31. The Lincoln Highway.

Posting #5: 24th June 2018: Iowa.

Passing over the mighty Missouri River on a pedestrian bridge switches from one state to the next (this was the 6th state). 
It was good to see in Iowa that they also sign the route.
I was surrounded by green scenery. Upon hearing that much of the old Lincoln would be mainly on the busy route 30 I plotted my own route for the first few days and had roads like this;
Although the first night's camping in Iowa did not compliment the day's riding I was at least offered a shower.
The route I'd selected was actually shown on maps as a cycle route but passing through hamlet-like towns meant there was no shops or gas stations for me to grab a coffee. A passing motorcyclist couple stopped for a chat with me as the driver had also cycle toured. Telling him I was gagging for a caffeine-fix he said the nearest town was about 8 miles away. Later as I ambled along into a constant wind I saw another motorbike, this time coming my way....as it got closer I could see it was the same couple....the pillion rider was holding a coffee in here hand, yep, they stopped at the aforementioned town, bought a coffee for me and rode all the way back with it!! 
Later in the day at Panora I join another rail-to-trail route that was set right away from the road, it was just pure bliss riding along in total silence, thinking back to some of the traffic-roaring sections of Lincoln Highway I'd rode down I was now in heaven! The route passed by rural houses, farms and grain silo's.
At Dawson I pass an old renovated railway station. Inside were historical literature about both the train station itself and the history of cycling. As there were shaded pic-nic benches outside and a watering fountain inside I take full advantage and cook my dinner, then filling my bottles head further down the trail and set camp by a bench for a [rare] perfectly quiet night's sleep!
A mural in one of the small towns.
This was a rather cool bridge on the High Trestle Trailhead - said to be even better at night due to the way it's illuminated. So called due to the old wooden trestle rail-bridge that once crossed the Des Moines River, further down a concrete super-slab bridge for cars and here this - no doubt expensive one - for pedestrians and cyclists.
At the city of Ames I re-joined the Old Lincoln Highway and saw this at one of the villages it past through whilst a bit further along an old gas station.
The day's weather was really dull, it felt like a real gloomy Sunday, emphasized even further by the minimal traffic and almost ghost-like villages and towns I rode through. It brightened my day when I'd spot these old markers, now almost faded away, unnoticed by the masses, only a real 'train-spotter' would see them and know what they actually mean!!
Another old gas station in one of the larger towns.
All day the weather remained the same, a misty-like damp haze with a nasty wind that saw me cycling in my woolly hat and gloves. Luckily I found a reasonable place to camp at the town's library, wind protected in a corner and and rain sheltered by the protruding roof, there was also a water fountain so I could cook, clean and wash.
Leading to Mechanicsville (yep, that's a town's real name!!) was another original piece of old dirt road, I wonder how many Ford Model T's had driven along here back in the day...

Eventually Iowa's end came into view and I'm crossing yet another bridge into the next state, a state with a rather special three blocks of road that just had to be ridden!

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Posting #4: 25th May 2018: Cheyenne (Wyoming) to Omaha (Nebraska).

A rather well known manufacturer of denim-wear, a brand that was officially endorsed by the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association!! . . . Ride'em boy!!!
Lots of fields in Nebraska
Today much of the Lincoln Highway is the U.S. 30 and it's parallelled by the rail lines. The train wagons carry coal, grain, steel, Fedex truck-trailers..anything, and they're long...I counted 167 wagons on one..that's over a mile long!
My bike resting as the Sun sets.
Just follow the clouds!
Can ya guess what these are?
Grain elevators!
Inside a diner / cafe at Chappell, Nebraska. The present proprietors had bought this several years ago and renovated it, it also contains bowling lanes!
Camping at Sidney's town park was perfect as not only was there a tap (faucet in the U.S.) but also a toilet.
Aahhh!..wrong spelling!
Similar to some of the old Route 66 quaint road-side building.
So there!!
Some cool street-art in North Platte, Nebraska.
Coffee time! Every gas-station has self-serve coffee in several flavors (cup sizes being; medium, big & bloody big!) This morning's ride was muggy and cold so I was glad to get warmed up!...they also served a delicious home-made lightly fluffed pastry cream-cake!
At the next main town of Gothenberg I called into Deb's Diner for a fried breakfast. One wall was full of post-it notes from traveller's around the country & around the world. After telling Deb my story she was only to happy to let me eat free!!...and also gave me a bag of home-made cookies for the road!
Just about every day I'd pass signs advertising to vote for Sheriff, treasurer, clerk of justice, judge....I'm gonna vote for the Duke's of Hazzard Boss Hogg 
Nebraska's quite a dry state so these motorised watering-sprinklers were common site. 
Having used the warmshowers.org cyclists hospitality website for about half of my accommodation, at Lexington the weather had turned wet and cold (did I just say Nebraska was quite dry??!) My host Bryan welcomed me to take a day off but rolled into two days due to grey skies. He gave me an interesting tour of the ethanol chemical-plant he works for. The ethanol is actually a corn bi-product, extracted by an evaporation process. After processing the 95% waste of the original corn husk/ear becomes cattle food, making the process very effective with minimal actual waste.
Continuing on, just out from Lexington is an old original Lincoln Highway bridge. Sitting several metres away from the highway 30 and next to the rail line it looked quite out of place, but in its hay-day would have seen many people traverse it.
At Grand Island (Nebraska) my hosts Steve + Sherry showed me an an original 'seedling mile' of the Lincoln Highway. These paved sections were laid as 'seeds' from which the paved sections would extend out across the country. Later re-alignments closed this section but fortunately it remains unscathed, and now protected by its heritage committee.  
Sitting in a diner in the small Nebraskan town Central City I was eating my fried eggs, toast + hash browns when the waitress came over and said "one of our locals has paid for your breakfast". Surprised to say the least I find out it was a couple of twin sister pensioners sitting opposite whom had lived in the town all their lives and said it was rare to see a foreign cyclist passing through. I informed them I was also a twin and thanked them for their kind gesture. 
One of the many solitary farm road-side post boxes that I'd pass each day.
Pulling into a road-side RV parking area to see about camping this little fella couldn't keep away, soon finding me as a cat person he'd follow me around lapping up the attention. If I walked over to the tap he follow me, wait, then follow me back.
Kracl & Son vehicle garage was one of those mentioned in the book I'd read.
This next section was certainly on my list from the book!..in fact it's the very first image I'd ever seen of the Lincoln Highway from a promotional card given to me at the start of riding Route 66!! One of the few remaining original block paved sections, this one's just on the edge of Omaha, at the village of Elkhorn...I'd originally thought the entire route would be like this...if only eh??!
With yet another host arranged in Omaha upon reaching the outskirts little did I realise what lay ahead. Unable to call him to get his address as my phone's credit was used up and unable to renew using the phone itself due to not accepting my British postcode as a ZIP code I needed some WiFi to use my computer. Hunting around for a business that may help I stumble across a Harley Davidson dealer...yep, that's right, skinny legs Englishman rides an engine-less bike up to a Harley dealer full of huge chrome plated street-cool motorbikes, leather jackets and accessories. 
"of course, we're glad to help, there's even a table to sit at over there, here's an ice-cool bottle of water sir" ??????
Ya gotta just love the states!! Several minutes later my phones got $30 credit and I've contacted my host. The bad news? He lived 16 miles across the city, and it was now 5pm...imagine crossing any city at that time of day, now being the U.S., double the car-count! Intersection after intersection I slowly chipped away the street numbers, 150th, 140th, 130th...eventually down to 50th, it took about 2 hours and I was wacked! Thankful to reach Jason's home it was a city that I'd not recommend to any cyclist.
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Next up I cross onto Iowa, a state that
resembled the English countryside!