Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 24

This is what touring is all about: Thedford to Hyannis

Wednesday May 8, 2013, 66 miles (106 km) – Total so far: 1,005 miles (1,617 km)


What did you say?

Erg. Or ‘sand sea’. That’s what large sand dune fields are called. And it does feel very much like a sea as you rise and fall from crest to crest over the dunes. It’s a fantastic day to go riding in an erg. Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 25

Buzzed off one wheat beer – sheesh!: Hyannis to Alliance

Thursday May 9, 2013, 63 miles (102 km) – Total so far: 1,068 miles (1,719 km)

It storms again overnight, leaving the pavement damp, the air cool, and the sky full of low-flung clouds scooting overhead at speed this morning. There is a pretty stiff northeasterly breeze smashing my hopes of heading north at any point today. Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 26

The effects of wildfire: Alliance to Chadron State Park

Friday May 10, 2013, 46 miles (74 km) – Total so far: 1,114 miles (1,793 km)

I want an early start this morning so I have plenty of time to get in some hiking at Chadron State Park this afternoon. It is cold enough to see your breath and to need gloves when I leave at daybreak.

Unfortunately, my asthma is incredibly bad this morning. I woke several times through the night wheezing. I also woke once to a headache and nose bleed. The room I stayed in definitely had a mold problem – those are all the symptoms I get with mold. It causes the most severe asthma attacks for me of any of my triggers. If you want to know if mold or mildew is present somewhere, send me in, I’m like a canary in a coal mine with mold. Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 27

Laundromat conversations: Chadron State Park to Fort Robinson State Park

Saturday May 11, 2013, 40 miles (64 km) – Total so far: 1,154 miles (1,857 km)

The post office in Chadron has unusual Saturday hours: 10.30am-1pm. This does give me time to go do laundry, however, before the post office opens.

There are a couple laundromats in Chadron. I use the first one you come across on the way into town from the west. It has clean bathrooms, plenty of washers and dryers that work well, change machine, detergent machine, free wifi and small, individual TVs (though I don’t know if they work). Very nice! Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 28

Getting blown away by history: Fort Robinson State Park to Fort Robinson State Park

Sunday May 12, 2013

The history at this state park is overwhelming. There is so much of it. And so much of it is sad.

Fort Robinson was an active military post from 1874 to 1948. It began as a temporary camp protecting the Red Cloud Indian Agency during the Indian Wars. In the late 1880s it became the most important fort in the region after the closing of Fort Laramie. In the 1920s, it became a remount depot, responsible for supplies, equipment, horses, dogs and mules. In the 1940s, when the calvary regiments were dismounted, up to 12,000 horses were sent here to be surplussed. Also in the 1940s, this was a K-9 training center with 14,000 dogs trained here. A prisoner of war camp housed 1500 to 3000 enemy soldiers during World War II.

And that is just a tiny fraction of the history here. Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 29

Heading out to Toadstool Geologic Park: Fort Robinson State Park to Toadstool return

Monday May 13, 2013, 46 miles (73 km) – Total so far: 1,200 miles (1,931 km)

Toadstool Geologic Park lies about 19 miles northwest of Crawford within the Ogalala National Grassland. It features stark, rugged badlands topgraphy rising up from the grasslands against a backdrop of the Arikaree buttes. It’s not really a place you stumble upon. It’s a place you have to decide you want to go see. Read more

Range Roaming – Nebraska 2013 – Day 30

Health scare: Fort Robinson State Park to Fort Robinson State Park

Tuesday May 14, 2013

Word travels fast in small towns.

Crawford is a town of 997, its business district just a few blocks long stretching east-west and a couple blocks long stretching north-south. Out on the highway, there are a couple motels, a gas station, a BBQ place and a Dairy Freeze. Not a whole lot seems to go down in Crawford.

I head into town to mail home my Nebraska geology book and some receipts and brochures. As I’m leaving the post office, a farmer with sad eyes, a worn and frayed baseball cap, and a belt buckle twice as big as his belly, looks at me. He looks at me again, and then says: “Excuse me, is that your bicycle outside”?

My heart sinks. Someone’s taken off with it! I reply, “Um, yes.” Read more

Range Roaming – S Dakota 2013 – Day 33

Like Thunder Mtn rollercoaster – The Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway: Custer to Custer

Friday May 17, 2013, 56 miles (91 km) – Total so far: 1,364 miles (2,196 km)

If cycling the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway is not on your bucket list, it should be. I have no idea how it wasn’t on mine.

My plan to start at daybreak is thwarted by a thunderstorm. I lie there, awake, pumped, ready to go. I’ve got no idea if I’m going to be able to complete this ride today, so I’m antsy with anticipation. I just want to get going. Read more