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.