The wind kept up late into the night last night. The most prominent sound in the campground was flapping tents... not a bad way to go to sleep. This morning most people were up and gone by 6 AM. I left around 6:20, about 10 minutes after Dianne. I caught up with her by the first rest stop and we took one-mile turns blocking the wind for each other--it made a big difference; there were some hills on the route today too.
The wind was strong and steady (14 MPH) from the northeast as we headed east. Nebraskans seem to be used to it... We are on the old Pony Express trail as well as the route wagon trains took to get to California during the gold rush. We saw California Hill, where the wagon trains had much difficulty moving west. There was a historical marker there and it was a couple of miles down a dirt road to see wagon ruts from that time. I don't think any of our group took that option.
Today's official route went up along Lake McConoughy, but quite a number of riders, including Dianne and me, took an alternate route to go into Ogallalla for lunch. I missed lunch yesterday and that is never a good thing on a long ride...
We saw this restored Standard Oil Red Crown filling station while looking for the cafe where we had lunch. After lunch and pie we stopped at the Front Street Old Western town.
I bought post cards for the grandchildren there, and we headed back into the wind for the last 20 miles. We were here around 1:10, set up tents, showered, and retrieved my backpack from the kind people who take it in their truck every morning (to keep it safe from the semi-truck full of tents and luggage).
These small towns are doing a great job feeding us--we are over 600 people descending small towns like Paxton (population 500). And we eat a lot! Several of the food options ran out of food last night, but we all got dinner eventually. I expect tonight will be the same. The Knights of Columbus group sponsored a chicken and steak dinner "from 4:30 until the food is gone". So at 4:30 Dianne and I joined a group on the hay wagon heading to the K of C dinner.
The dinner, cooked by the Knights seen below, was great! We had a choice of steak or chicken, and a baked potato, salad, corn and dessert! They are all amazed at what we're doing, riding across Nebraska.
On the return trip in the hay wagon we met Al and Shannon. Al is the only BRAN participant who has ridden all 33 BRANs! And his daughter has ridden 25. I saw them earlier today on the road riding a hybrid tandem with pink fenders. What a great thing to do together!
We came in the school building to play some Scrabble--too hot outside to do anything. I charged this computer in the cafeteria, but passed by the phone charging station on my way here.This setup was created by one of the ride leaders. This is but one example of how they strive to make this ride better every year.
Now it is raining. But all riders are off the road and all tents are set up, so it could be much worse... perhaps this will cool it down a bit... we can only hope!