Day 14 – Lewis and Clark SP to Sioux City, IA (Stone SP)

58.8 miles today – 733.3 total miles

The most incredible thing just happened.  But I can’t get ahead of the story so I’ll tell you about that later.

Sometimes I wake up grumpy, sometimes I let him sleep.  Keith didn’t want to get up early this morning.  After some protest he got up and we got things ready to leave.  We left camp just before 9 am.  I knew from the forecast that today was going to be hot and I wanted to get our miles in before it heated up.  In fact, the forecast through Sunday is for very hot weather.  Tomorrow is going to be 100-105 degrees with very high humidity.

We made very good time with a SE wind and since our general direction of travel for the day was NW we did great.  The road was flat and for a good bit of time we did 16-20 mph.  Once we got into Sioux City there was more traffic and we had to be more careful.  Keith wanted to know how many crazy people you could fit in one drivers seat.  That was his opinion of a few drivers.

We made it to the downtown area and found the bike shop.  The people there were really nice.  We unloaded the bikes and they checked them out.  The mechanic looked at my wheels and said they were perfect.  I felt real good about that.  My roadside adjustment was pretty good.  He went ahead and made a few other adjustments that were needed and lubed the chain and other moving parts.  Then he looked at Keith’s bike and found that his wheels needed truing.  Keith was amazed.  All this time he thought that his were good and mine needed adjustment.  He also found a way to remount the bicycle computer (speedometer) that had been displaced by new handlebar tape we put on last week.  When it was all said and done, he only charged us $10.

From there we stopped by IHOP for a second breakfast at about 3 pm.  After we had eaten, we went down by the river and went though the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center .  It’s a really nice place with great information.  The lady that helped up told us about things we would see on the next few days of your trip upriver as well.

By the time we left it was almost 5 and after a short stop at another museum and a bathroom break, we headed for Stone State Park .  After we got a couple miles out of town, we remembered that we forgot to go by the grocery store.  We thought about what we had and decided we could survive well enough.

The road to the park was nice and flat.  The road from the park entrance to the campground started with a climb that neither one of us could make to the top.  Pushing the bikes wasn’t much better.  As we were getting our site ready a couple rangers came by and asked about what we were doing.  They had seen us attempt the hill.  They were very nice and helpful and got us all registered for the site.  They were very impressed with what we were doing and said they had another father/son duo come though last year on a tandem.

We got showered and setup.  Even after the shower we found ourselves sweating just sitting there.  Listening to the weather radio we heard that at 8pm the heat index for Sioux City was 117 degrees!  And it was going to be even hotter tomorrow and tomorrow night the low was going to be in the upper 80’s to 90 degrees.   We realized that at about 8:45 that this wasn’t going to work and we would have to get a motel, no matter the cost.  I got out my map and got ready to try to call a motel and see if they had a shuttle service.  Cell phone reception isn’t that great in the park so it was going to be tricky.  Just then the rangers drove up.  We explained what we were trying to do and one of the offered to let us stay at his house.  They helped us transport our gear and offered the use of this dryer for our wet items (we hand wash our biking clothes every day).  They even gave us back our camping fee!  There are angels of mercy everywhere.

Keith and I both feel very blessed right now.  We’ll be staying here tonight and tomorrow night, sleeping on his living room floor, and we have a ride to church tomorrow morning