Welcome to RAGBRAI island!
There's nothing better than being on vacation. Not being connected to the world and being worry-free. A place where you are completely isolated from the world.
On Wednesday, between the towns of Runnells and Monroe, Iowa, we found that place. We call it RAGBRAI island.
Jean Jennings, owner of the 1.5-acre Iowa “skinny-dipping pond,” said she has been waiting nine years for the RAGBRAI route to pass through.
And today we are ready for the celebration.
With a sign posted by the road inviting cyclists to stop by for a dip in the pond, my husband, Kevin and I walked a few yards off the route to see a couple dozen cyclists swimming in the clear, cool farm pond lined with well-manicured edges and stately oak trees.
When we arrived on Wednesday around noon, there must have been a couple hundred people watching, diving, swimming and cheering on the best cannonball.
As I watched a few people peel off most of their clothes and jump into the pond, I smiled and reminisced.
I had flashbacks of summers hanging out at 7 Ponds Park, Southeast Iowa's swimming destination in the 1980's. The pond's water temperature was warm on top and cooler in the deeper areas. I thought about the mud squishing between my toes. It was summer fun. Riding your bike and swimming.
Some things never change.
Tomorrow is another day on the RAGBRAI island. Maybe we'll find a slip and slide, a snow cone and meet some new cyclists.
Regardless, you never know what's going to happen on RAGBRAI island.