Day Fourteen


No one came to hassle us about camping in the city park. We packed our tents and bags and began the ride to Winside, NB. This was a long awaited focal point on this part of the journey. We were now well into traveling mode. It had been two weeks since we departed California. The trip across Nebraska was slower than anticipated. The punishing headwinds had sapped our spirits somewhat. We had hoped to make huge distances each day on the flat terrain that describes this part of the mid-west. On this day the wind was neither favorable or a deterrent.

After twenty five miles we noticed another bicycle, fully loaded with camping gear. It was leaning against a barn near the road, so we decided to stop and exchange stories with another biking comrade. We hadn’t seen one other person touring thus far. To our surprise, this wouldn’t be another biking adventurer, but rather a semi homeless type on a very flaky mt. Bike. We would see him once more on the road to Winside.

The quaint little town eventually appeared on the horizon. It may have changed very little in the eighty years since my dad and Austin’s gramps set foot in the little burg. It seemed to be a long, long way from anywhere. Perhaps in the day of Pop’s travels, it may have seemed like a new beginning. Yet, he didn’t stay there very long. He would work for a year or so at the Carl Wolff harness shop, then relocate to Detroit Mich. Where his life in the U.S. took off.

We discovered the library and asked if they had any books that might describe the history of Winside. To our delight, one of the books had a picture of the Carl Wolff harness shop with a young man who was clearly my father. We spent another hour having lunch and tossing the Frisbee around the town park. It was an emotional day crossing this path so many years later.

We departed the little hamlet and set our course for college town of Wayne Nebraska. There we treated ourselves to a motel room and pizza. Shortly after settling in the sky opened with a deluge that made us glad we chose the indoor option. This would be, mercifully, our last night in Nebraska.