Saturday, September 6, 2014

Minden - Gordon, Nebraska 15. - 20. August

We left Bob's place and rode to Minden to our first interview for the TV news. Bob went ahead and we followed. Skippy did not want to ride on gravel for now, so I took her bike until we were again on asphalt. The TV interview was short but the guy made a good story out of it. It was broadcasted on the same day in ABC news in half of Nebraska (link).
Essentials of life: whiskey, tobacco, flour, salt, coffee, tea and sugar - what else would one need in the west?
Since we had this late start we faced another hot day of 30+C and riding was not so much fun. Skippy was not yet 100% fine either so we decided to call it a day in Lexington and went camping to the state park. Big mistake! The next day we realized that the campsite was full of tiny and hyper-aggressive mosquitoes. They bugged us in bright daylight in the sun – amazing new species! We tried to survive but had no fun. I escaped into the hot tent and Skippy preferred her hammock. Skippy needed more rest and we would pamper ourselves by staying the next nights in a motel.
Having a break somewhere and again a locomotive from UP ;)
From Lexington I did a short excursion into the neighborhood.
Another evidence of killings -  well it got a good background for another bike picture ;)
I got really mixed feelings about this. Should I pity the indians, the settlers or maybe human kind as a general???
Bunch of birds gathering on the road.
Next stop was North Platte, Nebraska. The Country Inn was cheap and had all the luxury we were seeking for. It was also again time for trimming girls. I used the day to explore a little bit the surroundings and went shopping as well.

I visited the Bailey Yard – worlds largest rail yard and started with the Golden Spike Tower. First I went through the gift shop in case of a cool sticker and checked whether they are serious with the 7USD admission fee ... for what please? That was too much for me, the lady was so kind and gave me the leaflet and told me that I can also see the Hump Yard from the street.

I left the building and towards the East Bound Hump Yard (which is in the west). Unfortunately there was no action at the moment, but those hump yards (there is another one in the east side) can handle up to four rail cars per minute.
Golden Spike Tower, North Platte
The East hump - which was west ... confusing?
Plenty of locomotives.
Endless long trains.

Good sign on somebody's front yard. Yes, this is true, and the same problem is happening around the whole world! Please always adopt, never buy from a shop or breeder!!!
 The wild wild west was and is romanticized to a huge extend. Of course the little Wolfi found that all fascinating. The events and happenings were nicely documented and typically referred to as "Historic site". It was a story of invasion, chasing locals away, killing, greed and murder. Well, I might repeat myself here, but I lost my appetite of the great wild west. 
Bill Cody aka Buffalo Bill - plenty of tourist stuff here. He killed 4280 buffaloes in 8 months and please - what was so great about that?! In today's standards he would be most likely on a top-wanted list and sent to prison!

Skippy tried to find some more suitable riding gear for hot weather but without success. As a consequence we decided to get up the next day at 05:00 in order to ride in the cooler morning air.
Another hot day - good that there was some solid shade.
Also this place had seen better times.
Skippy typically had the eye for berries.
Another stop and we found this river bed with plenty of frogs on it - cute fellows.
In North Platte we left the Pony Express and whatever other trail there was going by and our route went north through the Sand Hill landscape of west Nebraska. It was boring and windy. Hills towards the horizon in whatever direction you look. Typically the landscape was without trees, no houses, only the grass hills and the highway. Skippy remembered a story that some settlers got so depressed in this landscape with the constant wind that they preferred to kill themselves!
The Sand Hills - plenty of green grass and no trees as far as they eye can see.
On those streets it was not enough to watch forward for example to avoid a turtle or an owl jumping over the street (BTW - I was able to rescue the turtle away from the street). It was also very important to watch back as those huge 30t trucks were breathing in Skippy's neck a few times. One trucker kept significantly longer safety distance after one of those heavy breaks and the other used it as an invitation to pass us. Whatever - riding here can be tricky!

We arrived to Gordon and checked-in into the third hotel – Hacienda motel. The first one had a 20USD pet fee and the second did not allow pets at all. Next camping was too far away. That became our cheapest hotel so far, 49.99USD including tax and no pet fee! :)

Camping in Nebraska state park was not that cheap either due to the vehicle permit one must have. That was typically 5USD/bike always 10USD more per night for us. I knew that e.g. in Michigan the state park fee was even 9USD per vehicle (!!!) but still it felt to us like a rip-off. Then the difference between civilized camping and cheap motel became less and less.
A welcome change for the eyes - huge sunflower fields.
Lucky for us - this severe thunderstorm went by us.
Our track: 623km in 3 legs
Finally we discovered some copy-right free music, so this travelogue should be possible to watch in any country!

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