Monday, July 26, 2010

Trail Condition Report

The last week, I have been busy riding my bicycles and checking the various trails in Council Bluffs. We had some pretty miserable weather over the last week- hot and humid. Add in the regular storms during the week. The weekend turned out nice. Still got in 100 miles in the last 7 days.

Most of the rides have been between Xtreme Wheels and the Western Historic Trails Center. One ride up Dumfries Hill on the Wabash Trace. The last couple days I brought me D-SLR camera and shoot some HDR photos.

The top photo on today's posting is of the Dumfries Bridge on the Wabash Trace.

The Missouri River is up this week. There were heavy rains north (up-river) last week. Word is that the Corps of Engineers is also releasing more water through Gavin's Point Dam. I even heard that river level may rise as much as 3 feet from its current level!

Today, I headed out from the bike shop to the Trails Center. Rode the Lake Manawa Trail and stopped by the mountain bike trails to checkout their condition.

The second photo shows the flood waters over the THOR trails at Lake Manawa. The water is over the road that leads to the river boat ramp. Its going to be a long summer - hope the river drops so we can ride the dirt trails later this year!

Since the river rose back earlier this summer, the Iowa Riverfront Trail has been under water behind the Western Historic Trails Center. The waters have been slowly receding. The folks there have been busy clearing the trails of trees that dropped across the trail.

The next photo in this blog posting shows the water still over Iowa Riverfront Trail. There is a marked detour around that section of the trail.

From the Trails Center, I decided to complete the loop around Council Bluffs. The next section of the trail that was causing me concern was under Harrahs Casino. I had heard that the lower parking lot was under water.

There is water in the parking lot and the trail is flooded along the river. There is no marked path to ride under the parking structure. I dumped the bike on the mud riding past the equipment parked there. Not hurt, just some mud. Be careful riding under the structure - the pavement is slick with river silt mud.

In the final photo on this posting, you can see how high the river is.

Rode on up the trail to the Bob Bridge. Took a few of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos along the way. In the 25 summer seasons that I have lived here, I do not remember seeing the Missouri River that high. Most times when there has been flooding on the Missouri, it has been downstream from Omaha/Council Bluffs.

The next stop was the end of the Iowa Riverfront Trails at Big Lake. The rode there has been flooded and is closed. The trail is high enough that is it dry. Big Lake is "full".

Headed on through town on N 8th and my normal route to Harry Langdon. After over 22 miles under my belt, I was pleased that my legs were strong enough to carry me up the hill there at 10 mph.

Ended up with 26 miles, about 2 hours and a quarter. A good ride, several good photos.

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