Day 41: North to Norfolk by Noon

Getting to Norfolk is a matter of trade-offs. The busy highway 81 with a nice wide shoulder or a less busy 91 with tiny shoulder. We opted for the former. Luckily we had a nice tailwind and made the 40 mile stretch by noon.

Norfolk has an interesting backstory. It was apparently settled by some families from a Lutheran church in Wisconsin that came south and got land using the homestead act. It used to be called North Fork as in the north fork of the Elkhorn river. In more recent times it’s the proud hometown of Johnny Carson.

We celebrated our arrival in Norfolk with a Subway sandwich and topped it off with a soft serve cone from Dairy Queen. We decided to ride to the first small town on the Cowboy trail called Battle Creek. We didn’t see any campgrounds so I looked up the parks department in Battle Creek and phoned them to ask if it’s ok to camp in their city park. Trish fortunately said yes!

While eating lunch at the trailhead, fellow cyclists and professional musicians, Ann and Glen from Nashville came by to chat. They too had been bike touring for many years and we enjoyed sharing stories.

Our campsite in the park was next to the community pool and we gladly paid the $3 daily rate to swim in their pool. We felt a bit awkward being the only men there but that didn’t stop me from going down the slide. I asked the lifeguard for permission of course.

One of my favorite Chevy trucks and with the perfect patina
Wide shoulder on highway 81
I love that they have a burnout contest
Norfolk by noon
Proud hometown
Oops, I started walking away before the photo was shot
List of the small towns along the Cowboy Trail
I had to try the slide

Summary: we rode 57 miles from the campground in North Columbus to the city park in Battle Creek via highway 81, and the Cowboy Trail.

5 Replies to “Day 41: North to Norfolk by Noon”

  1. Enjoyed meeting you at the Cowboy Trail and your travels are going well. We rode some at the other end before driving up to Badlands, Custer SP, Rushmore. We ride some of the George S. Mickelson Trail today Deadwood to Hill City. Remember—apply sunscreen every 2 hours!

  2. Wow, did the Cowboy Trail, my brothers and I have been planning that for years. Was in Nebraska last fall. What a great trip!
    Jason Roeber, LogicMonitor!

      1. My brother and I have been riding around the Great lakes, bit by bit over the past few summers, Did the south shore of Lake Superior, and parts of Lake Michigan. This past summer we went started in Milwaukee, took the ferry to Muskegon, then rode up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, then back to Luddinton and took the Ferry over to Manitowoc and then down to Milwaukee. Gorgeous area, low traffic, great weather. lt’s an under appreciated region of the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.