On the trail to biking adventure…the road to the Michelson Trail, part 1

Posted: June 13, 2015 in Family, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

As soon as I get home from work on Thursday, we load the car and point it in the direction of Iowa. It’s time for a mini-adventure, mini to me being something that takes less than a week. My husband is an avid biker…as in bicycling, so this mini is going to be a two-day, 109-mile bike trip in SW South Dakota…for my husband. I’ll be driving the support vehicle, support in both the sense of emotional support but also for food, water, and so on.  It’s not the Tour de France, but it’s not a flat ride on the prairie, either. I plan on taking lots of photos and generally having fun and relaxing.

Relaxing will have to wait until after we get through Iowa! We lose between 1 ½ and 2 hours in two huge delays: the first caused by a detour for construction, the second for an accident that leaves the shell of a semi hauling fish shredded. When we choose a place along the highway to eat, the service is quite a lot below stellar, the food only average. Our motel is clean and adequate, but although I’m exhausted, I don’t sleep well.

Up until we’re almost at Council Bluffs, named for the Lewis and Clark confab with Indian chiefs, we are, outside of the huge delays, flying along on interstates, two lanes going each direction. But we elect this time to take the road less traveled by ditching the fast lanes for the two-lane, old-time road of Route 20 once we hit Sioux City, Iowa. Our GPS almost has a heart attack, continually trying to get us to turn around. “Recalculating” plays over and over as she strives to determine why we aren’t following her directions.  Bill finally shuts her off, leaving only the map.  I think that because most people travel on the interstates, there’s not much traffic on our chosen path.  When I was growing up, we went on vacation every year, driving all over the US on two-lane roads.  But at that time, that’s all what there was, so there were lots of vehicles and whoever was driving spent a lot of time trying to pass slower-moving vehicles.  I imagine it wasn’t nearly as much fun then as these mostly empty roads are today.


Although I grew up in Nebraska, I’ve never been in this part of the state, a place that gives lie to the idea that Nebraska is flat and boring. Rollercoaster-like hills go on for green mile after green mile. We reach Plainview, Nebraska and are arrested by the sight of a gigantic clown outside the Klown Museum. Our younger daughter finds clowns creepy, so of course we have to stop for a photo. The owners are working outside and the museum isn’t open, but they insist that we come in, showing us the museum’s over 7,000 clowns, which vary from vintage Ronald McDonalds to porcelain clowns, a clown carved from Mt. St. Helen’s ash, and one made from coal. All the clowns were donated, with many of the owners coming personally prior to donation to see if the museum was suitable.

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No drought here. Everything is vivid green with water lying in many low spots. Then we see a sign for Ashfall Fossil Beds.  Bill becomes animated, insisting that we stop.  So, to the chagrin of our much-tried GPS (yes, she got turned off again), we turn north for the seven-mile drive to the fossil beds.


To be continued…

  1. nowathome says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun, Janet!

    • It was a blast. I realize that because it’s written in present tense, readers will assume it’s going on now, but it was actually last weekend.


  2. slvrhawk2014 says:

    We ONLY drive the two-lane highway anymore…love it. Have fun!

    • I understand why. If time is important, though, the interstates are the way to go and they often go through scenic country, too. I’m thankful there are both.


  3. Funny, we were in northern NH this week on some back roads and would go for ten to fifteen minutes and not see another car. It’s a strange feeling when you are use to being in a wave of cars moving along the interstate. Hope your husband has a great and safe bike road. 🙂

    • It’s a great feeling, isn’t it, Judy? As for the biking, it was last weekend and it was great. The saga will continue next week. As I used present tense for the story, I realize now that people think it’s happening as I write.


  4. pattisj says:

    This is my idea of a road trip! Your GPS must have been trained the same place as ours. 😉

  5. I love road trips. My husband and I have some of our best conversations as miles click by!Good you silenced the GPS 🙂

    • I agree, Judy. We sometimes listen to a book on CD, but often just talk or listen to the quiet…or Bill takes a nap, although not while driving. 🙂 Our girls grew up taking road trips without a DVD player or anything like that in the van. But when they were little, I read to them and I always had surprise boxes for them, filled with things to do, and a craft box as well. I wonder sometime now whether children ever really look outside and see their surroundings.

      I really enjoy driving trips more than flying, but sometimes flying is a necessity because of time a/o distance.


  6. […] On the trail to biking adventure…the road to the Michelson Trail, part 1 […]

  7. […] On the trail to biking adventure…the road to the Michelson Trail, part 1 […]

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