above). This is just a block from the shop where my car was working on.  Photos like this lend themselves to Black & White.  Had my good D-SLR and Point&Shoot cameras with me.All my photos were taken with the Canon 60D.

From there, I rode over to Bayliss Park.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and photography.  The fountain was running with a full head of steam.  Lots of kids getting wet playing along the fountain  After taking my photos, it was time for the bike shop to open.  Stopped by the crew at Xtreme Whels Bike & Sport - just a block from Bayliss Park.

I was happy to find that the brake/traction system problem was just a broken wire.  I was back home with car repairs done, new photos, and a visit with the bike shop all before noon.

Monday, July 27, 2015

House Painting

Finally, the weather was conducive to painting.  We had good weather mid July.  Only took the painters a week to wash, scrape, prep, and paint the house.  It was a long time since it was last painted.  Took 2 coats (some spots 3 coats) to cover.  Only did trip accent color on the front of the house.

I like the colors - much brighter.  When I bought the house it was a pail yellow with brown trip.  I like the new cream with dark green trim.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sac & Fox Trail

After the family picnic and reunion, I had the 1 1/2 hour drive to my hotel.  I wanted to check out a bike trail near Cedar Rapids - and needing the photos for my calendar.  From the maps, it looked like the Sac & Fox trail, along the Indian Creek, should be interesting and photogenic.

A great trail.  I would have enjoyed riding longer but the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes turned up quickly. Addition to the crushed limestone bike trail, there is a dirt/tree bark walking trail system in the same area.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Family Picnic

The Winfield Family picnic/reunion was held in Elkader, Iowa on July 4th.  I was on the road before sunrise for the 320 mile drive to the other corner of Iowa.

It was a pretty good attendance, considering the distances the family is not spread.  Photo here is the Winfield siblings and their spouses that were able to attend.  L to R -- Jack and Jean Heick,  Edna & Rich Winfield, Ruth Gillmore, Dorothy Winfield, and Margaret Risi.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hospital Stay

It will be back-dating these posts.  Just have not felt like writing some in this blog.  But it was time to bring things back to date.

I had a 11 day sting in the hospital in June.  No big problems - a biopsy and colonoscopy, normally outpatient procedures.  But with my mechanical heart valve, it was all the whole Heparin Therapy issue.  Took forever for me Warfarin dosing stabilized.

The biopsy was CT guided needle biopsy to check a mass showing up in my right lung.  Nothing to problem - it was a sack blood.  Still watching it.  A couple polyps found and removed during colonoscopy.

The whole 11 day hospital stay was a pain.  Will not bore you with the details. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I-29 Construction & Lake Manawa Trail

For those of us ride the trails around Council
Bluffs, IA. road construction has means the frustration of closed trails.  Lake Manawa Trail from the Wabash Trace to Lake Manawa has been closed since early Spring.  The reason has been the new bridges and interchanges at highway 275/92 and the junction of I29 and I-80. 

This photo was taken at the Mosquito Creek Bridge on E. South Omaha Bridge Road.  This is where the street ends and the Lake Manawa Trail beads South along the creek.

You cannot see the old trail in this photo.  It looks like the trail will be raised where in runs under the interstate (coarse rock fill in the center of the photo).  The trail is supposed to be opened again August 1st. 

Humid Day for Bike Ride

A little behind in writing and posting here.  Friday, I had to get out for a bike ride.  It had been about 3 weeks since I was back from Albuquerque and my last bike ride.  The day was a bit warm and humid.  Filtered sunshine, but no wind.

Decide for a ride along Valley View Trail.  Had not been on the trail in some time.  It was great that I could get some miles in, but no committed to a long ride.  Lots of opportunity to decide it was time to turn around and ride back.

Parked at K-Mart.  Felt pretty good riding.  Stopped at 2 miles for some water.  Continued down to Hwy 92 (about 4 miles).  Another stop to hydrate.  Stopped at some benched about hald way back.  Stopped to rest the legs and drink my bottle og Gatorade.

The 8+ miles was about all I could do in the humidity.  When I got home, the body craved food and liquids.  Ended up eating a whole pizza and a quart of Gatorade.  Worthless the rest of the day.  Need lots of sleep the next day.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Arduino Uno

This week my new electronics / microcomputer learning and design kit arrived.  Looking forward to learn about the system and build some interesting projects.

This is not my first experience with this type of equipment.  Several years ago I bought the MicroChip evaluation kit.  I found it difficult to learn.

Next was the Raspberry Pi.  The "Pi" is easy to work with because I know much of the Linux syntax.  But, needs too much auxiliary parts (monitor, keyboard, mouse) to be easily carried when using at the regular computer coffees.

In addition to the starter kit I bought from Adafruit, I also purchased more parts to enhance the system.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Home Safe

Did not sleep well Sunday night.  Up before 6 to have breakfast, load the car, and drive the last section of the trip home.  Was on the road a little after 7am.

While Sunday was warm and sunny. most of Monday was cool and cloudy.  Temperature never got over 55 degrees,  As I headed East on I-80, the wind was picking up. 

Took the time to run by the post office to get my mail on the way home.  Got the computers plugged in again.  Unloaded some of the bags out of the car, then crashed into bed.  Still tired this morning, but good to be back in my own bed.