The Blog

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bloomfield to Fairfield

We woke early to grey and threatening skies with weather reports predicting rain.  Before 7, we were on wet roads with occasional rain showers but we did manage to dodge most of the bigger raindrops.

Our map pointed out the Gothic House painted by Grant Wood.  It was a 15 mile detour so I wasn't too excited about seeing the house until the road we were supposed to take turned out to be closed.  The Gods were guiding us again!

We took great photos at the house and pushed on arriving in Fairfield about 11:30 where our host, Stuart Valentine invited us for lunch on the town square.  In preparation for our evenings activities, we chased around getting prepared and trying to relax a bit by taking a wonderful swim in the pond at the bottom of Stuart's property.

The Fairfield Art Walk is a monthly event that takes place on the Fairfield square.  We arrived in time to participate in the largest one of the year and the theme was 'All Things Italian'.  The only thing Italian about us is the shade of our overexposed to the sun skin.

The square was hopping.  All the shops were open.  Food, art and entertainment opportunities were set up all over the square and there was a sustainability theme as well.  We were very busy talking and talking about the bikes, our trip our reasons for doing what we are doing and dealing with folks who wanted to ride the bikes.  Rolf was very busy talking to people as well and I think the conversations he had improved both his English skills and his knowledge about the electric bikes.

Fairfield is a very interesting town.  Over 35 years ago the Maharishi movement bought an old campus and moved its headquarters here.  Since then there has been a slow but steady blending of the "meditators" with the local farming community.  Obviously, there are huge differences between the two cultures but over the years acceptance has grown.  It was very easy to see at the Art Walk who the Maharishi folks are and who the other folks are.   The town has more recently begun to attract people who like the culture here because of the diversity and the commitment to sustainability that is part of the Maharishi culture.  Our host, Stuart is a mediator but not a blind follower of the Maharishi culture.  His insights and observations about the community make for great stories and we really enjoy hearing about the integration that is happening as Iowa looks for ways to reinvigorate its economy via green jobs like wind turbine manufacturing.

Gettin' down the road
The Green American Gothic
Bonnie's "Swing Bike"
Swinging on the swing bike
Stuart on the Swing Bike
Catherine and I doing a radio interview at the local solar powered radio station
Feeling like real celebrities at KRUU public radio
Some of our fan base
Talking electrics with Mark Stimson, Fairfield's electric vehicle guru

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