Wednesday, August 1, 2007

From Deep in the Heat of Texas

That's right, "heat", it is not a typo. The weather here is hot (95+) and humid (70+%). I am missing the great weather we had on RAGBRAI, especially the cool nights. Here in Houston it gets all the way down to 80 at night.

After a brief visit with my daughter in Long Grove, Iowa, Gail and I headed down the Mississippi River on Sunday afternoon, reaching Cape Girardeau, Missouri about 8:00. Another 12 hour drive on Monday and we were back in Houston, where we were greeted with a broken hot water heater that had leaked all over the ceiling of our family room and entry hall (in Houston we have no basements, so water heaters, furnaces, etc. are placed in attics). What a mess. As I sit here writing this blog, the plumbers are installing a new water heater. Then we can get the restoration people in to dry out everything and redo the damaged sheetrock.

But the good news is, my ribs are much better.

I want to thank Lonnie profusely for the great job he did in organizing everything. Gail and I had a great time, met lots of new folks along the way, had lots of interesting experiences and sights to see and developed what we hope are lasting relationships with our fellow COEBRAI teammates. We have many memories to cherish for many years to come. My only regret is that I could not ride everyday, especially the Eagle Grove day, but I feel like I still got to experience RAGBRAI at its fullest.

Bob, I will miss your unexpected, off-the-wall comments, that always left us in stitches.

Doug, I am sorry that in the rush of things at Bellvue I forgot to give you my pedal wrench so you could remove your pedals before you shipped your bike. Hope you were able to find some other way to do that.

Katie, hope your husband passed the Bar Exam and has a successful and rewarding law practice.

To all of you, thanks for putting up with Gail and me, especially me. I felt like on the days I could not ride I took out my frustration by becoming a little dictatorial. My goal was merely to help get things ready so the riders would have what they needed, plus a few little treats, when they finished riding for the day. I did not intend to be bossy and I hope I did not come off that way or offend anyone. If I did, I apologize.

The bottom line is that RAGBRAI was a fantastic experience for us and we will miss all of you.

Best wishes for all,

Gary and Gail

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