b'Day 43JULY 10Leaving Council Bluffs, we encounter the first rush-hour traffic of the trip since Great Falls, Montana. It is very stressful, as the cars do not give us much room. Riding eastward away from the Missouri River basin, we leave the cars behind and follow smaller county roads whose primary purpose is to join one rolling farmland field to the next. It is quite beautiful, these spacious skies and amber waves of grain. A soft rain begins to fall in the serene countryside. Our early-morning bliss is rudely interrupted by a puncture to my front tire. I repair it only to have it go flat again several miles later. Now the rain falls harder and it actually gets cold. We slog it out over 50 more miles of tough, steep farm roads that follow the exact contours of the earth. The rain doesnt end until we arrive in Shenandoah, Iowa in the early evening. Our first stop is the Corner Mart on the edge of town to ask about places to camp. Emilie writes in her notebook: When we ask about camping, Sarah Parker, who works behind the counter, says her parents would probably love to house us for the night. Within minutes, we are loaded into the back of her dads black pickup and whisked to their beautiful home. Sarah puts burgers on the grill while we shower and change. We talk with Mr. Parker over a couple of beers. His wife Rita washes our clothes. We feel like celebrities. Sarah invites over her friends: Tom, a local cyclist, her girlfriend Vicki who is married to Claudio, from Italy. We spend the evening talking about our adventure, life in New York City, and the Tour de France. In Emilies job for ABC Sports at the time, she had just produced feature stories on a number of the cyclists in the Tour de France, so there is intense interest and discussion about her work.When we ask about camping, Sarah Parker, Well-fed, dry, and tired from a big day of riding, we fall asleep on a sofa in the basement of the Parkers home.who works behind the counter at the gas station, BEGIN: Lake Manawa, IA says her parents would love to house us for the END: Shenandoah, IADISTANCE: 61.4 milesTRIP TOTAL: 2,284.6 miles night. We spend the night drinking cold beer and talking about our adventure, life inNew York City, and the Tour de France.40'