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Crossed the border from Iowa yesterday…. hurray! Rode into La Crescent then crossed the Miss River to La Crosse and had a lovely ride up a bike trail to Trempealeau Wis. We are now about 120 miles from home. Today we ride to Stockholm, spend the night there and then on Thursday we ride the final miles home. Close to 2000 miles. It has been quite an adventure.

We have been pedaling hard to try to make up one of the two days lost because of a kidney stone. We can now smell Wisconsin cheese and I thought I heard someone say ” you betcha” we are very close!!!!!!
After leaving Hannibal we did around 80 to get to Nauvoo, then 93 to get to Muscatine, 85 to get to Monticello Iowa and now 85 to arrive here at Marquette. The good news is the wind was at our backs pushing us along until yesterday afternoon when it shifted and hit us in the face. Wind was against today at least up until 1 pm when the wind dropped a bit. Took nearly 12hrs to get here.
Couple of pictures showing the Iowian landscape for those who have not seen it. In a nut shell it is one huge farm with long straight roads and rolling hills. At the top of some hills are some beautiful churches, all catholic.
We have about 210 miles to go and should be home by Thursday May 24th.

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Well we are heading north again but before that after the kidney stone procedure and a nap, Mark n I rode down to the river front in Hannibal to see MarkTwain’s boyhood home and museum. Well worth a visit, they have done an excellent job in showing his home town and how it is featured in his books. Especially the Characters in Hick Finn and Tom Sawyer. I did not realize each was based on a childhood friend. If you are on the area, it is a must stop.
Today was a glorious day for riding, wind at our backs, smooth and flat roads, perfect weather ….. We did 80 miles today 12 more than planned. We are now in Nauvoo, a very important place in Mormon history. It is where Joseph Smith established his church and was later murder here along with his brother. This caused the exodus to Salt Lake City. Again a really marvelous museum. He is buried here and when we went to see the grave some of his relatives were there planting flowers. Having read ” Under the Banner of God” it is kinda hard for me to accept the version presented here.
Tomorrow we also hope for fair conditions as we strike out for Muscatine Iowa.

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Had procedure at 6 this morning. All went well and we should be back riding tomorrow early morning. It is marvelous what they can do today. Again many of the staff knew we were the cyclists trying to get home and seemed to give that extra TLC.
Laying waiting for it all to start, an old Berl Ives song came to mind…… “A little bitty stone let me down, spoilt my act.”…. For the young ones the real song had tear instead of stone.
This delay means we will be home on May 25 now instead of the 23. Met a really nice bunch of people who looked after me well. Let’s hope for no more delays.

Good news I will have the ultra sound blasting procedure after all, at 6 am tomorrow. There is a special machine that can handle the relatively big stone I have (7x 6 mm). The urologists thinks we can be back on the road Friday morning.
We have become quite the celeb’s here, the small hospital in louisiana ( Missouri) phoned ahead to let the Hannibal folks we were on our way. When I walked in they knew the whole story and directed me straight into ER. Great treatment. Even the Urologist knew the whole story and promised to do his best to get us back on the road by Friday morning, assuming the procedure goes well.
It is hard to believe how well I feel now, vs this morning when i was really a hurting. That morphine stuff really kills the pain. I should get some for next tax season. Will update the blog tomorrow after the procedure. Just one closing comment…..my riding partner Mark has done a great job not only in leading this trip but also in handling today’s crisis.

Woke up this morning feeling kinda tight around the abdomen, within an hour I was in real pain. Fortunately local hospital was near by and Mark and I rode there. Now in real big pain, turns out to be a kidney stone. Stone is too large to pass, now arranging for a taxi to take us to Hannibal to the bigger hospital there and see a urologist. Will keep you posted.