Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

Currently in Alliance in Northwestern Neb., 3227 miles into the trip. Rode through wheat and corn country early this morning. One of the great things about crossing the country on a bicycle is you are going in "slow motion" and you have an opportunity to witness some great scenery as well as capturing some pictures that you wouldn't normally shoot during a driving trip. It was very overcast early this morning which gave me an opportunity to "capture the moment" when the sun came through the clouds over a corn field.

Got great shots of a herd of buffalo and a couple of horses. Also took several shots of Courthouse and Jailhouse Rocks, a landmark on the Oregon-California, Mormon, Pony Express and the Sidney-Deadwood Trails. The Rocks stand 400 feet above the North Platte Valley. Ever wonder where old tractors go? I think I found out, they are all in a tractor parts yard in rural Northwestern Neb.!!!!!

Got an early start this morning. Stopped riding at 2:30 pm and achieved my goal of avoiding the hottest time of the day. First day this week the temperature was below 100 degrees when I finished for the day, just a cool 99 degrees. Had an opportunity to meet some of the colorful characters at the local "watering hole" and stay out of the heat.

Many people have asked about my route maps. There is an organization in Missoula Montana, Adventure Cycling, that has mapped out 38,000+ miles of cross-country bicycle routes. I started on the Northern Tier route from Sandpoint to Anacortes, Washington. I then went down the Pacific Coast route to Astoria, Oregon where I picked up the Trans Am route until I reached Gramby, Colorado. I am now "off route" traveling through Northern Colorado and the panhandle of Neb. I will ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota, then travel East until Minneapolis where I will pick up the Northern Tier route again. At this time, I am looking at changing my original route and plan on going to Bar Harbor Maine and then down the East Coast on the Atlantic Coast route. I don't think this will make much difference in my total miles and it will allow me to see the Northeast during the fall as well as travel through Ontario, Canada. Much of the ride after Minneapolis will be determined by when I leave Minneapolis in August and weather. All total, I will use 7000-8000 miles of the Adventure Cycling national route maps.

Off to Hot Springs in the Southern Black Hills of South Dakota tomorrow.


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