Driving home from the trail left a lasting impression on us. We were able to see the road from the 60-mph perspective of a driver, and couldn’t help but imagine ourselves walking down the edge of the lane. Too many times, I saw my imagined self and swerved at the last second. The road looks much smaller from a car. Not to be deterred, we came back to the trail with some caution, and a much stronger appreciation for the patience of all of the drivers who slow down and try to not kill us.
We also returned to an unrelenting, oppressive heat. We try to wake up early and start walking before the sun is up, and on a good day we can get 10-15 miles in before the heat becomes unbearable. Slater picks up the dogs before it gets too hot, and we keep walking and hydrating and sweating until we can’t take it anymore.
Amazing trail magic has happened! Two wonderful people that we met waaaaaaay back in Queenstown, MD sent us a care package full of delicious treats and useful novelties. Most of the food has already been devoured. Thank you, our Queenstonian frends!
After only a handful of days in Iowa, we have found it to be beautiful and surprisingly diverse. I expected a flat corny desert, but the hills are rolling and the corn fields have a soft undulating geometry.
Yesterday, we got 14 miles in before calling it quits for the holiday. We camped in Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, and celebrated the 4th with chili dogs and cold(ish) beer. We washed the salt out of our clothes and swam in the lake before grabbing showers and driving into town for the local Keosauqua fireworks. It is good to feel free. It is also good to feel clean, even if it only lasts until you step back into the oven.