May 29, 2004

5/29/04 Woodland Campground Iowa

57 miles (810 total)

Another fine morning

The morning sun was bright off the water. It really lit up the Omaha skyline. Was up and rolling as most of the other campers slept in.

The bike path was the logical route but proved to be a big mistake. Where the path went under I-29, there was a river of mud over 8” deep. I had no choice but to wade through it. Finally saw where other cyclists had climbed up an embankment to get around in the high grass. What a mess! Mud all over the bike, brakes, wheels and completely covered my feet. Stopped at the trail head and used the drinking fountain to wash as much off as I could. Later found a hose near the high school baseball fields to give it a good washing.

Took me almost five miles to get back to the route. More hill climbing to get out of town. The area north of Council Bluffs is called the Loess Hills. Even passed the local ski mountain.

Slightly overcast but had a powerful tailwind. Sometimes I was actually coast at 20mph. In Missouri Valley, had the buffet at the Pizza Ranch. Asked a guy about camping and met Lyle Ring, a railroad man. When he knew that Woodland Campground was on my route, he called his boss who has a RV there.

The air really felt like a storm was coming fast. At River Sioux, left the route to cross I-29 to find Woodland. Actually the campground should be called 'Woodland City'. There are 800 lots here and they're all packed with RVs, trucks, campers and tents for the Memorial Day weekend.

Mike Blackley met me at the gate to escort me through the rush-hour traffic of golf carts. What a metropolis! Mike and his wife Kim got me settled in for a relaxing afternoon. Later, Mike's sister, Cathy, a dialysis nurse working in Omaha, came by for dinner. She just recently relocated here from Colorado to be closer to family. We talked shop a bit.

River's too choppy for boaters today

Then it was time to meet the neighbors, Jim and his wife Di. What a fun couple! We all walked over to their place for the evening entertainment. Jim's daughter Kelly showed slides of a recent trip to Venice, Italy. She works for Iowa promoting the state and looking for foreign investors. Others in attendance were Darcy, Todd & Julie. Jim is a one man show, and since I was new, he keep me in stitches even though everyone else had heard his stories a hundred times over. Had a blast!

Beer drinkin' dog

But while we were having fun, everyone had one eye on the weather warnings on the TV. As we settled in for bed, the storm finally hit us. Mike and Kim let me sleep on the screened porch since it was looking to be a rough night.