After watching the radar for a couple of hours we decided to make a run for Gutenberg, IA. The weather gods were kind to us on this segment and it was a nice ride to Gutenberg. This town is very proud of it’s German heritage and at the visitor’s center there is a large map of Germany with pins for visitors to pin where there ancestors came from.
Gutenberg has a lock and dam as well as a large riverfront park. As you will find in so many towns there is a memorial to all the local veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Lunch today was at a riverside establishment with a great view of both the river and the lock and dam. Unfortunately we also had an excellent view of the thunderstorms to the south. We were happy to cool our heels waiting for the storms to move on.
If you believe the sign in the restaurant this stone will tell you a lot about the weather and the condition of the Mississippi River. If the stone is wet, it is raining. If the stone is underwater, well the river is flooding. If the stone is swinging wildly, it is windy. You get the idea.
Heading off for Dubuque on highway 52 it looked liked clear sailing until just north of Luxemborg, IA. It started raining on us lightly at first then suddenly very hard. We pulled over to the shoulder going up a large hill when a bolt of lightning struck just ahead. We left the bikes by the road and headed for shelter in the woods. We got soaked. We had rain gear but honestly this storm just popped up and nailed us. I wish we would have taken pictures of us huddled together under a big tree. We were like pathetic drowned rats.
The storm passed as quickly as it sprang up and we were on our way again to Dubuque. This was a really hilly and windy segment with a lot of traffic on highway 52. There was also a lot of new blacktop which mixed with lots of rain made for potentially treacherous conditions on bikes.
Harley Grandma and I took our time and waved the impatient trucks by. We made it to Dubuque in spite of the weather and road conditions. As luck would have it the clouds broke and the sun came out as we drove down main street in Dubuque. The Dubuque Visitor Bureau and the Hotel Julien had a special treat in store for us upon our arrival. We will write about that later.
Here is a great picture of Harley Grandma as we pulled up to the Hotel Julien.