I went to Omaha last weekend was for the Trek Up the Tower race, but there were other parts to my trip, too. Not tons of other parts, since I was only in town for one full day, but it was a fun weekend getaway, and I even spent a little bit of time in Iowa, too!
That’s me straddling the Nebraska/Iowa state line. More on that later… let’s tackle this chronologically!
I didn’t land in Nebraska until 10pm on Friday night, the evening before the race. I start my race days with bananas, coconut water, and a protein shake, so I had a Lyft driver take me from the airport to a grocery store, and after doing my shopping, another Lyft driver took me to my hotel, where I prepared for my race in the morning and went to sleep.
The race occupied my Saturday morning, and after I was done climbing a vertical mile, a group of us went to lunch at the Omaha Tap House, a couple blocks away.
Left to right, that’s Nam, Josh, Jason, Debbie, Ben, and yours truly. Our friend Z was also there, but somehow didn’t end up in this picture.
I was hungry after over 2.5 hours of stair climbing, and I ordered a burger that had bacon, avocado, and a fried egg on it. I swapped the fries for a cup of beef and vegetable soup.
The people at that lunch convened in Omaha from Minnesota, Illinois, California, Washington, Michigan, and there was one local – Ben. I love that stair racing has introduced me to awesome friends from all over the country, and I enjoyed catching up with all of them over a burger.
I got back to my hotel after lunch, and wanted to take a nap, but I was still riled up from the race and enjoying a runner’s high. I learned at lunch that there’s a pedestrian bridge that connects Iowa and Nebraska, over the Missouri River, so I decided to venture out and find it. It was about a mile-and-a-half from my hotel, and it was a beautiful day for walking. The bridge is pretty awesome, too.
The Kerrey Perestrian Bridge is a 3,000-foot cable stay bridge, with a gentle curve the whole way. And a troll lives beneath it!
The bridge starts on the Nebraska side from Lewis and Clark Landing, a park where the duo stopped on their famous journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase. There’s also a big sculpture of men working at the lead refinery which stood on that site up until the ’90s.
There were lots of walkers, bikers, and skateboarders on the bridge itself – it was packed. There were beautiful views of the city, and the water beneath the bridge was flowing rapidly and full of circular chunks of ice that reminded me of corn flakes.
Halfway across the bridge is the state line, and you can’t miss it!
I was only in Iowa for a few moments, but I’m a geography and an infrastructure nerd, to a bridge like this is right up my alley.
Omaha has a bikeshare program called Heartland B-Cycle, so instead of walking home, I rented a bike for a few bucks and rode it back, dropping it off at another bikeshare station a block from my hotel. I rode through Old Market on the way, a historic neighborhood with cobblestone streets and covered sidewalks.
It was now later in the afternoon, and with the race and a walk-and-bike excursion under my belt, I was really ready for that nap. I showered first, and laid down to watch an Indiana Jones movie on TV.
I woke up a couple hours later hungry again, and still a little tired. There was a restaurant down the street called Wilson and Washburn, so I headed there for dinner. It’s named for the two most prominent brothel owners in 1800s Nebraska, Anna Wilson and Josie Washburn. I ordered a chicken wrap, but forgot to swap out the chips, so I ate those too.
They have a Scotch egg on their menu, and I couldn’t resist ordering it as an appetizer. A Scotch egg is a soft-boiled egg that’s wrapped in sausage and deep-fried. I have no idea how they’re able to keep the egg soft-boiled and runny while simultaneously cooking the sausage through and getting a crispy outside. It’s so good! The wonders of the deep fryer.
I was still feeling pooped after dinner, so I retired to my room around 8pm, and passed out for the night a couple hours later. I had to be up at 6am for my flight home!
The last thing I’m going to share are the mazes I drew on the flights. Whenever I’m on an airplane, I draw a maze and tuck it into the magazine, with the hopes that a future passenger will find and enjoy it. My maze on the way to Omaha was mouse-themed…
…while the maze on the way home was more geometric:
Check out my Etsy page for more of my mazes!
My breakfast before that early morning flight, by the way, was the last banana and protein shake, leftover from race morning.
Keep it up, David!
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