Matty J and I got back from a short trip to see Cake in Council Bluffs on Thursday (Harrah’s Stir Cove is a surprisingly good concert venue and brings in decent bands…Ben Folds Five will be there Sept. 27th!). It was maybe the first vacation I’ve been on where I made an effort to bring non-hiking workout clothes and actually research run routes. I really wanted to bring bikes, but was anxious about leaving them in our car which would be parked fairly unattended for so long.
We decided to do about a 5 mile run along the Missouri River starting from Council Bluffs and crossing the awesome Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge over the river, which at nearly half mile is one of the longest pedestrian bridges ever built.
Along the Omaha side of the trail were some great stops including sculptures, playgrounds, and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center which was open and a good place to refill our water bottle and use a nice bathroom (you know me!). We went back to the Omaha side of the trail later to snap some photos including the one above. You might notice a little black dog on the right side of the picture. That was a cool area that had a fountain that acted like geysers. Water would shoot seemingly randomly at different heights. The dog was chasing the water, trying to anticipate the next spray, leaping up, and “catching” water in his mouth. He was about the happiest dog we’ve ever, ever seen.
After the run, we did a healthy lunch at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, which most midwestern vegetarians seem to know about. We knew that after the run, it might be good to load up on some recovery foods, plus they offer fresh juices so we could get some ginger juiced in our drink too. This was our second visit and the food was delicious. It is a bit pricey, but that is because they use good, fresh food. They cater to vegetarians, vegans, people on gluten free diets, and even have a few free-range, organic meats. I recommend it, but be warned… you may feel trapped inside of an episode of Portlandia if you go!
Fueled by veggies, we decided to hit the zoo. We didn’t dare mention going to the zoo while in the vegetarian restaurant though, we just spoke about it in code just in case. After a 5 mile run (which is a long run to me, a medium run to Matty J), my legs were shot for the hilly walking required to navigate the zoo. I saw tons of less-than-fit looking people with monster strollers hoofing it though so I sucked it up for a few hours. The Henry Doorly Zoo was awesome and worth it. The highlight of the zoo would have to be hearing the Siamang Gibbons. Here’s a link to someone else’s youtube video of them at the Zoo. Hard to believe animals can make sounds like that!
We ended the day in Old Market with dinner at a delicious Indian restaurant and drinks at Upstream Brewery to watch the Olympics opening ceremonies. Now it is back to training, training, training to cram in all that I can before the HyVee Triathlon in just over a month! Wish me luck, or more importantly…motivation!