C2C Leg#3 Day 3, Council Bluffs to Waubonsie State Park - a detour indeed

Jun 29, 2021

Day 3, Council Bluffs to Waubonsie State Park, Iowa
Miles: 51.3
Total Miles: 168.2

Were up at 6:15am, back under the freeway to the HyVee grocery to stock up for lunch. Today started out foggy and 70 degrees.  

We rode for a short while on the Waubash Trace trail and it was a lovely canopy of shade and trees.  Reminds me of the inter-urban trail in Bellingham.  


But too soon, our map took us onto a fairly busy road with beautiful views over thousands of acres of corn with some sort of massive factory with many power lines in the background.

Surprise! It’s a Google server farm - in the corn fields - with a really crappy road out front. Hmmm.


Thankfully we turned onto a lovely road with the Loess Hills on our left and corn and soybeans on our right.

Then we had the next 12 miles mostly on a very light traffic gravel road which slowed us down from our 14-15 mph to 10-13mph.  

My mother-in-law loved thistles...

At Bartlett we stopped for lunch #1 (turkey on bread - I found a loaf of frozen gluten free bread in Sioux City) and pulled out our tarp to sit in the damp grass in the shade of a giant tree, just off the freeway.  

We were going to take a quick nap, but the smell of a dead animal was a little overwhelming... so back to the bikes.

This is the junction where we had to change our plans for the day’s route.  


“Greater Downtown Bartlett” was this scrapyard.  Nothin’ else.  Not the coffee shop we were hoping for.

The Steamboat Trace trail was still closed due to flooding and so we’d instead take the hillier (but this is Iowa, that can’t be too rough) route along the Loess Hills (that’s them with the trees).

The section from Bartlett to Waubonsie State Park seemed WAY longer than 21 miles.  The sun was out, we had a headwind, we were almost out of water - when we spied a fella out watering his lawn and asked to fill up a couple of water bottles.  No Problem.

The constants: corn fields, soybean fields, grain towers.

Our energy was lagging and I spotted the Whiskey Springs Saloon and thought we better stop.  It was an oasis!  We each had a big chicken salad and 4 COLD Diet Cokes (sometimes you need a break from H20) and stayed long enough to get chilled from the air conditioning.  Heavenly.

It was a 2 mile climb up a 4% grade to reach Waubonsie State Park.   We arrived without dinner food - will eat our “emergency rations” of dried camp food Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice.

Doug is off in the woods, playing his mini-French horn.

 Later that night we went up to the overlook for sunset and were graced by bunnies and fireflies along the way. I’ve never seen fireflies (lightening bugs?) and the looked like little sparks that flicked through the bushes and danced across the grasses. It was delightful.







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