The second to last day we rode through the Loess Hills, and once again, Iowa's scenery gave me a pleasant surprise. I had heard that the scenery and riding out there was really cool, but after the previous days' rides, I knew that somewhere, sometime, I'd be let down. I was once again wowed by what Iowa had to offer.
We spent the early part of the day on Loess Hills Scenic Byways, winding our way north through hills, valleys, woods, farmland and over rivers. We went over 50 miles at a time without seeing a town large enough to have a gas station. The ride was beautiful, relaxing, rustic and invigorating.
The Loess Hills portion of the ride ended in Sioux City, where we darted into South Dakota for a while. which completed our quest to hit every state surrounding Iowa during this journey. Another cool thing about South Dakota is that they have an 80 MPH speed limit on their freeways. This gave us an opportunity to (legally) open the throttle on our respective rides and see what they could do. Interestingly enough, I saw a LOT of vehicles (including us) that tended to cruise at speeds between 70 and 80 MPH. I didn't see much speeding.
We continued north until we hit US Highway 18, at which point we turned eastward, ending in Algona. We were within 50 miles of our destination and saw rain on the horizon. We geared up and headed into the rain. In very short order, rain was falling so hard that we had a difficult time seeing the road, so we turned on the flashers and slowed down. That's when the hail started. In all fairness though, the hail stones were just large enough for me to say that we were caught in a hail storm. Regardless, it continued raining harder, and we responded by slowing our pace. Just about the time I wondered how I (we) could continue safely, we entered the next town. The first building in town was a car wash, so I led us into bay of the car wash, where we waited out the storm, which passed in just a few more minutes.