Welcome to my Great Rivers Bike Tour photo essay. This adventure is part two of a ride I started a few years earlier: New Orleans to the Ohio River and the Kentucky/Illinois border via the Natchez Trace Parkway and Land Between The Lakes. This tour began near the endpoint of the previous ride with the plan to roughly follow the historic Lewis & Clark Journey of Discovery (1804 - 1806) that took place exactly two hundred years prior. I would parallel the Ohio River to the Mississippi River, then proceed along the Missouri River to Omaha, Nebraska.
One month and one thousand miles later I cycled into Omaha, then caught a train back to New Orleans via Chicago.
If you would like to view a more detailed version of this trip, I have published (at last) the long version presenting almost 400 larger photos and discriptive captions.
This map shows both trips for reference. The red route is the one featured in this essay and was traveled from south to north. I bicycled every single mile of these routes with the exception of two river ferries - one by boat, one by taxicab where bikes were not allowed on the highway bridge.
This trip started at Grand Rivers, KY and repeated only one day of the previous tour. From Cave In The Rock, Illinois to Council Bluffs, Iowa (located across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska) this route covered all new ground for me and racked up nearly one thousand miles of cycling.
Attacking ground zero of Tornado Alley during the peak two months of Tornado season still sounds pretty dumb to me, but I had workable, potentially expensive plan. I would bike and camp on the days between storm fronts moving in from the west, and hide out in hotel/motels during bad weather. This plan worked out nearly perfectly for the entire month of May thanks in part to a record dry year for extreme weather. I only lost two days of riding to storms during my adventure.
Check out my Interactive Bicycle Touring Gear Checklist