44 There’s Injuns in Them Thar Hills


Omaha Originals

The weather remains cool but the road began to pitch upward at the boundary of the Omaha Indian Reservation. We stopped at the Dollar Store but they had no sandwiches. Cat asked about a restaurant and they sent us toward, Homer. Just around the corner we found a service station store with sandwiches. Cat said, “Why do poeple do that? Send you 6 miles when there’s food so close?”  I reminded her that we’d asked for a cafe. You gotta be specific!



Long Time Locals

The hills began immediately before the sandwiches had settled in. Another example of how flat it’s not here. The last long pull was straight and steep.  At the summit we pulled off the road to a Scenic Overlook. Inside the gazebo we spotted a young girl lying on top of a young guy. We thought they were making a papoose? The girl glanced up then began pulling away from the embrace and started trying to get her man to his feet. Our image of love making was shattered, he had to lean on her to walk. Obviously he’d had too much Saturday night.

Mountainous Nebraska Winnebago

We could see the Missouri River through the trees winding it’s way through the valley it has created over eons. Beyond the summit wasn’t all down hill but the ups were slighter and the downs faster and longer.  Finally on the flats we entered the Winnebago Reservation and saw our first buffalo of the trip. Hard to imagine that just 140 years ago the plains were covered with the beasts.

Buffalo Roam

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43 Nebraska, Corn, Soy and Fishin’


Sun Beams

The road out of Tekamah was flat. Gaps between clouds exposed patches of blue. The scenery has changed little or maybe we should say, has changed very slowly since way back in Kansas. More wide open spaces filled with corn and soy bean fields. Grain trucks continue to ply their routes from field to silo giving us wide berth as they pass.  We almost missed what shall become our favorite and most creative mailbox. We almost didn’t get it then Cat said, “Hey it’s a fishing pole with a bass on the line.”

Grain Truck

Needs Work

Prairie Flowers

Bass Mailbox

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42 Tehamah toward Iowa


Tehamah Family

Lightening lite up the sky and our room through the cracks between the vertical blinds. Then the thunder, each clap felt like it would shake the roof down on us. Most dogs handle thunder better than the Cat does. She fears lightening, part of the reason why we hit the local weather reports at the crack of dawn. It died down slowly about 3:00 AM. Mornings light came streaming through the blinds, the sky was full of white clouds. Our friendly and helpful family, Mouconna from Ethiopia, his wife Gemma from Mexico City and their two girls posed for a photo then gave us a friendly send-off. Thankfully, it was much cooler this morning.

Breakfast plans at Subway were dashed, it was closed. Sunday morning in a small town, what to do? Hint, there are a dozen pickup trucks clustered around The City Bus Stop Cafe. The place reeks of local history. Probably been dishin’ out eggs, bacon and biscuits for 3 or 4 generations. It was all old guys clustered around the few big tables, save two women who left as we entered. They and all seated gave us the once over then settled back in to their usual, normal, typical conversations. (Weather, road and farm conditions and of course memories.)

The cook is a looker, perhaps in her late 30s. The waitress is young, maybe 16 and dressed in very short cut off Levis. She does get attention from all the old guys as she passes the coffee pot from cup to cup. Then when she took our order she went ot the window and called the cook, “Mom”. Another generational team. 



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41 Leaving Home, Boy’s Home


Leaving Magnolia

After 4 nights and 3 full days of Luxury it really was like leaving home, leaving the Magnolia and its Air Conditioning behind. Omaha is another of those proof of hills in Nebraska places. We got away by 8:30, it was already 88 degrees and the air was thick. The TV Weather had warned us that the heat index would hit 109 and it turned out that they were right. We ran into a group, at least 100,cyclists on an out and back ride. They waved, gave us thumbs ups and warnings, “Drink plenty of liquids.”

Fr Flannigan's

Who of us hasn’t bought the Christmas Stamps from Father Flanagan’s Boys Town? On a strong uphill pull we saw the result of those donations.




Once we broke into countryside the road was flat, the air think and hot. It’s a little over 100 miles to Sioux City. Too much for one day and there’s only one potential stop over, Tehamah. On the out skirts of town Cat began to melt down. We stopped under a tree but moved on when the bugs began to bite.  Another stop,sit in the sun and pour water over her head then we rode directly to the Tehamah Motel. It’s old and small but adequate, we got the bikes crammed in then walked back to the Dairy King for lunch.

The D K was a magnet for locals. One couple sat in the corner holding court as others came and went, ice cream cones in hand. He is the Tekamah Building Inspector, she works for an attorney, they’ve both lived here, all their lives. Fun for us to listen to the patter and joking among lifelong friends. His brother lives in Ojai, CA, our favorite bike ride back home.

The cook and order taker are mother and daughter. Mom is constantly scolding  daughter to do more and do it better. Using a wet rag, mom began wiping a table top then sang out “Look at this, you call this clean? This looks like shit, why can’t I get you to do things right?” ( A generational teaching technique that my mother used to use.)

Spent the afternoon lounging and recouping. Cat talked with the family about a place for dinnr and Gemma, the wife, insisted on driving us to Rumors Lounge and Restaurant. Another immersion into local life. The bar was a hang out for half a dozen regulars sippin’ beers. The Restaurant filled in with families, Grandparent to young kids. Our waitress was cute but knew nothing about wine. She had the barmaid come out to serve us. Turns out she’s 18 and in Nebraska you must be 19 or older to serve alcohol. She’s been working here since age 14. Wine from CA in splits and wonderful steaks topped off an otherwise tough day. 


Courthouse Courthouse


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40 Cat Counsels & Old Market

Dr. Cat & Gary

One of our favorite features at the Magnolia is Happy Hour. The wine flows freely as does conviviality. Cat overheard a guy telling the Bartender his troubles and couldn’t help but apply her Degree in Counseling skills. Gary is here working a fairly new job. His wife also has a career and remained back home in Philly. Gary resided in the Magnolia for 1 1/2 months then took an apartment. He comes every evening for Happy Hour. He and Cat became a fixture at the end of the bar. Free advice as we say, “It’s worth what you’re paying for it!”

 The Old Market area is just 3 blocks down the street. A wonderful collection of restored old brick buildings with restaurants and shopping. We walked down every night for dinner. Mounted Police, horse drawn carriages, brick streets sort of reminded us of New Orleans.

Mounted Police

Old Market


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39 The Sculptures of Omaha


Pioneer Stride

There are a lot of Arts, performing and otherwise, in Omaha. One wondrous one is the Sculpture Garden. A unique grouping of Pioneers in Bronze. It’s set in a scene likely to have occurred here on the prairie 120 years ago. Families working their way slowly across the plains in search of a new life. It’s extremely well done and about 1 1/2 life size. Dennis pointed out that the sculptor put his own face and that of his two kids on some of the figures.



Bronzed Pioneers

Buffalo Shade

There are other sculptures scattered around town. Buffalo in mid-stride, even one coming through a wall. Also a huge flock of geese rising out of a fountain. This place, Omaha, loves it’s art!

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38 The Omaha Orpheum



The Orpheum


Our friend Dennis from Tourist Info set up a privet tour conducted by Jeff. He Knows every nook and cranny of this place. His father worked here for years. Jeff was hired right out of High School and took his Dad’s place when he retired. We walked through the magnificent place and he pointed out details.   

The Orpheum Theatre, built in 1927, was originally a Vaudeville Venue. It’s seen hundreds of acts including names like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney and so many more. Also thousands of films were shown in those golden days. 


Recent Plays


It is currently home for the Omaha Performing Arts, theatre venue. It underwent a $10 million renovation 8 years ago. If you like arte deco decor you’ll love the Omaha Orpheum.      







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37 Jazz on the Green


Daryl, the  guy we met in Plattsmouth, called and invited us to “Jazz on the Green” . We walked to Patrick’s Market and found wine, meat and cheese. Our wonderful Magnolia Hotel has a beautiful Cadillac Escalade they use to shuttle guests. We took advantage, they dropped us at the event. I called Daryl he stood and waved so we could find him in the huge crowd. His wife, Nancy introduced us to Their daughter-in-law, Cinnamon, granddaughter Destiny and grandson Jacob. The band is from California, strictly Jazz, not our cup of tea but we did enjoy getting to know the family. During intermission I made a trip to the toilets. A girl sitting reading a book looked familiar. Back at our blankets I pointed her out. Cat said, “It’s Anne,” and invited her over. She was a good addition to a great group.

Pat & Daryl

Anne & Nancy

Destiny & Cinnamon

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36 Exploring Omaha



Get off the bikes for a day so why not take a LONG WALK in the heat? It was cooler but the sun still scorches. Found the Toutist Info center and a great guy, Dennis. Retired Attorney and knows lots about Omaha. Been living here 66 years, a lifetime. He pointed us down the trail toward the Pedestrian Bridge and Lewis and Clark Center. Walking is a terrific way to get acquainted with a city. 



Tree Lined


On the bridge we could stand with one foot in Nebraska and the other in Iowa. At the L & C Center we ran into a gal, Anne, that we’d seen at the Hotel. She’s from Milwaukee, takes her vacations visiting Zoos and she says they have a good one here. The center has 

Leahy Mall


Pedestrain Bridge


a wall map outlining the L & C  Expedition. We’ve been cycling the Trail for days.   

2 State Stride


L & C Expedition


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35 Cycling in to Omaha

Parmele Friends

We six guests of Carroll’s Parmele House gathered for breakfast at 8:00 AM. Good good, sort of an upscale breakfast burrito accompanied by fruit and a bread pudding sort of dish. Funny we felt close after only a few hours of being together.  Then we scattered like dust in the Nebraska prairie wind.

Getting us back to Hwy 75 wasn’t easy, as Carroll had warned. Very steep hills that left us panting and sweating in the early hours of the day. Once on the Hwy we found a rough shoulder with lots of those steel belted tire fragments that we know lead to flat tires. It was only  slightly more than 20 miles in.

Warm but do-able. Passing  Offutt Air Force Base was interesting. The planes fly right

Omaha Snow?

over the Hwy. As you pass under the approach there’s a sign, “Don’t be startled by sudden Jet Noise.” Another anomaly, the sign stating that we’re riding on the Emergency Snow Route.

We easily found our way to Hotel Magnolia. It’s an enclave just a few blocks from old town and a bustling business district that’s accented by high rises. The staff was wonderful. We checked in and just pushed the bikes to ther elevator and up to our room. As we began setting up camp but the AC  shut down. The Maintenance Engineer reset it and left. It didn’t sart to cool. We called again and VOILA, they upgraded us to a huge corner room overlooking the street corner. Our new perch for the next 3 days.

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