Day 39 - Thursday, July 26, 2001
Crofton, NE to Sioux City, IA
The first half
of today's ride was rolling hills and cornfields. The first cafe was 40 miles
down the road in Newcastle, which made a good lunch stop.
After that the terrain flattened out, and after Ponca
- ten miles down the road - the highway widened out and traffic increased for
the approach to the Sioux City area.
The plan was to take US 20 east to US 77 north to cross the Missouri
River. Staying on US 20 to cross wasn't an option, since the map showed it
becoming US 20/I-129 after the intersection with US 77.
While I was headed on US 20 east before the US 77 turnoff, the I-129 signs
appeared suddenly! I made a mental note of where I saw the last driveway (so I
could prove that the initial portion I was on wasn't legally a freeway), so I
just had to get off at the first exit, which luckily was US 77. Nebraska needs
to work on their signage!
South Sioux City, NE had some places to stay, but they didn't look too exciting,
so I decided to cross the bridge into Iowa. There was a sidewalk going in the
general direction of the bridge but then it disappeared from view. So the
plan was to go north across the bridge into Iowa and then straight onto Wesley
When I got to the other side of the bridge Wesley Street was closed for
construction, making I-29 north or south my only choices. Meanwhile, the
sidewalk I had seen parts of before did indeed cross the bridge and go to the
riverfront park, but there was no way to hop the huge fence (at least with the
bike also). So I used the "all right turn method" - right turn south
on I-29, then right at the first possible exit - to get into downtown Sioux
City, Iowa. Both Iowa and Nebraska need to work on signage!
Normally I don't do any preplanning for overnight stops, which works OK for
cities and towns less than about 50,000 people. But Sioux City was bigger than I
had expected, with a population of about 100,000 - certainly large enough for
"characters" to be roaming around downtown. That usually leaves the
choice between finding a really nice (expensive) place downtown, or heading out
to suburbia to find the motels by a freeway exit. Not having gotten my bearings
around the town - normally I can do this in a car by driving around ad
infinitum, but I can't use that method effectively on a bike - I found a motel
that away from downtown, but not far away enough... It was a good thing that I
had something to eat before finding a place for the night.
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