I took a total of five photos that day. Before leaving Reed’s house I had some toast with jelly that his sister made. It was made from reduced, rum soaked peaches. He then offered me the jar, which only lasted a day. It was another cold day with a strong Southwest wind. It looked like a storm would hit at any time, but it didn’t. Only a few drizzles now and then.
About ten miles from Rushville, and lunch, I saw another bike tourist. I waved and he slowed so I crossed the road to meet him. I thought he said he was coming from a desert in California, but he talked fast and mostly not in order. After discussing our trips, bikes, and gear he then went into telling me all about Nebraska. According to him, there is a tiny town with paint chipped houses and beat up roads some 100 miles south. In this town is the largest number of millionaires in the United States. He says if I can go through this town on any Friday night they will be having a potluck and party at the local bar. He couldn’t remember the name of the town, but told me how to get there.
The question that cyclists ask each other to judge them by is how far and fast they ride each day. Me, I am averaging maybe 50 miles a day and going 12-14 mph. When I told him that he spun around and cursed saying if he only got 50 miles a day he would be upset with himself. He then told me that he averaged 75 and would sometimes do a century. He would often ride until dark. I felt bad for wanting to get away from him, but he wasn’t my sort of people and the bathroom down the road was calling me. When I eventually tore away, the wind changed from the South to the North. Now, it was colder and stronger.
The ride from Rushville to Gordon was a short one. The wind died down and the sun poked out just enough for me to take off my jacket. Once in Gordon I rode around exploring the town. I found two parks, a few closed restaurants, and a Dollar General. For dinner I made a burrito with some refried beans, an onion, and the tomatoes and cucumbers the man from the Wacky RV park gave me. I also bought a box of oreos and snacked on them! The older cyclist told me there was a shower at the park in Gordon, but I could not find it.
I set up camp at the back of one of the parks, semi-hidden from a row of choke-cherries. I started the night in the hammock with tarp through over and under me. This protected me from the wind and was comfortable. No mosquitoes that night! It was comfortable, but not warm. Halfway through the night I got up, released the hammock, and lowered the tarp to make a tent. I used 1/3 of the tent as a ground cloth and then the other as an A-frame. This was much warmer, but still chilly. In Chadron, I would buy a fleece blanket for future cold nights.