We’ve bicycled to Jefferson on the Raccoon River Trail before, but usually we’re late and everything is closed: the cafe, the tea room, the doughnut shop, the Chinese restaurant…so we go to the Dairy Queen.
On Saturday we hovered on the street in front of the Uptown Cafe and looked at the sign.
“It’s open. Yeah! I thought so.” He has ESP.
“Do we want pie?”
We want pie. Let us have pie.
We haven’t been to the Uptown since 2001. Then we rode 50 miles, spent a night at the Super 8, and ate breakfast at the cafe before riding back. Everybody wanted to know if we rode RAGBRAI, the week-long cross-state ride. No, no, we don’t do RAGBRAI. But a man eating pancakes at an adjacent table had ridden for one day of RAGBRAI. A lot of rain and mud, just like Woodstock, he said. Pushing sag-wagons out of the mud.
It’s a little dark inside, with curvy BON APPETIT signs on the wood-paneled walls. We grabbed a booth, thought about coming back for the chicken and noodles, but it was only mid-afternoon. So we ordered peach pie and pecan pie. “You want that warmed?” Does anybody get his pie warmed? We like our pie cold. No, no ice cream.
We forgot to take a picture of our pie. It’s our goal to eat pie at a cafe in a little town every time we ride a trail, and sometimes we take pictures of the pie.
Pecan pie is very rich. Later I looked up a recipe at Pioneer Woman (see picture): LOTS of butter, sugar, brown sugar, a whole cup of corn syrup, a cup of pecans. Hers looks good, but my friend’s homemade pecan pie is the best thing on the planet. SHE gets HER pecans from a friend on a pecan farm.
Well, the Uptown’s wasn’t QUITE in that class, but it was good. After a couple of bites, however, I probably should have traded my pecan for his peach. I found out pecan pie is 500 calories a piece. If my metabolism were normal, I’d have burned off 1,000 calories on our ride, but instead I gained back the four pounds it took me two months to lose… typical.
When we finish our pie, we’re ready to ride back. We stop and take a picture of somebody’s garden.
Then it starts to rain. It drizzles in the woods, it stops, it starts, it stops, it rains some more, then we’re riding by the cornfields and it thunders and starts to pour. Soon our shorts and sweatshirts are soaked. But there’s nowhere to stop, except at the restroom in Cooper, so we ride in the rain.
It’s really not so bad.
Except today I have a cold.
Now I know you can’t get a cold in the rain. This must have been coming on for a week. But I woke up at 5 a.m. shivering, have spent the day alternately sweating and shivering, have gone through half a box of Kleenex.
And I’m blaming it on the rain.