My Route

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Day 32: Thursday, 2nd August. Destination: Colonial Inn, Dyersville, Iowa

6am start, cycling out of town as the golden sunrise warmed the chill dew over the corn fields. Yes, it really was that pretty. The landscape has transformed, and the maps with it. A return to more familiar twists and turns, as roads follow the natural geography of river and hills. Enjoyed an early lunch at Anam Cara (Soul Friend) in Cascade, where there was healthy food and great smoothies on the menu. Most welcome. I had an APB (Acia berry, Pomegranite & Blueberry), and chatted to a cute student and her pal about stuff. Apparently, Lance Armstrong had cycled through a few weeks ago on the annual 'Ragbrai' Iowa cycle tour. The motto above the café door read "Honor the things that make your heart sing."

Of course, the news here is full of stories about the Minneapolis bridge collapsing. It seems strange to be so close to it (I'll be up there in a week's time), especially after crossing the Mississippi only a couple of days ago. I'm now in Dyersville, home to the famous(?) movie "Field Of Dreams". I decided not to visit the set, and to lurk in the air-conditioned comfort of my motel room instead, watching the news.

My evening meal, to balance last night's drama, was steak followed by homemade pie with a pint of fine local ale at Country Junction family restaurant, "where food is still fixed the old fashioned way." I want to mention this meal because it's the first time on the trip I've eaten meat. Quite a big deal considering I've been vegetarian (or pescatarian, to be accurate) for the past 20 years. Thing is, though, I became vegetarian because of ethical problems with intensive factory-farmed, growth-hormone-enhanced, BSE infected meat production. But now there's free-range, organic local produce to be had I guess my vegetarian ways are more habit than protest. And, as it said on their menu, "Like many communities around the Midwest, the focus of life is centered around agriculture. True to life on the farm, we cook from scratch everyday. From homemade pies, hand cut meats to real mashed potatoes, we do as much scratch cooking as possible because we believe it makes a difference!"

I can't help thinking that local food produced with such an attitude is somehow more ethical than sticking rigidly to my diet of imported frozen fishburgers.