July 5, 2015 –Clear, 95 degrees then T-storms
Miles Today: 62
Miles to Date: 3,650
States to Date: 16
I woke early and refreshed despite a night of loud fireworks followed by even louder thunderstorms. I headed west on Nebraska Route 71 while the moon was still showing its face.
I passed my first large fields of wheat, which are quite beautiful in the shimmering morning light.
I kept up a good pace until the road turned south. Fortunately, the wind shifted to a more favorable direction, but unfortunately the “Road Work Next 10 Miles’ sign spelled trouble. I’ve traveled some road construction areas that were newly paved, just not striped. But today I hit ten miles of fresh milled surface. For over an hour, every part of my Surly and me jiggled and jangled. When I finally hit smooth pavement I stopped to check bolts. My bike was sturdy as ever, though it took a while for my head screws to settle.
The rest of the ride into Scottsbluff was easy – the final ten miles a gentle down slope. I got into town to attend at last part of the Sunday service of The Abbey, and then had a long conversation about tomorrow with Father A.J. Severns.
By three the sky was growing dark, so I headed to a China Buffet to sit out the storm. The fiercest storm of my entire journey proved benign in my dry booth surrounded by egg rolls, fried rice, mushrooms with oyster sauce, pork with onions, and, of course, sponge cake rolls with vanilla ice cream. By six, the storm wasn’t quite over, but I let the wind push me eight blocks to my motel and checked in before the predicted hail fell. So far, I have been lucky in ducking nature’s wrath.