Hank – Before we went to bed last night we got a FaceTime call from my Aunt Janet and Uncle Mike. It was great to chat with them and catch up on the changes they’re going through with selling their house in Seattle and moving to Portland. They look forward to our blog posts every evening. While we were talking another bike tourer showed up at the city park. She set up camp on the opposite side of the bathroom, probably to put a sound barrier between her and the two hard-of-hearing camp mates trying to carry on a conversation with their relatives.
It was hot and humid in Cody last night. And just to rub it in the wind died down. I spent the night lying on top of my sleeping bag and sticking to it. Every time I turned over I would have to peel the sleeping bag off my skin, adjust it back under me, and then stick back to it again. I did not sleep well. Neither did Kathy.
Today’s ride to Valentine called for 37 miles with 200 feet of climbing and 700 feet of descent. Sure it does, Google Maps. Sure it does. We’re supposed to have rain in Valentine by 1:00 pm. That’s fine because we know we’re in a hotel room tonight.
We had a light breakfast and tea and that’s when got to meet Miriam Klein this morning. When she came in last night she thought we were a couple of teenage guys, which is pretty funny. Miriam takes two weeks every year to ride across the country in sections. She first started from home in Louisville KY and rode for a month to Albany NY. The next year she rode from Albany to Portland ME. This is her fifth year and she going from Norfolk NE to Casper WY. She used to cycle a lot when she was younger and decided she needed to do this now while she was able to. She turns 59 next week. Miriam uses a one-way rental car to get to her starting point and another to go home from the end point. We chatted for quite a bit in the morning and we let her know she has a place to stay should she come to Spokane, which she plans to do. Cool!
We left Miriam, who was traveling west, and headed east on Hwy 20 again. The miles passed quickly. As we were approaching Kilgore an oncoming pickup truck stopped next to us. It was Dusty who we met at the Husker Hub in Cody. She wished us safe travels again and reminded us there was nothing ahead of us until we got to Valentine. We had a snack in Kilgore and started pushing the pedals again. On the way out of Kilgore we passed into the Central Time Zone for reals this time. Crookston was the next town. Nothing open there either for two reasons: today is Sunday and there’s nothing there to be open. We sat in the shade of a grain elevator and had another snack. The last 12 miles to Valentine passed uneventfully. When we got to town we found that the two restaurants Dusty recommended were closed. One doesn’t open on Sunday but the other opens at 4:00 pm. So we checked into our motel, which had a room ready for us, got showered and did laundry. After experiencing a couple of humid days and the sticky night last night, there’s something to be said for lying on a bed in an air conditioned room–pardon the visual–and letting the creases air out. In the meantime the thunderstorms hit, dumping a ton of rain. After the storm passed by we walked to the Peppermill Restaurant. Kathy got a Chardonnay with her dinner. I ordered a Jack and Coke. “Single or a double?” the waitress asked. I am so weak when they twist my arm like that. I got a double. I had the ribeye steak and Kathy got the BBQ brisket. They were both delicious. (Kathy couldn’t eat all the brisket so I helped.) We were nice and relaxed at the end of our meals. Time to watch a movie and fall asleep.
Kathy – Yet another great day of riding seeing beautiful landscapes and meeting great people. These are the good things about our trip. We ended up logging 40 miles today and as Hank stated the Google Map must be wrong again. Regardless of the elevation gain/loss it was a nice ride into Valentine, Nebraska. Miriam was a great gal and it was good to meet and talk with her. It is a huge accomplishment to travel alone, especially for a female bike traveler. We wish her well. Happy to be in the hotel tonight and have a rest day tomorrow from riding after our seven day stretch. A good dinner in our bellies, a nice comfy bed and no doubt we will rest much better tonight than last night. Sleep well!