At Times We Are All Klowns

Hank – We woke up at 5:00 am and had tea and a light breakfast. We planned to get a jump on the 90 degree heat headed our way. Then mother nature piped up and told us the party in O’Neill was not over yet.  We heard thunder in the distance. Soon we could see the lightning. I checked the weather radar. The only thunderstorm in the state decided to form up and come our way. Wonderful. We packed up and got under a shelter so we wouldn’t have to pack a wet tent. Then we waited it out. The worst of the storm was south of us. We were to ride southeast for 10 or so miles into the path of the storm’s center before turning east. Hence the wait.

Once we were in the clear we headed southeast on Hwy 20–into strong gusting headwinds. I plowed for 14 miles before we turned east. The crosswind was much easier to deal with.

Dusty got up early, too, and we were playing leapfrog to Plainview, which is where we stopped. He rested there for a bit and hit the road again.

We had fewer towns to stop by on the way to Plainview. Kathy and I stopped in Orchard and had a meal at Sugarz. It was pretty decent. There must be an Amish or Amish-like community there. We saw a horse and buggy tied up behind the gas station and a couple people in traditional clothes. We got back on the road and cranked out the miles again.

Plainview has a city park with free campsites. We love how many towns in Nebraska do that. While setting up our tent Kandie drove up and talked to us. She used to be on the park board and wanted to help us out. She called Mike, the city administrator, who called the swimming pool next door to us and asked them to let us use their showers. How cool!

Coming into town we saw a sign for the Klown Doll Museum. We knew we had to check that out. We walked over and saw thousands of clown dolls, paintings, and other clown-related memorabilia.

After the museum we took refreshing cold showers and washed today’s clothes too. After hanging up our wet clothes, Kandie showed up again with a gallon of cold lemonade, a package of Chips Ahoy cookies, and a greeting card welcoming us to Plainview. We’re getting the celebrity treatment here!

We walked to Mary’s restaurant in town for dinner. Come 6:00 pm we were pretty tired but it was too early for bed.

Kathy – Another 50 miles completed today with only about 500 feet of elevation. The temps were HOT. Today was a mix of good and bad.

The Bad:

  • Getting up early to avoid the heat then a thunderstorm holds you up.
  • The Hellish Headwinds in our face for 14 miles.
  • The temps – with the humidity the heat index is in the 90’s. You’re just wet even after you shower, no getting around the Midwest humidity.

The Good:

  • Riding with Hank who let me draft off him for the first 14 miles.
  • After 14 miles the winds changed directions slightly making it MUCH easier to ride.
  • Happy to be making it out of ‘stink zone.’ For the last four days the air has stunk so bad. Think of a mixture of cow/pig crap and fertilizer mixed with all the wetness in the area. Diane T. thinking of you and your hometown area. Now I know why you live in Medford, Oregon. πŸ˜„ Happy to arrive in Plainview, Nebraska where it smells wonderful!
  • A shower (cold but refreshing!) and a clean body.
  • Less mosquitos to devour us today.
  • The Clown Doll Museum, fun!
  • I planted my Nebraska flowers (state #8) – one packet of flowers per State as part of my campaign to Make America Even More Beautiful.
  • Kandie! Such a kind and compassionate gal going out of her way for us. Calling city officials to get us free showers at the pool, bringing us fresh ice cold lemonade with cookies and a welcome card that included her home and cell numbers should we need anything tonight. She is pretty awesome and we were lucky enough to have met her.

So exhausted, as I rest my head on my blow-up pillow tonight I will remember all the good things during my day…and be thankful for them.

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  1. Excellent writing. I could picture and feel your experience. A real joy to read. πŸ‘


    1. Thank you Garry. No doubt you and Barb are making many cycling memories also. Love to you both. πŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ


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