Sunday, July 22, 2012

RAGBRAI...travel, food and great people!


The garden at Tim and Mimi Kamp's
Casey's Almond Patties
I am sitting here writing this looking over Storm Lake in North Western Iowa after finishing the first day of RAGBRAI, one of the 2 short days on the ride – 54 miles – but this is Iowa in July and it wouldn’t be so without the HEAT which didn’t kick in until 11:00 but once it hit – we were deep into heat (the computer on my bike registered 107 degrees).  I could tell you about the crashes, the ambulances, the crazy funny costumes but I first need to go back to yesterday because for us RAGBRAI starts at the Expo – the day before the actual ride. The Expo is a blast – we get lots of freebies and a cool laminated daily map that fits into our biking shirts, there are local food vendors and the air is filled with anticipation and energy.  We got a chance to try a lot of food and talk to the vendors and I have to tell you about Casey’s Almond Patties which are a light crispy pastry wrapped around an almond marzipan type of filling and generously dusted with sugar. After eating one I wanted to know more so I went back to the tent and met Ryan who told me in answer to my question, “What makes these so good?” that they are a 3rd generation recipe that his Grandfather Casey brought over to this country from Holland in 1946 and that Ryan has worked in his family’s bakery since he was a little boy – it is fitting that the bakery is located in Sioux Center and Orange City – places that have a huge Dutch influence. We ate gluten free food at the Carbo-Hut and had an incredible gluten-free taco from a different vendor that I will write about once I get a better picture – they are not only delicious but also beautiful.

Three of us needed to attend the driver safety training sponsored by the Iowa State Police and RAGBRAI so we stayed behind and ate a little more after the training. When we got back to the support vehicle it wouldn’t start…the battery was dead - so I put my daughters on the task of getting us back up and running and they made it happen finding some great resources for us - Team RADPAN’s (Ride All Day and Party All Night )Team Leader Aaron Gillman who had just arrived from Virginia came to the rescue along with jumper cables supplied by Marty Schubach from Davenport, Iowa.  Between the two we were back in business – back to the absolute best host family stay we have ever had. The food, the hospitality the details that were thought through on our behalf was second to none – Tim and Mimi Kamp assisted by our collective granddaughter were the best!  Cinnamon rolls, veggie stir fry with shrimp and chicken, my favorite frozen fruit cups with raspberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges – frozen goodness, everything was just perfect . It would be impossible to think about we would do without the kindness, care and hospitality of the people with whom we have come in contact, who have supported us and really sacrificed and given so much on our behalf. To me – that is the story today of RAGBRAI – people helping people, caring about people and sharing themselves with us. The travel across Iowa has been eventful and eating has been satisfying, but the people have been exceptional and really make me glad to be part of this fantastic family vacation – from my family table to yours.

2 comments:

  1. Keep posting I enjoy reading them so much, and most of all stay hydrated!

    Marla B

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  2. Great to hear updates! We have been thinking about your ride and pray the weather will cool down! Enjoy the ride!

    Karla C.

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