Keokuk’s not even part of RAGBRAI this year.  I wanted to get a hotel room for the night I arrived.  I could have camped out, but decided against it.  There were no available hotel rooms in Fort Madison.  Keokuk was right down the road.

Keokuk:  Old Indian word for, “Don’t order the salad bar.”

I left some of Mama here, as I plan to do in all the major stops on the ride over the next week.  If you’re interested, here’s what I wrote about my mom when I rode to Chicago last year.

Whenever I go out of town, I try my best to avoid chain restaurants.  I’d rather go somewhere that we don’t have “at home.”  I’m a big fan of “hole in the walls” (holes in the wall?) type restaurants.  That show called “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” pretty much sums up the places I like to eat at.

I drove all the way down US 61 serendipitously looking through town.  (Yeah, that’s a word even if the dictionary doesn’t recognize it.)  Before I knew it, I was crossing the Crooked Letter Crooked Letter Eye Crooked Letter Crooked Letter Eye Humpback Humpback Eye River back into Obama-land . . . err, Illinois.  Turned around to arrive at the River City Restaurant:

Obviously they need to make the handicapped signs into flashing neon signs, too.  Maybe with a warning:  “No Dumbasses”

In continuing my acting like I don’t have the sense God gave a head of lettuce, I didn’t notice until after I was done eating that I’d parked in a handicapped spot.  Arrgggh!  I suppose if we could stretch the definition to being mentally handicapped, I had every right to park there.  If there is any consolation, I was the only customer in the place, handicapped or not, so I wasn’t taking up someone’s space.  Doesn’t excuse me for being a dumbass, though.

The waitress was either exhausted or thinking about a hot date or it was her first day or . . . well, pick your excuse.  Took her three minutes to get to me (again, I was the only customer in the place).   She arrived and asked if I wanted something to drink. Gave her my drink order and she disappeared . . . for five minutes.  When she came back she, “Did you need a menu?”  Ay yi yi.  Another 2 minutes for her to get the menu.

I’d kind of had my heart set on a salad.  My heart skipped a beat or two when I saw on the menu they featured a salad bar.  I strolled over to it, grimaced, and ordered the Bacon Pepper Jack Burger instead:

It wasn’t bad.  I mean, how could you screw up a burger?  (Wait.  Don’t answer that.)

On the way back to the hotel, I snapped a picture of the time / temperature display:

Let’s have no smart-ass comments on how dirty my windshield is, shall we?

89 degrees . . . at 9PM.  At 9PM tomorrow night I’m going to be sleeping outside in a tent.  89 degrees is going to suck.  Mama Nature, let’s see about dropping that so, oh, I don’t know . . . 50 degrees?  (Guess I should be careful what I wish for.  Liable to get a snow storm or something . . . )

Another traveling day tomorrow.  This one by bus from Fort Madison to Council Bluffs.  500 more miles on the road.  At least I’m not driving.