Anschutz Hill (Part 1)

Rich Dixon is back in Iowa.


Anschutz Hill – an iconic event on the journey of Rich’s Ride.

Day 1, Week 4 – Burlington to Keokuk, Iowa. Our friends Glenn and Judy drove from Denver so Glenn could ride with me. Glenn’s a fellow retired math teacher, an avid cyclist, and a great friend. With three uninterrupted days of conversation, we just might solve the world’s problems.

Glenn and I decided to explore, check out some back roads – felt less risky with a partner. We wandered a bit but eventually discovered a peaceful, scenic road into Fort Madison to meet Becky and Judy.

After lunch…the lovely two-lane farm road turned to gravel. Now what?

It’s a life, and perhaps a theology, question. Keep going? Turn around?

You can retrace your path, but the alternative might be just as bad, or worse. And the gravel might end right over the next hill.

Of course, the road might dead-end, but you don’t think about that.

My bike, with its skinny tires and stiff frame, is great for smooth pavement. Not so comfortable when the surface gets rough. My body jarred with every rock and rut. We bumped along for an hour or so.

Finally, we spotted an intersection ahead, and laughed as we realized our “shortcut” had guided us right back to the busy four-lane we tried all day to avoid. Perhaps another life lesson?

After a few miles of whizzing semi-trucks, we encountered Becky, Judy, and Monte. Becky told us she’d scheduled an interview with media folks in Keokuk, and they directed us toward River Road.

According to the newspaper lady, River Road would be the perfect end to our cycling day. She promised a cruise along the river with very little traffic through gorgeous fall colors, ending at the iconic statue of Chief Keokuk. Had to get excited about Chief Keokuk, right?

She didn’t mention Anschutz Hill.

To be continued…

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Photo: Our support crew…Judy, Monte, Becky

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