Parkersburg was the half-way point between Charles City and Waterloo (Iowa) today, for RAGBRAI (Register's annual great bike ride across Iowa #38!), and our niece, Rachel, and John's cousin, Maria, are riding in it this year.
Even though both ladies are in phenomenol shape, it's been a very hot, long bike ride, and one of them wasn't sure she'd make it another 82 miles today, so I met them in Parkersburg and drove them to Waterloo.
It was just going to be one of the 'girls', but then the other had technical difficulties with her tire (4th flat, and this one didn't make it even a mile from the repair shop in town), so she rode also.
We made a trip to the repair shop in Cedar Falls, and hopefully the problem will be solved for tomorrow's ride.
Parkersburg is the place where a tornado went through on Memorial Day weekend two years ago, where 7 people died, 228 homes were destroyed, and more than a hundred more damaged. This link contains the summary (and an aerial picture of Parkersburg after the storm) and information in a NOAA report (pdf file).
We drove by bunches of new houses and the new school, and Parkersburg has definitely come back in a big way from that devastating day.