Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bike Ride Report - Pre RAGBRAI - Blair, NE to N. Sioux City, SD

Hello from North Sioux Falls, South Dakota

It was a 90 mile ride today, on a beautiful sunny day with a moderate tailwind and no hills. But 90 miles is still a long way if you are carrying all your clothes and camping gear (me) or your clothes in panniers (Laura) or one change of clothes in a trunk rack (Jim).

Our camp site for tonight is the Super 8.

It's a very posh Super 8. It has a hair dryer, along with the pictured fridge and microwave. Jim and I heard Laura (whom we suspect of overpacking) fire up the hair dryer when she was in the shower. Jim, incredulously, called out "Is that a HAIR DRYER???", while I was busy laughing, but she explained that it came with the room. Who would have thought?

Our first stop for the day was at the Cubby's convenience store in Tekemah, NE, which is where we also stopped last year. It was Gatorade and pizza again for breakfast.

Here is a view of scenic Tekemah. Just up the road is a nice old downtown with a cafe. Maybe if I write how there are other places to eat in Tekemah besides Cubby's gas station, I'll remember next year.

Twenty miles past Tekemah, we crossed over into Iowa, where it is flatter and there are places to eat lunch. There's not much on the Nebraska side.

We saw a lot of birds today. Eastern and western kingbirds, lots of dickcissels, indigo buntings, meadowlarks, and a cuckoo.

Lunch was at the Fort Onawa Pub, same as last year. My cheeseburger had a tomato on it from the owner's garden, which was incredible.

We found an excellent bike path along the river in Sioux City to get through town. It was a little dicey between Sergeant's Bluff and Sioux City, at one point the road turned into an expressway on us, and we had to climb a giant hill by the monument for Sergeant Floyd, and we entered Sioux City through what apparently was once the stockyards, and is now a bombed out abandoned industrial area.

(Sergeant Floyd was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He died from a ruptured appendix, and they buried him in Sergeant's Bluff.)

So I decided we should stay for the night in South Dakota, just so we say we went to South Dakota. Laura had never even been to South Dakota.

I had forgotten what a revolting state South Dakota is. Once your cross the state line, it's all casino, casino, casino, with some fireworks stands thrown in. Apparently the have no laws in South Dakota. Except abortion laws, we also had to ride through a gauntlet of homemade billboards about how abortion is murder. South Dakota is a beautiful place.

Dinner was at the "Goode to Go" restaurant and casino in the Exxon station.

They had Chinese food on their menu. Jim and I weren't having anything to do with Chinese food at an Exxon station in South Dakota. Laura was willing. She asked our waitress, an young girl with a pierced tongue, what was the difference between Szechuan beef, Peking beef, and black pepper beef. She had no idea. She went back to ask, and returned to inform us "They have different sauces." When pressed, she said the Peking beef had ketchup in it. Laura ordered Szechuan beef. It turned out to be excellent, to our amazement.

So when we go out to pay, there's a Chinese guy chatting with the guy working the cash register. "You're the chef, aren't you?" He was.

Raccoons, Skunk, Fox.

Here's the MotionBased page.

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