Aug 282015
 
Day 54 - Monona, IA to Dyersville, IA 28 Aug 2015
94 58,409 4661,2 2896,34 19 18,40 523 28737 14 - 21
My most uncomfortable (riding) day so far - who said this was supposed to be fun!?! 90 km against the wind, constant rain and then first signs of an approaching conjunctivitis! My right eye has started to pain and is constantly wet. I covered the eye against the wind with my buff for the last 20 km but I am glad that from Monday I will have some rest from the wind when Niklas and I will be touring by car for a week. I have always known that my bifocal phototropic glasses are great but don't really shut out the wind enough. I can't stand lenses so I need correctional glasses. Bought closer fitting sunglasses today but I don't see as well .... A ver lo que pasa... as the Spanish say. I have entered "Catholic" country, or so it seems. I came across the "first consecrated church" of Iowa in Petersburg and quite a few farm houses are decorated with statues of the Madonna ... Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church is a parish of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The church is located in Petersburg, Iowa, United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first church building for Saints Peter and Paul parish was constructed of limestone in 1868. The present church was completed in 1906. It was constructed in cut-stone in the Gothic Revival style. The interior contains an intricately carved high altar, dark woods and gold trim.[2] Completely wet, I checked into a motel in Dyersville today ... Today I again had one of those short but significant encounters which either oppose  or confirm what you seem to know about this country. When I came into the Super 8 motel - an international chain present in Europe, too - the manager handed me over to a lady in her early fifties to check me in. It turned out that I was her very first customer and that the manager was guiding her through the computer-based check-in procedure. Both were very concentrated on the process and later the manager thanked me for my patience - well, I wasn't going to run away ... Later I met the manager in the cafeteria again and she told me that this was the fourth person she had trained for this position but that she had a good feeling about her. I asked about the previous people and she went through them all: there was a young man in his late twenties who left  after a short time because he had something to do with dealing drugs; a 19-year-old decided to go back to school ("school" in the US includes higher education such as college) and the last one in the trio finally found a full-time job so here she was, training the fourth person in a row, hoping she would stay on a while. "But it's nicer than working alone after my other job," she added. "Why, for you this is a part time job, too?" I asked. "Yes, I used to get by with this job here, but my health insurance has increased its rates so much that I had to get another job last year. I just didn't want to tap into my savings so I got a morning job at a school just across from where I live." "That sounds good," I said and she replied, "Yes, it's easy work, I clean tables and help the kids with their morning meal." Many people here seem to have more than one job, especially if they work in the service industry ... And the issue of health insurance arises again and again in my conversations. In Montana, the state where everybody! seemed to be Republican and some openly expressed their hatred towards President Obama and, basically, any form of government at all, even mentioning the word "health insurance" automatically led to the exclamation "ObamaCare is killing our country, our way of life and the Health Industry!" (cf a previous post) I close this evening with listening to a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra ... Life is great! No pics, sorry
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