May 28, 2004

5/28/04 Council Bluffs IA

67 miles (754 total)

Woke just as the sun was peaking over the bank of the river. Said a final goodbye to Norma, Ralf and Beth as I rode back up out of town. Usually, I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but when I saw the Lewis & Clark Café, I just had to stop. Everything on the menu was named after members of the expedition. But me, I had to have the Belgian waffles. Mmm.

Looked like a wonderful morning as I crossed the Missouri River again back into Iowa. Almost across the bridge, my rear tire blew. Not sure if it was a 'goodbye' from Nebraska or a 'hello' from Iowa. Either way, I sure couldn't stop on the bridge to change it. Found a quarter inch tear in the tube but no apparent puncture on the tire. Not even sure if a patch will hold it. Good thing I have another spare inner tube. But it is a royal pain to change either tire because you have to unload all the gear. Oh, well, 'tis life.

Once on Iowa soil, I mostly followed county roads, crossed over I-29 every couple of miles to the other side. Looking down from the overpass I wondered what Lewis would have thought of our modern waterways, our rivers of asphalt and concrete. It took me awhile to realize I had a tailwind. Oh, glorious tailwinds, gifts from the goddess mother earth.

Asphalt River

Stopped in Pacific Junction to ask about lunch, but a local woman said I should go a couple more miles to a cafe near the interstate. Who should bull up seconds later but Steve and Bob.

Yesterday, they'd had even more adventure than I. Near Peru, Steve's trailer tire had a flat. They put a tire boot on it but it was only for a short haul. In Peru, they were able to reinforce everything with duct tape. Just as they were getting back on the trail, that rain hit. But they were able to wait it out at th covered pavilion at the trail head. After they got to Nebraska City, they were able to get everything replaced at the bike shop there.

Did notice a stretch of a few miles where there was a lot of roof damage and trees down. And the corn fields looked different too. Then it dawned on me. All the corn stalks were shredded. Must have been a hell of a storm to do that.

As they went on, I stopped at that café to get some lunch and out of the sun. The waitress must have taken pity on me because she kept refilling my coke. Even though the map directions were a little off with street names, I made it into Council Bluffs, IO.

The guy at Tastee Treat said I could take a bike path to a closer bike shop instead of going all the way downtown. Jack Pieper at Xtreme Wheels was able to fix me up with some new inner tubes and chain connectors. Also had trouble today with the magnet for the cyclocomputer. He gave me a different one and I'll try it out when I take a day off.

Council Bluffs is a lot like Kansas City because it's real spread out. I'm sure it was three or four miles to get to the Western Historic Trails Center. And who should I run into but Steve and Bob. The Center highlights the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, the Mormon Trail and of course, the Lewis & Clark Trail.

After that, I had to turn back into the headwinds for another four or five miles to get to the Lake Manawa Campground. Saw the rangers office, so stopped by to talk to a few of the guys outside. “It's full,” one said of the campground. I told him I only needed a little space. I met him at the campground and we decided I could camp behind the host's RV. Still had to pay full price, but that's ok.

Got a shower, cooked dinner, and now just relaxing with some wind blowing over me. I sure hope I don't run into any camping problems for the rest of this Memorial Holiday weekend.

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