June 6th 58 miles Dewitt to Marion, Iowa

June 6th 58 miles Dewitt to Marion, Iowa

Shawn Loging with WHBF TV out of  Moline, IL,  met me at the camp ground at 7 am this morning and did an interview and took a lot of videos as I was traveling west on RT 30. Not sure how I did, I think I was half awake. I felt I had trouble remembering things I wanted to say. We will see.

He did a great job passing me and then stopping to taking pictures along the road. He had a little trouble, just as I got there a truck passed.

The first 5 miles were great but the rest of the 55 miles today were brutal!  I had to slow down to 11 and 12 mph. The front end kept bouncing up and down and I  would try to slow down before I hit the cracks in the road. Sure doesn’t help your back and hip. It was a little better when I slowed down.
And here I thought PA, has bad roads!  I was so excited when I got into Iowa. The first day was great but it kind of went downhill from there, with rough road after rough road.

They had a hard winter out here. The roads are all buckled up. I can’t help but think,  that the US needs to think about its infrastructure, and soon!

There was a lot of truck traffic as I got closer to Cedar Rapids today. Lots of stone trucks on the route and I was glad to get off of RT 30 and head north on RT 13 north to Marion.

On the positive side today, all day long I had traffic blowing their horns and waving. Trucks, cars and motorcycles. 

As I was coming out of a small town, I was pulling off the road to let some traffic around, and a gentleman came running up beside me flashing money, and it wasn’t just a dollar bill! Johnabilt snorted and put his brakes on. He seems to know when to stop because he sees green flashing.

I stopped and got out and saw he was a veteran he was so excited about our mission and wanted to hear more about it. Soon 3 more veterans stopped by. They all wanted to sign our book and would love to share their stories with us at a future date.

The most heartwarming moment of today was one of the Veteran’s two grandsons came up and emptied their pockets. They wanted to help. It was all I could do to hold back the tears

I stopped earlier to get a cup of coffee and had a number people around me and thanking us. I always hope we are making a difference but then today when I stopped to take a break, I had so many people say thank you we appreciate what you are doing. It makes it all worth it. Seeing all the cars going by and waving keeps me entertained. Though, I must be entertaining to them too! It’s not every day, a guy goes rolling by touring the US on a Johnabilt! 

I passed a junk yard for old tractors and that when I think I felt Johnabilt speed up. Seeing all his cousins in there, might have put some thoughts in his head. 

It felt good seeing farmers in the fields today and more fields green with corn.

I arrived at my campsite right out side of Marion, Iowa. It is the most beautiful campsite. You can drive through and the sites are very private and clean.

I had a lot of maintenance to do on Johnabilt. The last two days my front tires started wobbling and Steve Koser and I talked about that. He said it’s time to tighten the front hub up. I also felt like my clutch needed tighten up.

I got my step ladder out and thought I need to get this behind me. I had been putting it off for a couple of days already, because it’s not the nicest job and there is a lot of grease.

I got the steering and the clutch tightened up. I checked the wheel lug nuts and made sure they were all tight. Then I pumped gas up to Johnabilt’s tank from spare tank. I couldn’t find a gas station close to the campsite, so I will try to remember tomorrow to top off both tanks.

I also managed to wash some clothes by hand in my tub and hung them outside, since I hadn’t come across any laundromats yet. It was the he old fashioned way of washing clothes, but they’re clean! 

I feel good and I got a lot accomplished today.  Johnabilt and I will be ready to hit the road early in the morning.