« on: November 20, 2003, 12:46:07 am »
My two cents worth concerning the Lewis & Clark Trail: I started near St. Louis (actually St. Charles) and bicycled to Williston, ND. This is the first long tour I've taken since crossing the U.S. via Bikecentennial in 1976. Traffic did not seem to be too bad along the route. It was heavier near the big cities, as expected, but never really a big bother. I was surprised to find a little more traffic in the Dakotas than I expected. Surely not heavy or a particular bother but a fair number of fisherman pulling boats, especially on weekends as the Missouri River is a hot fishing attraction.
-The Katy Trail in Missouri, especially near Easley and Rocheport. Keep a sharp eye to the left of the trail (when traveling west and very shortly after crossing a bridge) near Easley for "Boat Henge". A cabin owner has "planted" his old, retired boats into the ground in a vertical fashion and created a unique outdoor sculpture.
-Arrow Rock is a cool little town. A tourist town with many old and interesting buildings. Weekends are probably pretty busy, but when I was there during the week it was quite quiet and the State Park is right next to the town.
-Weston is another interesting town similar in style to Arrow Rock.
-Definitely stop at the Lewis & Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa if you get the chance and especially so if you have an interest in Lewis & Clark. "Wild Bill" a heavy-set chap with a bushy beard volunteers his time there. He's there virtually every day during the summer months and he's a walking, talking fountain of information on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He'll gladly share his knowledge and he's a great guy to boot. The park has three replica boats of the Lewis and Clark expedition docked on an oxbow of the Missouri. You can board these boats at your leisure and get a great insight into a part of the expedition spent on the river.
-Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD. A landmark visited by Lewis and Clark. It is located about seven miles off the route, but I took a rest day in Vermillion and explored it that day. Worked out good for me.
-I enjoyed the wonderful countryside near Fort Thompson, SD, Mobridge, SD, the area between Yankton, SD and Marty, SD, and the area from New Town, ND to Williston, ND.
-Again if you're into Lewis & Clark, Sioux City, Iowa and Washburn, ND have very good visitor centers.
-Knife River Indian Villages Historic Site just outside of Stanton, ND is a fun stop. They have a replica of a Hidatsa earth lodge.
A few other places I found interesting (places to stay or eating establishments):
-Ellis Bakery in Boonville, Missouri. An old brick building with a fantastic tin ceiling.
(I like old buildings)
-Apple Tree Lane Bed and Breakfast near Excelsior Springs, Missouri (1 mile off route). A great place to stay if you like these sort of things. The home cooked meals are fabulous! Because they are located out in the country they also include dinner with their rate. Dinner, room, breakfast, Wow! Ask for the Northwoods Room.
-Smithville, Missouri has a great old building called the "Brickhouse Café and Pub". Good food, attentive, friendly staff and a good place to mellow out especially if you like blues music (this they play non-stop).
-The city park in Falls City, NB (Stanton Lake) is a nice, quiet little park for camping. Cheap and they have a shower.
-Bike Plus, a bicycle shop in Vermillion, SD. Rich Ross the owner is a very nice guy, has a well stocked shop and will gladly provide information on the area.
-Griffin Park in downtown Pierre, SD is a very good place to pitch a tent. Camping is free, but they do not have showers.
-Pollack, SD has a really cool B & B. It’s the old town train depot, built around the turn of the century. Completely restored the whole second floor is available for rent. They only charge $50.00 per group. I was going solo, so they let me have it for $25.00. The owners are very friendly too.
-"Sweet Violet's" in Stanton, ND. They have great buffalo burgers and ice cream. 'Nuff said.
-Ginger's Café in Williston, ND. Very, very good food at reasonable prices. One half block off route in downtown Williston.
I sure enjoyed the journey and will travel the western half of the route in 2005.