This year, the crane (pictured above) became the longest standing monument in Sioux City, just edging out the Sergeant Floyd Monument. The 100 foot obelisk was completed on May 30, 1901. The towering steel construction crane - according to westward travelling settlers - was there long before that. Exactly how long no one really knows, but archaeologists have discovered rock carvings depicting what appears to be side-dumpers hauling chunks of concrete. Another one shows a strange box along the side of the road they believe to be the first portable radar unit which could issue citations for wagons travelling over 5 MPH.

But what was the origin of the never-ending road work? Legend has it, when Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Charles Floyd stepped off their deerskin canoe to explore the area which is now known as Sioux City, they were pulling their canoe out of the Missouri River and they decided to hide it in the thick brush. Worried if they might be able to locate it easily if they ran into trouble, they decided to mark the spot with large rocks. But when Meriwether spotted something bright on the horizon, it turned out to be an orange rubber cone of some sort.

It is known today as the first road construction of the New World - and to this day the tradition continues. The cones are still there but modern marvels such as CAT cranes dance along the skyline. The pioneers would use these steel behemoths for studying the night skies not knowing who - or what - put them there. A 'stonehenge of the bluffs,' one historian would later call it.

Sadly, Sergeant Charles Floyd perished here during the expedition. Although history is not very clear about the cause of his demise, we can only assume he was waiting for the pilot car. A monument overlooks the river in his honor.

There is also a very nice Lewis and Clark interpretive center right off of I-29 along the riverfront, if the exit is open.

This story is a work of satire and should not be used when studying the rich history of American exploration.


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