I was back in eastern Iowa with my bike recently. On the day before dad’s surgery, we made the best of the nice weather and thought a picnic was in order. Mom and dad drove over to Bellevue to the park next to the river, while I bicycled over to meet them. One of my favorite routes in all of eastern Iowa is the one from Maquoketa to Bellevue through Andrew and Springbrook. It’s a 46 mile loop or somewhere around that.

This part of Iowa is very rolling. There are some short but steep climbs on this route but it makes for some very pretty country. Bluffs border the road at some points. Then you descend into valleys where creeks run alongside the road. Lots of fields, farms and livestock. Redwing Blackbirds dogged me pretty much all the way over and all the way back. I’d forgotten how aggressive they can be. Perhaps I should say protective. As they swooped in, I was glad I was wearing a helmet. The blackbirds were joined by the much more pleasant sounding Meadow Larks and Cardinals. Familiar sounds to go along with the familiar sights.

The photo below was just one I snapped with the iphone camera on the way back to Andrew from Springbrook.

Iowa Summer