Thursday, August 03, 2006

Day 25 –Seward, NE to Shenandoah, IA

. Thursday, August 03, 2006

Temperature: 85°F
Conditions: Clear
Wind: NW 7 mph

Ride Info
Altimeter Trip: 3,000 ft
Altimeter Odometer: 56,110 ft
Maximum Speed: 34.5 mph
Average Speed: 19.5 mph
Distance Trip: 111.4 miles
Distance Odometer: 1,942.5 miles
Elapsed Time: 5 hr 38 min 30 sec

Hotter and more humid today. I was all psyched that we’d be entering our seventh state. It was an early start as always on long days such as these. It took upwards of 10 hours actual riding time for the slower riders to complete rides of this length.

Today’s trip brought us through the outskirts of Nebraska’s capital of Lincoln and through the city of Nebraska City before eventually crossing the Missouri River and into Iowa. Something new that we had to deal with that was absent the last few days was traffic. The absence of a nice shoulder didn’t help matters either. The roads were a little more hilly in eastern Nebraska compared to the central part of the state. Stopped for lunch in Nebraska City (The “Home of Arbor Day”) and then it was on to Iowa. The Missouri River was MUCH wider than when we first crossed the river back in Montana. Traffic on the bridge was terrible. Everyone stopped for their ceremonial picture in front of the “Welcome to Iowa” sign and it was back on the bikes to Shenandoah (The "Seed and Nursery Center of the World"). It was just Jim and I for the rest of the day at that point. We experienced a little drama when there was a bridge out on our route. The state had some detour signs set up but we were hesitant to stray from our directions. The bridge was a couple miles down the road from the detour. Jim and I rode down to the bridge hoping that the bridge wasn’t actually out but was simply closed to vehicular traffic. The idea was that we could then still cross the bridge on our bikes. No such luck. The bridge was literally gone. We hemmed and hawed about wading across the stream carrying our bike, but we came to our senses and headed back to follow the detour.

The terrain of Southern Iowa surprised me quite a bit. It was actually quite hilly. It was a nice change of pace from the pancake flat roads of Nebraska. Another nice change of pace was the fact that we stayed at a campground. Correction – most everyone stayed at the campground. A handful of us chipped in and stayed at a little motel that was right next door to the campground. I found a phone booth after dinner to call my parents as I would normally do. While on the phone, a brief but powerful storm blew through and I waited it out in the phone booth. It cleared up soon afterwards and I walked back to camp and hung out the rest of the night.

Day 26 – Rest Day

I thought I died and went to heaven last night. It was SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD sleeping in a real bed. I actually got pretty use to the foam mats that we normally slept on. You were so tired anyway that you could have slept soundly on a concrete slab. But being in a bed was awesome. And other perks like AIR CONDITIONING and YOUR OWN PRIVATE BATHROOM and SHOWERS WITH HOT WATER and TELEVISION were icing on the cake. People would come over to visit the half dozen or so people that opted for the motel room. I spent the afternoon cleaning and working on my bike. I probably spent some time just hanging out in the room and watching tv too. Remember, I haven’t seen a lick of tv in about a month! A bunch of us opted for dinner in town in lieu of the meal provided by Wandering Wheels. We decided to make the most of it. Back on the road tomorrow for another long ride.