Day Eleven


Day Eleven


Lexington to Shelton, NB


This day would not be punctuated by anything. It was an entire day on the same old Route 30. The only good news was that this would be the last full day on 30. We had traveled nearly 200 miles just in Nebraska and had a pretty good handle on the scene, and it was not pretty. What we saw all along the road was a series of bombed out villages once prosperous with agriculture and family life. Replacing the vibrant rural culture was the imposition of corporate, mega-sized farming. Gone was the sense of humanity, family and culture. Now the scene was dominated by the largest tractors and farm equipment know to the world. Gone were the jobs, the spirit and the basis for any kind of reasonable society in the bread basket of america.

The winds continued to pummel us from the southeast. We were beginning to feel a little beat up, but the adverse elements also infused a sense of challenge. This was no ordinary ride in the park. This was an effort reserved for the most hearty. We felt the resistance and were not deterred. Our days were interesting enough, we encouraged each other and we pressed on at a snail’s pace knowing that we had covered overall, nearly six hundred miles. In our thinking at the time, this was about one-third of the trip. It was no small feat to have traveled that far in eleven days with mostly punishing headwinds.

As the day wore on, we began to think about a campsite for the night. Nebraska is quite generous with recreational sites along the Platte River. We finally decided to go to the War Axe State Recreational Area near Shelton. It wasn’t listed as a campground but we discovered a very nice setting with covered picnic tables, restrooms and water. It was situated a couple of miles off of Highway 30. On a bicycle, two miles represents a fair amount of time in the case of an error. We invoked the father/son epic adventure reasoning to camp there, despite the fact that camping didn’t seem to be part of the roster. It was also not populated by anyone. In the case that we got kicked out, we reasoned that we could simply put up our tents at any nearby, outa-the-way spot.

We did not encounter any authorities bent on ruining our day. Not only that, but the evening was particularly nice. The sunset was beautiful. We had nice grass to set up and sleep on. This was the first night that we saw fireflies. The magic little bugs entertained us for hours until we finally slid peacefully to sleep.