Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall in the Air

Yesterday was alonst perfect bike riding weather.  I got to the Wabash Trace trailhead about 2pm.  Sunny, low to mid 70s, with a light breeze from the South.  Not too bad for the last full day of Summer.

I had loaded the road bike on the rack on the car, heading for town.  Stopped in at the bike shop to get the battery changed in the bike computer.

At the trailhead, I saw a friends vehicle.  As I headed down the trailhead,  When we ride this route, we usually ride clockwise.  I thought about riding CCW, expecting to meet up with John.  But, that would mean that I would be riding against the wind on Indian Creek Trail.  I thought better, and did the normal CW ride around Lake Manawa.

A week ago. I noticed new signs along the trail in Lake Manawa State Park.  (More on this later)  As I approached Highway 92 and intersection with Veteran's Memorial Trail, there are new signs along the trail.  These are some nice signs directing riders to their desired trail.  (The upper photo shows my road bike at the new sign just South of the junction.)

The signs are a nice addition to the trail system.

When I got back to my car, my friend's vehicle was gone.  At coffee this morning, I found out that as expected, he was also riding clockwise on basically the same route.  Enough ahead of me that we had not met alone Mosquito Creek.

I have one (minor) issue with the signs in Lake Manawa State Park.  Along the trail, there is a sign directing to the Missouri River Access.  What is missing is another sign showing that in the area of the river access, there is also access to the mountain bike (singletrack) trail access.  (See the lower photo and my addition of the signpost)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lewis & Clark Crusher

Saturday was the last race of the Psycowpath Series for the year.  The race was held at Lewis & Clark Monument trails, Council Bluffs.  This is a tough course.  Many riders succumbed so "Never Rest" hill near the end of the race lap.

My photos of the race are posted on my race & event web site:

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Signs Along Council Bluffs Trails

Back from my trip.  It was a rough day driving from Keystone, SD to Iowa.  Couldn't even tell you where (and if) I stopped for proper food.  Spent lots of time recovering and sleeping.

I was hot when I got home.  That didn't help it - I just wanted to stay inside the house.  The good thing was I had time to create my web site pages and get them up to the site.

Here's the link to my trip photos:

Also spent time posting some of the best photos trip photos to my photography blog.  Some also have been posted on my Zenfolio and Fine Art America sites.

The weather broke and today turned out to be a perfect Fall day - sunny, light breeze and temperature in the mid 70s.  Bike riding weather!

My road bike has been neglected. so decide to use it for my ride.  It has been sitting so long that there was basically no air left in the tires.  Been so long since I rode the "Rail" my bike handling was not pretty - until I got riding a bit.

Parked the car at the Wabash Trace Trailhead.  Headed for a ride to and around Lake Manawa.  I have ridden this 10.6 mile route many times.  Wonder why I bring a camera with my on every ride.  Today, I notices new signs along the trail, providing directions to other trails, the lake, and the river boat ramp  Today's photo is one of these signs along Veterans Memorial Trail.  Good job, Council Bluffs!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Black Hills of South Dakota

Tuesday was a "extra" day when I planned the trip.  Have been to the Black Hills several times (mostly for the BH Fat Tire Festival).  This time was a stop to maybe see some stuff I missed.  It also let me to reconnect with more familiar surroundings.

Once I got up and going, I was off for a driving and photography down the Needles Highway.  I guess all of the budgets are tight, but I was shocked when the entrance fee at Custer State Park was $15!  Just a couple years ago it was $10.

Took lots of photos in the Needles.  From there, on down to the Wildlife Loop.  That was a mistake!  Two sections of the road were under "repairs".  A long section was "one-lane" with "follow me" vehicls was for seal-coating.  It was a long stretch they had blocked off.  Big delay.  And there was nothing that I saw when I entered the section of the park - no warning.

Never did see what the construction was for in the second section.  Really frustrated with the first private vehicle through.  Lollygagging through the area - not keeping up with the "follow me" truck.  Between those section, a traffic jam with folks feeding the donkeys/burro's.

The last section of the drive was better, again.  Took the Iron Mountain Highway back to Keystone.  Been on the road many times, was able to perfect my photo shoots in the tunnels.  Skipped the visit ot Mt Rushmore - been there several times.

Final goad for the day was to stop in Rapid City to see one of my old BHFTF friends at the bike shop (Black Hills Bicycles).  Was a bonus as another friend came in while I was there. Back to Keystone, wanted to pick up more postcard stamps - but the post office closes at 2:30!  Picked up a couple souvenirs.

Dinner again at the BaRLee in Keystone.  Wanted to have a Blizzard as Dessert - but the DQ was closed at 6pm!  Whats with this - Keystone is a tourist trap and should have places open later!  Back at the motel, I was exhausted.  Wanted to process more photos from the drive that day.  Just could not keep my eyes open.  Crashed into bed at 7pm.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Devil, Another Canyon, and a Cousin

After a frustrating night in Buffalo, Monday was a treat!  Though it started with a boring drive along I-90.  I exited the interstate at Moorcraft.  Destination - Devil's Tower.

Devil's Tower was the first National Monument.  Well known as the location in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The monument is a short drive (or motorcycle ride) from the Black Hills of South Dakota.  You can circumnavigate the tower on a trail.  Climbing Devil's Tower has become popular (permit required).

Hit the South Dakota border and the rest area with information booth.  Picked up maps.  While stopped there, I called a cousin who is touring the area.  He and his wife are en route to Yellowstone.

I was going to just head to Keystone (my lodging for the night).  The sign of Spearfish Canyon scenic drive drew me.  Another scenic canyon.  The drive dropped me in Lead (old mining town - Homestake Mining Co). Saw a couple pf the Mickelson Trail trailheads that I had visited during Black Hills Fat Tire Festival.

Settled in the room and processed photos from the day.  Planning to meet my cousin in the evening.  I was getting hungry, to called him and said I was off for dinner,  He and his wife found me at BaRLee's Food & Drink.  Had a great evening talking at the bar.

Had a pretty good day! 

Monday, September 2, 2013


Was planning to write this posting last evening, but had big issues with the wi-fi here in my motel.  I hope it stays connected enough that I can get it done this morning.

Sunday was the time to start heading towards home.  Early up and mostly packed in the room in Jackson,  Since I had not eaten any solid food Saturday, I started with a full breakfast at the Virginian. Good food, so=so service.  The server could not understand that I wanted my "go-cup" filled with ice and then topped with water - NOT filled with water with some ice in it.  Oh, well, there was some king of "local resident" discount.  I looked like an tourist, but was there when the restaurant opened.  Many she thought only locals would be in at 6:30.

Checking out of the motel, I stopped in downtown Jackson - scoped out goods for sale and stopped in at the visitors center.  Mostly had to use the rest room!  Headed North for Moran Junction.  Did my final "Good-bye" to Grand Teton, heading for Buffalo.

My route took me (on purpose) through Wind River Canyon (upper photo),  Had discovered this canyon during a trip to Yellowstone in the early 80s,  The canyon ends near Thermopolis, WY.  Did not remember the large hot spring at a state park there.

Up to Worland then East to Ten Sleep. This was my second scenic drive of the day.  US 16 through Ten Sleep Canyon was called the "Cloud Peak Skyway" (see lower photo). 

Found my motel in Buffalo (stopped in a convenience store for directions - they said they did not have a Days Inn in Buffalo!)  The motel had changed name in May.  Anyway - the frustrating evening started.

Could not get a reliable wi-fi connection from the room,  The staff at the motel was mostly worthless.  One person came to the room and verified the problem and rebooted the router. Never saw him later.

Waiting the router to re-boot, I was going to head to dinner at Winchesters (recommended by the desk clerk).  Winchester's Steakhouse was closed for 5 days - over Labor Day weekend!  Saw Bozeman Trail Steakhouse.  Like breakfast, the food was good but the service was lacking.

After dinner, the internet was in the same condition. Keep telling me there was not problem - even though I was having the same problem on my tablet and laptop.  Finally I gave up the internet and just processed my photos.

Calmed down and got some sleep.  Should get ready for the day, soon.  Devils' Tower and Black Hills today.