Nebraska 2010 – Day 18

Waubonsie State Park, IA to Nebraska City, NE: For the love of trees

Sunday May 23, 2010, 29 miles (47 km) – Total so far: 728 miles (1,171 km)

Yesterday, I made a deal with the wind, as it was buffeting my tent and blowing things all over the campground. The Sunday forecast was for windy conditions again, though not as bad. I said, ‘now, I know you’ve gotta do your thing and I know you need to head toward areas of lower pressure; HOWEVER, I also need to do my thing and get to Colorado. If you can just hold off each day until 9 or 10 to let me get some miles in, I promise to get up early even though I’m not much of a morning person. I’ll let you think on it’. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 20

Wirth Brothers Lake, Tecumseh to Beatrice: A reminder of Nigel and Em’s 2000 roadtrip

Tuesday May 25, 2010, 50 miles (80 km) – Total so far: 825 miles (1,327 km)

I survived the night. In the morning, my chest is still tight, but once I use my inhaler things begin to loosen. I leave considerable bits of the contents of my lungs along the seven mile ride back into town, but by mid-morning my lungs will be fine. Hwy 50 is a different road at 8am today. There’s little traffic and there’s only a truck or two. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 21

Beatrice to Rock Creek Station Historical Park: Connecting with the past

Wednesday May 26, 2010, 39 miles (63 km) – Total so far: 864 miles (1,390 km)

Today is one of the more significant days of the trip. I will visit Homestead National Monument and Rock Creek Station to learn about the opening up of the west for settlement and why people voluntarily emigrate away from the security and comfort of their previous homes. It will give me a chance to reflect on my own immigrant journey in Australia. (emigrate – to leave and journey away from; immigrate – to move into or toward). Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 22

Rock Creek Station Historical Park: Just thinking and doing nothing

Thursday May 27, 2010

What should I do today? I could explore the trails a bit more and pick up some ticks; I could go for a ride to check out the surrounding area. Or I could do nothing. There’s a lot still churning in my head. In the end, I opt to do nothing. And it is a perfect day for it. It is sunny, 70 degrees and no wind. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 23

Rock Creek Station to Red Cloud: Entering the ‘west’: Reptile road kill and Sinclair gas stations

Friday May 28, 2010, 90 miles (145 km) – Total so far: 954 miles (1,535 km)

I’m on the road again early to keep my deal with the wind. I’m taking the back way into Fairbury along the rolling hills of the Pwf Road. It’s a beautiful, sunny morning, although it’s already pretty warm. Just as I come to a stop sign on the edge of Fairbury, the naturalist from the park drives by on her way to work. She smiles and honks and waves out the window like I’m a long-lost relative. That’s a nice start to the day. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 24

Red Cloud to Lexington: Good tire karma

Saturday May 29, 2010, 122 miles (196 km) – Total so far: 1,076 miles (1,731 km)

It’s early, but I’m afraid of disturbing a family member in the laundry room bathroom at the motel, so I pack up quietly and carry out morning ablutions at the city park toilets on the way out of town. I’ve got a deal with the wind and my early start is part of that deal. The winds are forecast to be out of the south at 35 mph again, and I know from my experience on the ride so far that I can handle crosswinds up to 30mph, but I start getting blown off or into the road above that. It’s calm, now, at 6:00, so I want to put some miles in. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 25

Lexington: The Indy 500 and a Memorial Day weekend feast

Sunday May 30, 2010

Apparently, there were strong storms overnight and the tornado siren went off south of here. But I didn’t hear a thing. Based on the way my ear hurts, I probably never even rolled over all night. However, when I walk back over the interstate to gather some food for today, there are huge puddles everywhere, so it’s obvious they got some significant rain. The wind is also quite strong and out of the north. I just giggle inside knowing that I did 42 north-bound miles in less than 2 hours yesterday, and that if I’d had to do that today against this wind, it would have taken me the entire painful day. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 26

Lexington to Gothenburg: Grandpa is along for the ride

Monday May 31, 2010, 31 miles (50 km) – Total so far: 1,107 miles (1,781 km)

It is Memorial Day. My paternal Grandpa is on my mind today. I wish he had lived to see me finish a PhD and undertake this ride. He would have been so proud. My Grandpa intrinsically understood me and embraced my sense of adventure and intellectual bent. We did science experiments together in his garage and he tried to teach me all about electrical wiring and how to use all sorts of tools. He always encouraged me to ‘follow your bliss’ and said that I had the spirit of a modern day Amelia Earhart. Read more

Nebraska 2010 – Day 27

Gothenburg to Fort McPherson: Well, that was scary

Tuesday June 1, 2010, 30 miles (48 km) – Total so far: 1,137 miles (1,829 km)

Security, section 6. Security, section 6. Yet again, the store wanderings of a chick in lycra wearing a Camelback and carrying a handlebar bag are making some people nervous in a local supermarket. Any moment now, a staff member will approach me and ask if I need help finding something. When I gather food for a day or two at a time, I often wander around a supermarket backtracking and going in circles, trying to overcome indecision. Unfamiliar floor layouts, my reliance on my stomach to guide me, and the quest to find something on sale, all lead to what is apparently suspicious activity. Today, the little supermarket is in Gothenburg and I’m gathering food for lunch and dinner. Read more