RAGBRAI 2012: Off the route at Stone City
- 27 July, 2012
Stone City, Ia. – By 11 a.m., about 10 riders had found their way to the General Store Pub in Stone City, the historic Jones County community on the Wapsipinicon River.
It’s a hilly ride into the community, approximately 2 miles off RAGBRAI’s main route. In the 1930s, Grant Wood had an art colony in the community.
At the General Store Pub, the town’s one bar and a regional hub, a staff of approximately 50 people, employees and volunteers, worked through the morning to get ready for crowds, said Tristan Langdon, who operates the bar with her brother, Tad Larson.
The bar derives its name straight from its history. The building was constructed as a general store 115 years ago, Langdon said. Henry Dearborn, who owned one of the three quarries in the area, also housed offices in the building, she said.
The building has been a bar off and on, Langdon said. She and her brother began operating it five years ago.
But the week after they opened in June 2008, the Wapsipinicon flowed over its banks. Water came within inches of the building.
After overcoming the floods, the bar is regularly filled with patrons and remains popular among locals, Langdon said.
“I don’t know how we got so fortunate this time,” she said. “It just oozes fun.”
Arriving in one of the earliest groups, Don Daggett, 66, sat down to order a Bloody Mary with teammates. The unofficial pass-through town was a topic in online forums, and has been on his schedule since Dy 1 of the ride, he said.
“It’s a short ride today, so we figured two miles wouldn’t hurt,” said his teammate, TJ Stanfield, 40.
Other riders began trickling in by late morning, but the real fun was expected later in the evening.
“The ones that are going to come here haven’t quite got up yet,” volunteer Joe McEvoy said.
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