Day Two- Iowa City

My couchsurfing host of last night and I started chatting last night and didn’t let up til sometime after 11.  Great conversation, but I’d been planning on going to bed early.  Me and plans…

I had a little trouble getting to sleep during the night but managed a solid four hours between 2 am and 6am.  By 8 am I was on the road and surprisingly awake.

I’d calculated that I would be on the road for seven hours, plus stops.  I’d forgotten, as I do every trip out west, to compensate for the time change as I leave eastern time for central time.

I made quick stops for gas and water, but my first real stop was Redband Coffee Company (http://www.redbandcoffee.com/) in Davenport, Iowa on the recommendation of my friend Graham.
He’s right- they have amazing coffee. By the time I got there my few hours of sleep were starting to take their
toll.  The coffee hit the spot and seeing an elderly man walking around shirtless in black dress shorts, black knee socks and a purple velour sunhat with purple feather trim did much to improve my spirits.

From Davenport I continued on to Iowa City and my next couchsurfing host.   After a few minutes of getting acquainted and meeting the roommates (both two legged and four), I set out to visit a few recommended stops.

First was the Haunted Bookshop (http://thehauntedbookshop.com/) which I’d heard about from the blog (http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2011/04/signing-in-iowa-city/  it’s a cute story) of author Patrick Rothfuss.  It’s a fantastic, large, packed with treasures and fun people independent bookstore.  I received some great tips on places to visit from bookstore employee Stef (Stef?  I told you I’d forget your name!) who then proceeded to write it all (except her name) down for me after distracting me with a snazzy Philip K. Dick novel.   Our conversation also led to a possible funny idea for a photo book in the future. I told her I’d give her credit if I remembered her name…

Famished from a long day of driving, water and trail mix, I went to The Red Avocado (http://www.theredavocado.com/).  The Red Avocado is a completely vegan restaurant featuring local and season ingredients.  I had an amazing salad and the most delicious vegan quesadilla I’d ever tried.  They make their own tofu based cheese there and it was wonderfully savory.

After that I was too tired to visit the many other places I’d wanted to see.  I’m going to call it an early night but I’m also going to make a point of staying several days the next time I come through Iowa City.

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