After the lavender farm that I wrote about in the previous post, I continued on my way to Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is across the Missouri river from Omaha, Nebraska. Because of the heat and the fact I had to spend the following day working, I decided to leave my bike at home and just explore on foot. Of course, I was regretting that decision when I got to the hotel and found a trail right outside the Hampton Inn where I was staying!
With the pedestrian bridge as my goal, I headed out on my adventure. The Hampton Inn was right next to the riverboat casino so I thought I would stay in air conditioning as long as possible since it was in the 90s and HOT and set off through a series of hallways that connected me to the Ameristar casino eventually. I wandered around the casino trying to figure out how to get outside to the trail that was supposed to lead me to the pedestrian bridge. It appeared as if they don’t want you to leave the casino! Finally I asked a guard how I could get outside. With a very strange look on his face, he said the only way out was through the parking garage so off I went. Imagine my disappointment and frustration as I wandered through their massive parking lot with my eye on the trail (because it was raised up on a berm) only to find out I had to walk out in the hot sun following a fence I couldn’t cross until I ended up back in the Hampton Inn parking lot! The sign above finally greeted me at the end of the hotel parking lot, but that was the last sign that I saw. According to the sign, if I went the other way I would eventually end up by Lake Manawa, but since I was walking, I knew that the pedestrian bridge would be the farthest I could go in the heat.
As you can see, most of the trail was on top of a berm and the view was nice along the river but a bit industrial too. The trail actually goes through Harrah’s parking lot. Right before the bridge, there is a city park that looks like it has a lot of potential once the trees grow and they get it finished up, as you can see the start of it below with the trail in the background there.
I haven’t seen a lot of pedestrian bridges, but this is just fantastic the way it curves so gracefully across the river. I wish I had had more steam to go all the way across the bridge and check out Omaha’s historic district, but I was worried about getting back before dark. Also I was wilting in the heat even though the sun was setting. Below is a picture from the bridge looking over at Omaha.
I do want to warn anyone that doesn’t like bridges that move, this bridge does move a bit or tremble slightly so you know you are not on solid ground. However, I would still encourage you to just walk to the point where you can see it curve. It is definitely worth it! Below is another view of the bridge.