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 Day 10: 26-Aug-2002 Onawa - Cherokee (map)
Today's distance       66.8 miles
Time moving: 6 hours, 28 minutes
Time stopped: 1 hours, 46 minutes
Ending elevation: 1198 ft
Max speed: 24.3 mph
Moving average speed: 10.5 mph
Overall average speed: 8.2 mph
Cumulative climbing: 1200 ft
Cumulative descent: 1079 ft
Total distance: 637.9 miles

An uneventful day that began with a flat ride across the Missouri River flood plain, then along the Little Sioux River through the Loess Hills. This ride was mostly through a scenic river valley, and a fairly flat ride. Loess (pronounced, best as I could tell, as "luss") is the lightest, smallest-grained kind of wind-blown soils, and the Loess Hills run much of the north-south length of Iowa, just east of the Missouri river valley.

I stopped for a late breakfast/early lunch at Grandma Wimpy's restaurant in Smithland.  One of the waitresses there recognized me -- I had ridden past her white SUV a few miles back as she was parked along side the road talking on her cell phone.  The road for most of the day had no paved shoulders, but again traffic was light, although there were a fair number of grain trucks passing by.

I reached Cherokee in mid-afternoon and stopped at the Chamber of Commerce for directions to motels. The CoC office is in the old railroad depot, which is undergoing restoration. Apparently it came very close to destruction as the private owners had torn down the canopy due to fear of it being unstable. Locals formed a nonprofit corporation to purchase the site, and are now renovating the depot, an outbuilding, and two old railroad cars. Next I went to the public library and posted a message and checked email.

Downtown Cherokee is in a valley, and the motels were up a hill. Rode up there, checked in, had dinner and went to bed early, thinking that I may take a rest day and spend tomorrow here.

Loess hills in the distance.

Loess Hills getting closer.

Looking west, back toward the Missouri river.  Lots of soybean and corn fields.

A road cut through a Loess hill.  This soil is very fine, and erodes very quickly anywhere it isn't stabilized by grass cover.

More insect-munched corn leaves, at the Inkpaduta historical marker site.

An abandoned railroad bed runs up the Little Sioux valley, and in many places the only evidence are old bridges.

Another old railroad bridge, just outside of Cherokee.

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