Friday, November 7, 2008

A Day in Dubuque

Kobie and I woke up to a cold rain. As we were in the confines of a hotel room, our life was significantly comfier than it would have been out in a tent somewhere. As we generally do when staying in a motel, we went for breakfast and watched the weather channel. There was absolutely no good news regarding the weather in the area, not for the next few days anyway. On a positive note, we were far enough south to avoid the 15 inches of snow that fell overnight in South Dakota.

We went back to our room and were undecided as to what we should do. Clearly, the day would be no fun on the water, not least of which that the wind would be blowing in the 20 to 30 miles per hour range, right in our face. That would mean taking frigid water over the front of the kayak all day.

Just about at the time we made the call to sit the day out, there was a knock on the door from housekeeping. As we opened the door a cold gust of wind blew in and we saw snow falling outside. If at any point during the decision making process to stay I felt as if we should have really been hard core and gotten out there, the decision we made was completely justified; at least in my mind. It is one thing going out for the day and being able to come home to a hot shower, but we wouldn’t have any creature comforts for the next few days at the very least.

During the day I received a call from my friend Steve. He was contemplating doing some mountaineering in Ecuador come January and was checking to see if I might have any interest in climbing the three highest peaks in Ecuador. While I wouldn’t be averse to climbing in Ecuador, he also mentioned Patagonia, which not only would I be interested in, I would get excited over. Now when people ask me what I am going to do after the kayak trip, at least now I have a potential answer.

The rain and snow fell throughout the day as we sat inside taking care of all the things we normally do on a day off. It was funny though. When growing up and I needed a small podunk town to make a point or tell a story, Dubuque, Iowa was usually my go to. With a population of nearly 60,000, Dubuque is far from podunk. The city is named after Julien Dubuque, who settled the area in the late 1800’s to mine lead. It was the first European settlement in what would later become the state of Iowa.

In the future when talking about a podunk town I will use a place I had ridden through on my 2005 bike ride, Wagontire, Oregon, Population 2.

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