It’s RAGBRAI time!

This is our second trip across Iowa on a bike and we’re really looking forward to the party! Last year was our first experience with the legendary ride and we’ve been planning a repeat trip ever since. This year, however, we’ll be joined by Steve’s brother Gary, which should just add to the fun. But first we have to get there!

We left Tuesday morning and drove to Albuquerque. Like last year we got in a good ride on Albuquerque’s great bike trails. This year we did about 24 miles along the North Diversion Trail. Our destination was the International Balloon Museum, the site of the annual balloon festival. It was a beautiful morning for a ride with Albuquerque’s famous hot air balloons in the distance.

We then headed east towards Kansas. And, as usual, we looked for National Parks or Monuments along the way. These stops provide stamps for our National Park Passport book, clean restrooms, and education on our country’s history. Today’s stop was at Fort Union, the largest military installation west of the Mississippi in the mid-1800s.

The site was also a major supply depot along the Santa Fe Trail and the wagon ruts are still evident to this day.

We got our stamp, took a few pics, and were on our way. Good stop.

After a night in Dodge City we headed towards Kansas City. On the way we stopped to see the massive cow lots outside of Dodge Cityand to get another passport stamp at Fort Larned.

Fort Larned was another Santa Fe Trail military post and depot, active in the mid 1800s. They fought the Indian Wars and protected the wagon trains coming west. It was certainly a rough life.

As we travel along the Santa Fe Trail and learn about life in the mid-1800s, we are more and more grateful for our Ford F-150 and air conditioning!

By Thursday we arrived at Gary and Kristy’s house in Kansas City. It’s always fun to see the Brynn and Hudson and the dogs Ruby and Nellie. We enjoyed a great BBQ dinner and rolled ice cream–a real treat. Good thing the riding starts soon!We’ll soon be in Iowa and ready to ride. stay tuned!

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