I just traded by 00 R11R for an 01 R11RT and got the chance to do a little riding yesterday. This is somewhat rare this time of year in my neck of the woods.
So I took off from Cedar Rapids and headed northeast on 151 to Dubuque. Wanted to get highway miles in to try to judge touring comfort. It's been pretty warm around here, so the landscape was much greener than normal, although of course the trees have defoliated and the crops are (mostly) all out. The terrain is gently rolling, mostly farmland, with numerous stands of tree and prairie interspersed. The hills get more dramatic as you approach the Mississippi. At no place does anything approach 'Scenic and Wild', but I am one of those wacky souls that really digs the Iowascape.
I stopped in Dubuque for awhile. It is, I believe, the oldest town in Iowa, settled sometime in the 1600s by French miners. It is a typical old river town that was devastated by the migration out of industry in the 60s/70s. They are attempting a comeback now, and appear somewhat successful. They have some nice architecture: