Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LEARNING ABOUT AMERICA ON THE RAGBRAI

Historic farmhouse in Nashua, Iowa





Janne and Jerry Fecht took time on the Ragbrai to visit Nashua, Iowa. Seeing the tiny farmhouse and log cabin reminded us what our ancestors experienced in their determination to build the "good life" for us.

Monday, September 6, 2010

JANNE AND JERRY TAKE SIDE TRIP TO NASHUA, IOWA

The Little Brown Church in the Wildwood, a national treasure. We visited the church in Nashua to see where Burnet Brown's great grandmother was recently discovered buried. The church is an influence over the "Little Brown Church" in Studio City, California where Nancy and Ronald Reagan were married.

Helping Ragbrai riders get into rain gear.
Rain dance by Ragbrai rider.
Pat Hartung of Preston, Iowa holds a rain poncho over fellow rider Kimberly Breaux of Port Byron, Illinois in the town of Rowley on the Ragbrai.Ragbrai rider Jonathan Stichter of Sigourney, Iowa gets a hug from Sister Mona Rottinghaus of the Singing Nuns in Jessup, Iowa.
On Friday, the 30th of July the rain poured and our riders slept in, to join the pack in Quasque, Iowa.

Sunday, September 5, 2010






Ragbrai stops off at Parkersburg

In Witchita Kansas we stopped to see an exciting Miro mural at the State University. While looking for a rest room, Brendan and I see big warning cards telling students where to go "when" the next tornado comes. This stack of bicycles sculpture greeted our riders in the meeting stop of Parkersburg. A massive "twister" came though this village in 2008. The village was grateful for the infusion of money some of the 15,000 Ragbrai riders made to their economy.
In my thinking, this "Rhoades Car" seems the right way to take on a state wide bicycle ride. An awning, someone to talk to, and 42 cycling speeds.

The Aplington - Parkersburg High School Junk Percussion Emsemble made lots of energetic noise when we were looking for our riders in Parkersburg. Janne and I parked about a block from these kids, called Katy Fletcher on her cell phone. She was watching our arrival in the middle of a zillion riders.

The Ragbrai trip had lots of heroes, and our champion was Janne Fecht who managed a huge r.v. from Des Moines to Sioux City to Debuque and back to Des Moines. Here in Charles City, Janne took on laundry to keep our rides fresh and clean.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ragbrai clippings

Eric Sorensen of cools off in a sprinkler in Swaledale, Iowa.

Falls on the Cedar River at Charles City, Iowa during the Ragbrai

Shellie Pfohl assists her para-Olympian with her handcycle in Rockford, Iowa


Rider John Phillips of Manchester takes dip at Nick Hanig's pond in Carterville, Iowa.

Ragbrai in Charles City


In the Floyd County Museum, this wicker casket once transported the dead to a funeral "home" for embalming.This helped curtail the odors of decomposition. Folks, observing the wicker container passing, referred to the deceased as a "baker case".
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What must it have been like to have graduated from high school in Charles City in 1942. This quilt, in the Floyd County Museum, is a sweet tribute to classmates of the era.

Downtown Charles City, Iowa

Ragbrai Ride Continues

Charles City was once famous for the manufacture of heavy duty farm equipment. Today, remnants of its equipment are only park sculptures.


Kristi Bacon of Waterloo brough along her wire haired terrier dog on the Ragbrai. Photo is from the Des Moines Register.

Ragbrai riders from the top of the Gold Egle Cooperative grain elevator in Wesle, Iowa.

The RAGBRAI ride from Clear Lake, Iowa to Charles City was 51.8 miles for our bicyclists. Janne and Jerry drove ahead to secure parking and hookups for the rv and to find a place to wash clothes. Once the clothes were in the washing machines, Jerry took off to see the Floyd County Museum.