Thursday, October 08, 2009

Change of Pace

Occasionally it's nice to sleep in. This morning it felt as if the whole world was doing that with us. We'd found a quiet hotel with blackout shades and thick cement walls that seemed to hold us in darkness and silence into a misty morning that began at noon. Just as well, because Iowa City was slumbering under thick, low, wet clouds that didn't want us to fly until late afternoon. So instead, we repacked for the umpteenth time and then Anne wandered the downtown area a bit foraging the neighborhood for breakfast while I foraged the web for aviation weather forecasts along our intended route to Milwaukee. She found the Bread Garden Market & Bakery next door while I found fog, clouds and rain hanging over us though nearby Cedar Rapids was clearing. When at last we ventured out to head back to the airport, I paused to snap our first glimpse of fall colors.


While waiting at the airport, I invested another hour and a half getting Verizon's "easy" USB internet access to work (my Native American name might be Dances With Verizon Voicemail because it took a lot of experimentation to reach a human, who instantly understood that the computerized voicemail options didn't apply to my problem). I'll find out if it's still working when I go to post this in a few minutes. Speaking of frustration, at last the clouds lifted just enough at 4:30 for us to take off and head east toward better weather so we could then turn back northeast along the edge. Within a minute after takeoff we were in much better conditions, so we set course for Janesville. As you may recall, our flights so far have been guided by the will of weather that had pushed us on smooth and fast winds just ahead of a monster storm that gobbled up KS. Well today some similar force kept nudging us more toward the north away from Janesville. When we flew a comfortable distance from the very edge of the rainy weather, our course was inexorably directed to Dubuque. Eventually we caught on and just shifted our destination to match our destiny. Now here we are in a cozy and inexpensive room in an historic little city. After populating the room with our now highly efficient luggage (2 small backpacks and 2 small cloth bags), we set out to get some exercise walking the historic downtown. The quiet and stately 1886 Schaffhauser seemed to sum things up somehow.


Almost next door, Dottie's looks like what we dubbed the "Archetypal Cafe" on our first adventure together: driving around the Southwest in our "inflatable" sports car (a 280z with tent) some years ago.


Nearby we paused in front of the 5 Flags aka Orpheum aka Majestic Theater.


Disregarding advice to stay on Main Street, we wandered a couple of blocks further up from the river and chanced upon Cable Car Square with several antique stores and what we were later told is the steepest such transport in the world. I snapped two kids who had paid the buck each to take their bikes up for what was probably a screaming fast roll back down on quiet streets. Can you make them out in the departing cable car, or see the other one coming down on the right?


Nearby the Gotta Have It sign and tree-lined street framed the church in a way that caught my eye.


We finally chose the 180 Main Pub & Restaurant for a light late dinner, and had a fun chat with Katie who showed us the old Irish pub downstairs and told us about some of her favorite things to see and do in Dubuque. Apparently there's a (mostly) friendly rivalry between people who live in the different states at this river junction. Tomorrow we'll try to get permission from ATC to fly over and snap some aerials.

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