Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 17, 2011

Yippy Kiy Yay Kiy OH

When I went to bed last night in the back yard of the youth house at Christ Lutheran church in Norfolk I saw some lightening in the distant sky. But it was soooooo Bloody hot I had to take a chance and leave the rain fly off of my tent. do I regret this ? NO! Did I have to get up a couple of hours later and put on the fly ? YES! Was it worth it ? Kind of, not that it was that much cooler but it did help a little. When it really cooled down was just before the rain when a lot of wind came through. But as soon as I put the fly on the heat was stifling anyway so no long term relief came with the wind and rain. Oh well I survived quite well even though it was uncomfortable and eventually fell asleep about 01:00.
All this thinking about how miserably hot it is right now has made me think about something a bit cooler, and a desire I have for once I reach civilization for a while. I want to fill a tub with cold water (after I have showered and cleaned up) and then dump about 20-30 lbs of ice in the tub and just sit in it and fall asleep. I can handle cold like that and it would be paradise for a while anyway. I once tried to bathe in a glacial stream in the Yukon Territories way up north. I will not make that mistake again because as soon as I stepped into the water that was only 1.5 feet deep I felt the jolt of pain that went from my feet straight through my body and up to my brain. It was all I could do just to get out of this 6 ft wide stream even when I was only 2 feet from the banks. I was paralyzed instantly and the pain was like a white hot fire running through my entire body. Maybe it was because I was tired and hungry but it was definitely painful. I however did at one time manage the pain of my arthritis by sitting in a tub of water with 20-30 lbs of ice in it. It also was painful but I got used to it and then it was actually pleasant. I think the pleasure came from the reduction of inflammation in my joints  from my RA. They also say that causing or introducing pain to your body can help to relieve other pains. No I don’t cut or smash my fingers with hammers (at least not intentionally) but I am thinking about what I have read about using stinging nettles for arthritis pain or Capsicum from hot peppers, maybe I will start eating or at least cooking with Ghost Peppers. And the pain caused by ice baths definitely works.
This whole fantasy of an ice cold bath is so enticing but unfortunately it is not going to happen today. Maybe I can sit in a cold mountain stream in Wyoming when I get there.
I was up at 05:00 today and on the road again by 05:40 again. It was an easy ride over to Ta-Na-Zouke Park. I needed to clean up after my sweat lodge experience in my tent during the night and fortunately the restrooms were open and served the purpose.
I rode around the park hoping to find an electrical outlet where I could charge my phone and Laptop and spotted 2 men about my age moving some tables around at a shelter and on 1 of the tables they had a crock pot. I then saw some other outlets at the same shelter so I asked them if they would mind if I charged my stuff. They were friendly and said no problem so out came my gear I just spent 20 minutes packing and I plugged in. But the outlet didn’t work so I tried another and it didn’t work but the old 3rd time is a charm trick worked.
I checked my email and some other things while everything was charging.
It turns out the 2 men were setting up for a family reunion and told me if I stuck around there would be a lot of food and I was welcome to stay and eat. I regret now that I rode on before eating, but then if I had waited it would have meant riding in the hot afternoon sun. so instead I thanked them for their offer and advised that I had to hit the road before it got hot. Like the 85 degrees it was at 07:30 wasn’t hot enough. One of the men’s daughter showed up and they told her about my trip and she like almost everyone I meet said are you crazy. She also admitted she couldn’t think about something like this and wished me luck before leaving with her boyfriend and daughter. One of the men then left and I stayed and spoke to Dan while my equipment charged. He gave me a cold bottle of water which was such a simple and pleasurable thing to drink.
Dan and I were talking when a man came in and sat at one of the tables Dan had set up for his reunion. The man threw his keys on the table and then let out a stream of F bombs that pretty much continued the whole time he was there. My gear was actually charged by then but Dan looked uncomfortable with the presence of this other rather large man so I continued to wait like my stuff was still charging.
The other man then went into an expletive laced story about an ex-girlfriend that keeps coming to his home wanting to have relations. His home he shares with his current girlfriend and this was causing some problems. Dan and I tried to ignore him and continue our conversation but when I mentioned riding through the Appalachian mountains this other guy had to put in his 2 cents worth about it. He went on and on and on saying he was born in North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains. Finally he ran out of breath and suddenly left. I told Dan I had to go but hadn’t wanted to leave him alone with this other guy and he was very thankful.
So off I went on what started to be a pleasant ride. After about 3 miles I had a small issue with my trailer which I was able to fix quite quickly and then I hit the trail again. About this time I ran into a guy who had passed me while I was working on my trailer. He told me that a bridge about 1.5 miles down the road was out. He said it had washed out last year and was supposed to have been repaired but it hadn’t been. He asked if I knew how to get around to the other side which I obviously did not know. By this time it was getting even hotter.
I had no choice but to go that direction so I decided to ride towards the washed out bridge and figure out how to get over to the other side. The trail was closed at a road but there was no information on how to continue on the trail. When this happens I just do the obvious. In this case I could hear traffic on a highway a couple of miles away and it sounded like it was kind of running in the direction I wanted to travel. So off I rode to the highway and was pleasantly surprised when I found that it had a very wide smooth shoulder/bike lane. Off I went heading north knowing the trail was angling away from me in a north westerly direction. After about 10 miles I saw a sign and an arrow pointing to the town of Battle Creek NE about 2 miles away. Off I rode to Battle Creek and what did I find but a small sleepy and pleasant little town. At first glance I didn’t think it even had a store but I asked a man I saw and he pointed me to the local convenience store. I went inside and asked if there was anyplace around to camp and the woman said no but a man that was there said I could camp at the town park. The woman then told me how to get to the park and let me fill a couple of water bottles with ice and water.
I rode to the park and saw it was almost as big as the entire rest of the town. Baseball diamonds basketball courts and 3 separate playgrounds for kids of different ages. This park has water pumps all over but apparently it is non-potable . It also has a memorial to it’s men and women who were in the military and those who were killed in the service to their country. I have found nearly every town I come to has a similar memorial. The park also has 100 or more trees of differing species donated to the park by members of the community. Each tree has a plaque that tells what kind of tree it is and who donated it. A couple of the crab apple trees were beginning to fruit and although they were far from mature I sampled a couple of the fruits. They were sour and not much there but it was a pleasant diversion and change of pace from chocolate peanut butter protein shakes.
So here I am sitting under a shelter trying to get relief from the direct sun. It does help but with a heat index of 110 from what I was told and from what I believe it is not much help.
I am going to continue riding the Cowboy Trail for a day or 2 and then I may get off and ride the highway since the trail is crushed gravel and it is more difficult to ride on. A highway parallels the trail for much of it’s length and since there is little traffic it may just be the way to go. It all depends on the trail and road and traffic.



  1. It has been three days without an internet connection, so just caught up with your last three blogs. It sounds as if some of the same weather we are having passed over you and the way the weather map looks, heat will be a factor for a few days. Just being out is like being sprayed with a water hose and trying to get a breath of fresh air while surrounded in a humid condition unfit for most, for any length of time. With all the above in mind, I have tried to imagine what it must be like, riding in conditions nearing the impossible. It sound like the bike path along the road may be a good choice, despite the Babba award winners. Traveling across Ne is not my favorite thing to do in the best of condition, and past history on some of the least traveled roads made me wonder what universe I was on. Sorry Ne. you do have a lot of great places to visit. MEH

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