A bit about RAGBRAI . . . A big fire . . . A crazy bachelorette party

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Sorry for the delayed post, everyone. It seems as if everytime I’ve started a new blog during the past few weeks, something comes up and I can’t get it finished. I’ve already had multiple interruptions while trying to get this one going, but I refuse to leave tonight without getting it done. The big deal this week . . . PICTURES!

OK, I know people are probably sick of hearing about RAGBRAI. Bear with me. For years acquaintances of mine have pestered me about doing at least a portion of the ride. Of course, this is the year I should’ve done it . . . given the fact that the most famous cyclist IN THE WORLD was on the route. Oh well. Here is a funny blurb from my friend Dave, who teaches spinning classes at Walnut Creek YMCA (he’s also been doing RAGBRAI for a gazillion years).

RAGBRAI is like the human body. Lance at RAGBRAI is like scraping your elbow. You focus on it a bit, take care of it, and move on with your life. RAGBRAI won’t fundamentally change because of Lance, but his presence does cause a stir. While he was the talk of the day for a couple of days, you still had to go on with the ride, eat, shower, camp, ride, deal with hills, heat, headwinds ect. I say to Lance, ‘Welcome to Iowa, and bring your ex-girlfriend too!’

I wrote back, telling Dave I think it would ROCK if Sheryl Crow showed up next year and asking if he got a glimse of Lance. Here is his response:

Dude, we were hammering to hang with the man and his posse! We had the whole train that day (see pic!). we are usually a 13-14mph machine and were doing 27-28mph just to hang! He did comment as he passed us going up a hill “Whoa, what a STACK!” (talking about our rig… I assume!). Dee, the kids, and I NAILED it to latch on to his group by the top of the hill…. so… alas… no pics of the man. At one point I asked Dee “Can you see his legs?” “OH YEAH!” was her reply. I had to wipe the corners of her mouth when we stopped in Victor! (she’d never admit to that, so don’t bother asking her!!!)

This is the Mable family doing RAGBRAI. Dave emailed me this pic, but I think it may be a Des Moines Register photo. So, here’s credit to The Register just in case. All I have to say about this is that I can’t imagine taking three kids on a week-long bike ride/camping trip in 90 degree weather. I couldn’t even babysit for that long, much less under those conditions. Well, maybe I could . . . if Lance Armstrong was there.

There are huge wildfires tearing up northwestern Nebraska. . . not a big deal to most of you, but a big deal to me because my hometown of Chadron is on fire. Literally. The nighttime picture shows the sillouette of the one high rise dorm on the Chadron State College campus, which sits on the south side of town. The other photo is also of CSC. . . the hill on the right side of the photo is known as “C-Hill” and is something of a landmark. Both of these photographs are courtesy of my hometown paper The Chadron Record. Last Friday, the southern part of town was evacutated (about 1,200 people). My middle school math teacher’s home burned, along with about a half dozen others. I talked to my folks yesterday. They’re in Phoenix, and more than a little freaked out about what’s happening at home. Just two weeks ago, my aunt and uncle were told to evacuate their home in Valentine, NE which is just a few hours east of Chadron. Scary.

This last Saturday, a bunch of us celebrated Lynn Melling’s final days as a single woman. I haven’t been part of a bachelorette party for some time, and this was a good one. I will not disclose details of what kind of goofy things we forced Lynn to wear, carry and drink . . . that’s her call. Needless to say, we all had a good time. I know lots of guys who are heartbroken that Miss Lynn will be officially “off the market”, and with good reason. If I get permission, I may add some pics for this section in a few days (stay tuned).

As always, thanks for reading and posting comments and sending emails. My brain is fried from teaching myself how to add pictures to this darn thing (by the way, Dave Price has a little brainiac intern who helps him with this stuff . . . I do not have an intern, and I’m technologically challenged).

Be well!



  • Casey

    Erin,Sorry to hear about the fires in your hometown. It kind of looks like all of our fires right now in Montana. Our worst is in Glacier National Park right now with about 22,000 acres burning. Thats about 3 hours from me, so I can’t complain about smoke or anything. That is my least favorite part of summer months in the western states. Its very hard to see your town so close to a fire and knowing it could be taken away in an instant. Been waiting for new blog, love to read it! Glad you had so much fun at the bachelorette party, sounds interesting! :) That’s it for now, have a good week and can’t wait until your next blog!

  • North IA Mom

    Hey! Dave’s on vacation this week, so I’m sure that little brainiac intern would love to help you with your technology problems!

  • Heather R.

    Tell Lynn congratulations! Everybody is getting married these days! Im sorry to hear about your home town in Nebraska. I used to live in Omaha for a few years. Nebraska is a great state. Keep cool and have a good week Erin!!!*Heather*

  • Travis B

    I know I am very disappointed that Lynn is now “off the market”. Anyway, thanks for the blog and sorry to hear about the fires in your home town.

  • Kathy

    Erin,I found your blog this morning alomg with Murphs! I love it. I think my favorite was about your hair. I always worry about my hair. When I went short a few years ago people told me I looked 10 years younger!!! I felt so good. A year ago I started growing it out, now I hear I really like your hair now. O.K. do I look better older or what???CRAZY! When I turned 40 I had my hair cut short and permed by a great stylist. I HATED it. I took vitamins because I felt it would grow back out faster.As women are we ever satisfied?Kathy

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