Sunday, 8 August 2010

Beautiful Nebraska

Some people have told me that Nebraska is boring. I don't agree!

Sure, there are not many cities or towns in Nebraska, but if you only measure a state by how much there is to do, then you are missing out on a great deal. I found Nebraska to be beautiful, but in its own way. It is partly it’s remoteness that makes it beautiful. Sadly, us humans are not very good at making things look good. Nature on the other hand does a fantastic job and I would much rather look at rolling hills, trees, and animals than the abandoned cars and buildings that so many of the worlds towns and cities leave behind.

Nebraska is huge and its size makes you feel very small indeed. Riding this morning with the warm air and with the sun on my back was terrific and in the first 78 miles of riding, I saw just 2 cars, 1 RV and 1 tractor. Fantastic!

I have included a few photos in this post of places and things that I saw just today, on a 200 miles ride across just the northwest corner of Nebraska. I am certainly glad that I chose to ride through this state.

I rode early, so shadows were long as I started my ride....




















A large part of Nebraska is made of sand hills. There are not many trees to block the view. I have included the road in these pictures so you can get a sense of scale....







































This building was near Ellsworth, just as I turned north onto state Highway 27. There are glimpses of the areas western past here and there in Nebraska....




















I stunning lake in the early morning sunshine....




















Cattle on the plains....




















An irrigation boom watering the crops on a very hot day....




















The Niobrara River in northern Nebraska....




















My bike taking a rest from the blazing sun....


























I felt something hitting my legs as I rode and realised I was riding through a swarm(?) of grasshoppers. Here is one that expired on my boot as I rode....




















They made a bit of a mess of my bike....




















A wind-powered well. These are scattered across the grasslands and pump water from underground into large circular troughs so the cattle have water to drink at all times....




















Who knew Nebraska had buttes like this? This is just south of Crawford....




















Horses keeping cool....







































I arrived at my hotel for the night – the Best Western in Chadron. My plan of finding hotels or motels as I arrive in a town has to be abandoned for a few days as I get nearer to Sturgis. Almost everywhere is full, so I asked my wife Jackie to find me somewhere to sleep for the next few days and it seems she has done a great job. As I checked in I was told that bikes were allowed to park in the hotels courtyard as they would be safer there, plus the hotel had set up a bike washing area with a hose and old hotel towels to wash / dry your bike with. I managed to get rid of all of those grasshoppers from my bike in about 30 minutes.

Here is the best motorbike parking place in town – the hotels courtyard!....




















The bikers took over the courtyard for an evening of drinking, eating and singing of old folk songs....







































Okay, this bit about the folk songs isn’t really true, but we all had a great time!

6 comments:

SonjaM said...

I always find that riding the prairies gives one a Zen like state of mind. As usual you captured the characteristics of this landscape very well. Not at all boring.

Jackie, the Wife xx said...

Great pics and write up, as usual. :-) Getting the 10 million bugs off of yourself and your Leading Ladies, must have been quite laborious…. Your “shadow pic” is now one of my favourites, thus far. Kz, J

Axel said...

After I reached reading the end of your second para (.. 2 "cars" in 78 miles...), 38 must have passed my window, you are a lucky man.
Visited SOFER 7 in Bisley this weekend, small pleasures of a immobile local...

Charlie6 said...

Hey Gary, here's a folk song for ya....it refers to Iowa since you were just there but you get the drift....am sure it applies to Nebraska as well. : )

Heywood Bank's Interstate 80 Iowa

I've heard a slight different version but the above pretty much captures it.

dom

Redleg's Rides

Milwaukee Dan said...

I think I have to give Nebraska a second chance. Very nicely written Gary.

Gary France said...

Sonja – Zen like is right. At one stage I found myself waving at the cows because it seemed like the right thing to do. But, don’t tell anyone about this!

Jackie – Thanks, I like that picture too! Getting the grasshoppers off took a long time....

Axel – I read your write-ups about SOFER. I really like it because they restrict the numbers.

Dom – I roared with laughter when I heard the song. I have been storing up a post just about corn and that would fit it very well!

Dan – Thanks. I was really pleasantly surprised by Nebraska.