They run a contest over at the RAGBRAI web site each year, in which contestants get to list what they think will be overnight towns in the next RAGBRAI. The prize is a gift card to buy RAGBRAI stuff.
I don’t suppose I stand a chance, but here goes. I decided to plan a RAGBRAI route and enter my fantasy towns. Since the 2011 route was mostly middle of the state, and 2012 was a bit more northern, I decided to emphasize the south. For no particularly good reason, I also decided that in 2013, RAGBRAI would end in Keokuk, just because it’s there in the extreme corner of Iowa.
Come Keokukians, join the fray. Bring RAGBRAI to the soul patch of Iowa.
Anyway, if I had really been contrary, I would have started in Carter Lake, but even I’m not that crazy. So, here is my proposed route for RAGBRAI 2013:
- Sunday, Day 1-Missouri Valley to Atlantic.
- Monday, Day 2-Atlantic to Winterset.
- Tuesday, Day3-Winterset to Knoxville.
- Wednesday, Day 4-Knoxville to Ottumwa.
- Thursday, Day 5-Ottumwa to Fairfield.
- Friday, Day 6-Fairfield to Keosaqua.
- Saturday, Day 7-Keosaqua to Keokuk.
I’ve been to most, but not all, of those towns. It involves some rather small overnight towns—Winterset and Keosaqua, for instance, and Missouri Valley is a pretty small beginning space, but if the towns go all out, a small place can be very nice. The route would not really got through any Iowa “cities” at all, with Ottumwa being the “big” town. Still, that would give it an interesting, rural flavor. And Audrey is from north of Fairfield, so maybe the route would pass within a stone's throw of the old farm.
1/27/12 update: They did choose a south route, I wasn't so very far off.