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June 13, 2005

Iowa City, Iowa

We arrived last night and were gladly met by mikey's friend Kate, who promptly took us to get burritos (since we're west of the mississippi, i figure it's ok to eat mexican food). Then she showed us a typical Iowa bar, and we rode 40 minutes each way on dark country asphalt to a reservoir to go swimming. The water was warm and it was excellent to look up at the sky and actually see stars.
Chicago was a good time, the highlights were:
Hanging out with my cousin JJ and her serious boyfriend Aaron, who brews his own excellent beer which i drank a lot of.
riding around the city, which is the best way to explore a new place.
eating at the Chicago Diner, which reminded me of the Paradox in Portland, but not as greasy or good.
Going to bars a lot. a lot.
seeing cubs fans have fistfights in the street near the stadium.

I remember a long time ago talking with ms jennifer andersen about being fascinated by the midwest. part of me thinks it's flat ruralness is almost disconcreting, i'm so used to mountains or seas, i wouldn't know where to escape to if i needed somewhere to hide. The people are very nice though, as they are reputed to be, and half the time i imagine aaron buskirk frolicking through his youth in cornfields.

So i bought a new bike while in chicago. it's a Gunnar Ruffian steel single speed mountain bike, which is pretty much exactly what i wanted. i bought it from some tweaked out metal head in the Bucktown neighborhood, and just buying it was a funny experience. we showed up and he came out of his apartment, muttering to himself about how he lent the bike to somebody and it would be back in half an hour. we wandered around his barrio, looking in dollar stores and listening to the L train rumble by for almost 2 hours before the bike finally materialized. it was this garrish shade of yellow, but it fit me alright, and seemed a pretty good deal at $750. i'm taking it to the shop today to get a new chainring, and then i should be set for the dakotas. sounds like owen might meet us up in Montana, which would be totally excellent.

Posted by bendan at June 13, 2005 08:32 AM

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