Freedom Rock Ride 2012

by on August 1, 2012
in Iowa Rides

I recently had a few days off from work and the days were sunny so I was determined to get at least a couple of good day-rides in. Steve had been wanting to get out to see the 2012 mural on the Freedom Rock, so Greenfield was our first destination along with Shirley, Garry, Dave R., Kristin and Teri Ann.

It was going to be another very hot day, so even though Greenfield and the Rock are only about 60 miles away, we planned a stop halfway. We took off along SW 9th Street in Des Moines, which quickly becomes County Road R63 heading south, and turned west at Highway 92. In the past we’ve stopped frequently at the Casey’s General Store that sits a hundred feet from the junction of 92 and 169 at Winterset, and such was my plan here again – but, upon making the left turn off 92 I quickly realized that the familiar building was gone and the site was under re-construction. Thank goodness this is Iowa, and there is always another Casey’s!

After a brief stop to “stretch and hydrate” (as my former boss used to say), we took off again to the west – traveled the 24 miles to Greenfield along 92, then north another 12 miles along Highway 25 to the Freedom Rock – so named because local artist Ray Sorensen paints a new military-themed mural on the rock every year. This year’s Rock recognizes the Tomb of the Unknowns, US Naval Petty Officer Taylor Morris, the POW experience, and Iowa’s Sullivan Brothers.


The Rock has become a destination for bikers, veterans, and other military supporters from around the country. There is a contingent of bikers that now stops here each year while en route from the west coast to the Viet Nam memorial in Washington, D.C. just before Memorial Day.

While at the Rock we encountered an older gentleman who was also visiting – turns out he is a Greenfield area resident and also a WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. He said he visits the rock frequently to chat with the people who come to see it.

We also met a fellow rider – a gal named Michele who had come down on a solo ride from her home in Story City. She gave us a terrific gift – a group photo that included ALL of us (rather than the usual “all minus the photographer”). It was neat to chat with her there at the Rock, and we invited her to head north with us to our next stop at Guthrie Center.

We left the Rock and headed north along Highway 25, which took us into Guthrie Center and yes, another Casey’s. This was the same location where we’d stopped in 2006 and met the woman whose dad helped trowel Albert the Bull over in Audubon.

Visited a little more with Michele here, and finalized our route home. She traveled a few miles east with us to Panora, where we waved a farewell and turned to the south on County Road P28. We picked up F59 a few miles outside of Panora, then F60 outside of Redfield, and stopped again for a final stretch-and-hydrate at Adel. We picked up Highway 6 going east out of Adel, and took that all the way into Des Moines. It’s funny that this used to be a very rural drive. Now, after decades of record growth westward from Des Moines, it’s a short 7 mile path from Adel to Waukee and then 100 percent developed from Waukee clear through to the far east side of the Des Moines area. So we’re now “back in town” even though we are riding through a town that used to be considered “out in the boondocks.”

In all we traveled 150 miles and were pretty well roasted by the time we got home (I was going to say we were “baked,” but I think that might mean something else!), but it was certainly a great way to spend a vacation day!

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4 Responses to “Freedom Rock Ride 2012”
  1. Tim says:

    Great ride report again Janet, and glad you all had a good time! Sure hope Caseys never ceases to exist, because without their pizza and cookies, I’d shrivel up and blow away in a gentle wind. When out riding, I don’t get past many Caseys stores myself. It’s a “have to stop in” kind of thing.

  2. Shirley says:

    This was a great ride – thanks to our leader & navigator! Great to meet another biker chick, too and she turned out to be so darned nice

  3. Trobairitz says:

    The Rock looks like a great destination. It is nice that someone takes such time and attention to do the murals in such great detail.

  4. Pam says:

    Your statement about being “baked” made me laugh! Nice ride though.

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