With this record-breaking heat what better place to spend the night than a campground on the shores of Black Hawk Lake? This 957-acre lake that is Iowa's southernmost glacial lake was named after the Sac Indian Chief Black Hawk. The statue in the photo is a historic landmark that was erected in 1934.
Our host town here is the small resort commmunity of Lake View. It's surprising how many amenities even the smallest towns can provide. And then there's an added advantage that everything is close and it's easy to get around. Of course, as hot as it is, there wasn't much except showers, shade and cool drinks that I was interested in looking for.
I read in today's paper that the National Weather Service reported that the first three weeks in July were the second warmest on record in Des Moines, only being exceeded by July of 1936. Based on total precipitation so far this summer, the area is in its fifth-driest summer on record to date. This could be the driest spell since 1927, even surpassing the Dust Bowl years.
It wasn't until the last couple of hours of pedaling today that I began to feel the excessive heat. That's a major selling point for getting up before daylight and getting started at first light. Overall, today's ride was one of the easiest I can remember. There was hardly any wind, the hills were gradual and provided nice breezes on the way down, and the pass-through towns were spaced out just about right for when I needed a break.
These triple digit temperatures are supposed to be around for two more days, but I'm more than ready to get out there and tackle another RAGBRAI day tomorrow.