May 27, 2004

5/27/04 Nebraska City NB

77 miles (687 total)

Good Morning Big Lake

Even as the sun was barely up, you knew it was going to be a hot one. Packed up and headed over to Steve and Bob's rented room. They had a full kitchen and decided to cook breakfast. But because they had to buy a full dozen eggs and a large box of pancake mix, they invited me to help eat it all.

Steve had got a different route from one of the locals, so they would be following the trail on the Missouri/Iowa side. I decided to continue on back to the original route on my maps. Probably my mistake.

Just like I thought, it was already starting to get hot. And instead of following the flat bottom land, I rode up and down rolling hills all day long. Sometimes I could see three or four crests to the ribbon of a road ahead.

Bob & Steve

At Brownsville, I stopped in at the Ice Cream Parlor for a bit of lunch and to savor a vanilla milk shake. But as I was leaving, looked like my sunshine was going to be interrupted by rain clouds.

I had only gone a mile on the Steamboat Trace Rail-to-Trail when it started to come down hard. The only good thing was I could see blue sky ahead if I could only get to it.

The Steamboat Trace is about 24-miles long and I can't say I recommend it at all. It doesn't drain well and it is too muddy in too many places. I had to stop frequently to get the mud off the tires just so they would roll. There's only one bathroom on the entire length at Peru, NB. But halfway, the rain stopped and I ended up in that sunshine again.

The Merriwether Lewis

Such a romantic!

The Missouri

Got lost again as I left the trailhead and asked some young guy on a tractor for directions. I wasn't too far off, but I came into Nebraska City from the west.

These river towns sure are hilly. I was exhausted by the time I reached the Riverview Campground. I was surprised not to see Steve and Bob since I'd been following their tracks all day on the Steamboat Trace. And even though my uncle Bob recommended Valentino's highly for dinner, I was too worn out to ride back up into town.

Sat and talked to Norma, the campground host, while I mustered enough energy to go set up camp. Later was befriended by Ralf and Beth from Lincoln, NB, who fed me more. No alcohol for me after those last two nights of free drinks. A great group of people all. “I sure hope you liked Nebraska.” Ralf said with a smile.

A cycling friend, Bernard, asked if I felt anything like Lewis & Clark. In the beginning of the trip, I didn't think so, but now as I ride north, it's all new discovery for me. This is my first time up this way, so it's all new, just waiting for me to see what I can see. Just like Lewis & Clark. Finally camped along the banks of the Missouri River, complete with all the hordes of mosquitoes. But I don't mind. Fell asleep early, to tired to even start my journal entry for today.