Another day, and once again we face headwinds, heat and ever-increasing humidity. Small towns came and went, and we kept pedaling into the wind, determined to ignore it and distract ourselves from the fact we'd be heading straight into the wind. The drive to get home to Connecticut drives us, but the challenge of wind and monotony of Nebraska make us want to stop constantly.
Another day of train counting, music, TED talks and discussions about how to improve the ride ensues. My biggest issue at this time is ulnar nerve pain in my hands every time I hold onto my handlebar, and even worse shooting pain every time I let go of my bars. There is no relief, and it's something I feel I will have to push on through for the rest of the trip.
Leaving Keith County we reached Central Time! For the first time since Eastern Oregon, we had escaped Mountain Time. To me, this was one more check mark on the list of tasks leading to home.
Eventually we reach North Platte. We eat at Taco John's and seek refuge from the hottest day of the week, with temperatures reaching 100 and a bit beyond. After lunch we sought out a bike shop: new rear tire for me, tri-bars for Jonathan.
The steep hill in town was not welcome after our Mexican food lunch. Bars fitted and adjusted, we continued our eastern trek. The bars afforded Jonathan an extra hand position to maintain more comfort throughout our long daily rides. The shop owners told us that North Platte has the largest train classification yard in the world. Not sure if this is true, but it would definitely explain the endless trains we see around here.
With the sky darkening behind us, we kept pushing on until we reached the small town of Brady. In its convenience store Jonathan saw the radar which showed a threatening storm cell coming our way. We asked where to get food and was told there was a bar out back. We went in and were noticeably the only patrons wearing spandex. Our waitress was interested in our ride and shortly after taking our order came to tell us that our meal had been anonymously paid for. When asked who the donor was, she replied that she could not say. We suspect she might have been an owner/manager, but whoever you are, thank you for your generosity!
After dinner we powered on to our motel, the Travel Inn in Gothenburg. Checking in we were told our room was "old style, but clean". Clean might have been a bit of an overstatement. Before we fell asleep we lost power in our room three times (two of the times as we were showering). We were told it was because of next door neighbors were using hotplates most likely. Why would someone need to use a hotplate at 1130pm? *cough* meth *cough*
Photos by Jonathan Kobles