Friday, August 21, 2015

Steamboat Trace Brownville Nebraska

We had two goals on our mini road trip.  First, ride Iowa’s famous trail system and second, don’t get hung up on itinerary.

Keeping in mind goal two, I didn’t get upset that we didn’t get away until 4:00 pm Sunday.  We said we would just go as far as daylight takes us.  But, I usually do have some kind of notion of where we might land and  I thought that would be an orchard that allows overnight camping near Nebraska City.  However, when using the Harvest Hosts sites, you must arrive before closing and that wasn’t going to happen.  So, we decided to check out Brownville, Nebraska.  There is a bridge over the Missouri there and a National Historic Landmark. 

The Landmark is the Captain Meriwether Lewis, a 250 foot long “dustpan” dredge that labored 24 hours a day up and down the Missouri River from Rulo Nebraska to Sioux City, Iowa starting in 1931. 

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Unfortunately, the museum was not open so we only relied on information nearby for how it worked.  It took a crew of 58 to run the vessel using 6,000 gallons of fuel oil a day.   It would dig to a depth of 20 feet, scooping 200 feet of channel every hour.  It was retired by the Corps of Engineers in 1969 and placed on exhibit in 1981 along the river outside the small town of Brownville.

There is a lot of camp sites nearby, but the area was entirely empty so we just parked the PW in the parking lot where we had a great view of the river and bridge.

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Dan decided he wanted to sit by the river with a little wine.  So, I got on my bike and rode six miles up and back on the Steamboat Trace—a former Burlington Northern rail bed.   I know Dan would enjoy the area, so I am sure we will be back—it is only 130 miles from home.  According to the map, the trail runs from just south of Nebraska City to about a mile south of where we were parked.  The information says Peru Nebraska has a campground near the trail as well.  That would be a good starting point to ride both directions. 

The trail ran under the bridge (I do like those bridges) so here’s a shot of that. 

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The information says it is a diverse trail.  I believe it as I had just exited a heavily tree lined area right next to the river to this area where crops were growing.

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When I got back, there was just enough wine for a glass for me.  Dan had decided we were selling everything and buying a houseboat and explore the rivers.  It was the wine talking—I think….  Anyway, a relaxing evening.

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Finally, the mosquitoes drove us inside at dark.  Even with the late start, it was a fun beginning to our little trip.

Tomorrow, you won’t believe this trail is in Iowa.

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