The park maintenance staff woke me up. They pulled in to do something to the bathrooms. They didn’t clean it, and it looked like it had not been cleaned in a while. I rode through town and found a Casey’s. Casey’s are expensive, but all of them have donuts.
From Columbus I rode straight north to Norfolk. The rolling hills of eastern Nebraska had faded into long stretches of flatland with the occassional mile long hill. Again, the wind was in my favor, coming out of the South. In the morning most farmers have their irrigation systems running. They look like a perfect shower. I have not yet brought myself to try it. I thought they may be using it to distribute fertilizer, but am still not certain. One day maybe.
I stopped in Norfolk for lunch. For being such a small town they packed a lot there. I was on my way to a Mexican restaurant when I passed by the Wood Fire Grill. The aroma from the street was too good to pass up. Once again, I ordered all of their side dishes: rice pilaf, sweet potato casserole, french fries, and grilled veggies.
By this time I had already ridden 45 miles, but Ken, from Indian Cave, called me while I was in Fremont and said he was camped out a little north of Norfolk. It was another 12 miles to Pierce and then 3 miles to Willow Creek Recreation Area. He warned me that Google would try to take me down a gravel road. I have been down gravel roads before and managed, but this was something else. It had a layer of loose pea gravel about 3 inches thick on top of the pack. My tailend was fish-tailing so bad that I wrecked twice. The Awol and I both got a little cosmetic damage on the first wreck, but only pride hurt the second. There was no way I could go down it, so I called Ken and he said there was a paved road after going through Pierce.
I rode through Pierce and found the signs for Willow Creek. Ken also told me there was a bike trail I could follow that would lead me to the park. At one intersection the sign for the park said turn left, but the bike trail went on straight. I was not riding the bike trail so I followed the sign. This took me South and straight into that, what was favorable earlier, south wind. It was a struggle to move the bike, even going down hill. On the map there was a road that cut straight into the park. In real life, that road was blocked and said do not enter. So, I ducked under the gate and went on. It did lead me to the park and eventually I found Ken on his bike waiting to take me in.
For being so small and out of the way this park was really nice. It had a bike trail and a horse trail. It had beaches and volleyball nets. From an RV’ers perspective, it did not have sewage or a pump out. For me, it was great. I spent the next couple hours in their camper learning about their adventure and telling them about mine. They sold everything, bought a very very nice camper and went exploring.
After a 75 cent shower, we loaded up in their truck and went to town for dinner. Like most families, choosing a dinner place is always a hassle. Even more so when you have a picky eater like myself. We ended up at a local favorite in Norfolk. The consensus on the food was that the locals have no taste buds, but the company was good. Back at camp, Ken helped me set up my tent. He warned that rain was coming so it gave me the opportunity to test out my tent’s rainfly. On the way to the laundry I found a huge patch of muscadines. I am hoping that Ken and Jan were able to harvest some while there. We sat and talked while I attempted to knock out another blog post. Once finished I crashed in the tent and prepared the gear for a rainy night.
You’ve been the most interesting and enjoyable part of our journey so far. Hope we can connect up again down the road in Chadron. We still owe you a good meal!!!
Does your mom know about the fall and the knee wound? She won’t like to see that.