Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sioux City in 3 states!

We decided last night to stay at Scenic Campground here in South Sioux City, Nebraska an extra night so that we could spend the day thanking police and firefighters in 3 states! Yes, Sioux City is in 3 different states. There is South Sioux City in Nebraska, North Sioux City in South Dakota, and Sioux City in Iowa. So I learned something new today. We started the morning by going to the combined police and sheriffs office in South Sioux City. On our way in, a State Police  car pulled in and Bill went over to talk. After a few minutes the trooper got out of his car to exchange coins with us
and pose for a picture.
Thank-you for what you do Sargeant Mobley! We met Chief Ed Mahon who welcomed us warmly and was excited by what we were doing. He said it would take some time to get us a patch and he also wanted to call Siouxland News and the Dakota County Star to come and interview Bill. So while he did that, we went over to the South Sioux City Fire Department to say thank-you to them. We traded patches
and got pictures
and enjoyed talking with them. Thank-You guys for what you do! We went back over to the police department and Katie Copple from Siouxland News was there for a television interview and Blake Branch from the Star was there for a newspaper interview. The interviews were very exciting and  pictures were taken and we shook hands all around. Chief Mahon exchanged patches with us
and I made sure to get several shots of everyone.

One of the officers gave me a coin and said we could pass it on to another down the road.
Thank-You sir. Thank-you Chief Mahon for calling the press and being genuinely interested in what we are doing. In Sioux City, Iowa, we met the police chief and several officers; one of which was Ryan Denney, officer of the year! Chief Young exchanged patches and coins
with us and we took pictures together.
Thank-You all so much for what you do!  From there, we drove to the Sioux City Fire Department and happened to be there when there were quite a few men there. They appreciated what we are doing and I got a picture of all of them.
One of the firefighters gave us a new T-shirt,
and we gave him the patch from Jellico, Tennessee.
Thanks guys, and you do have the makings of a great calendar! LOL! On to North Sioux City, South Dakota! We found the Police Department there and met Chief Headid. He listened to our story and exchanged patches with us.
We took a quick picture and were all on our way.
Thank-You Chief for what you do! On our way back to the campground, we stopped at Albrecht Cycle owned by Korey Smith to see if we could find a solution to the discomfort Bill has been experiencing on his bicycle. Korey was very helpful and we bought a new seat and he made the proper adjustments for Bill. Thanks Korey! So we finished the day at the little beach house on wheels and start riding again tomorrow morning. Thank-you for reading. 

Orchard, Nebraska to South Sioux City, Nebraska

June 29, 2016

We spent the night in the city park in Orchard, Nebraska. There was a donation box so we put some cash in and were on our way. Bill left at 7:15 and I followed at about 8:45. The truck needed gasoline so I stopped about 6 miles out of town. A nice little lady ran the place and we chatted for a few minutes. It was cash or check only, so I asked if a check from Tennessee would be alright. She laughed and said the sheriff knew where that was so she would take my check. On my way once again and sitting in Randolph, Nebraska in the High School parking lot. The road conditions have been really bad in this section. The breakdown lane is just crumbling away
and Bill can’t be in the road because of the many 18 wheelers on this section. Since I was on a hill overlooking the road, I watched for Bill. When I saw him, I let out a whistle and he looked up and saw me. When he pulled up, he was thoroughly beat up by the road so we had a snack and talked. His bike was taking a beating too so we loaded up and drove the next 10 until the road improved. There were sections that felt like we were riding a bucking bronco instead of a truck. At last the road smoothed out and Bill hopped back on his bike. I drove another 12 miles with no town in sight so pulled over as far as I could on the grass. It’s amazing how quiet it is out here in between trucks….birds singing and the wind rustling the grass. An amazing amount of food being raised in endless miles of fields. We made it to Scenic Park Campground in Sioux City. When we found out that Sioux City is actually in 3 different states, we decided to visit all the police and firefighters in each place so will make a day of thanking them tomorrow. Lots of pictures and stories tomorrow I’m sure! Thank-you for reading.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bassett, Nebraska to Orchard, Nebraska

June 28, 2016

The fairground was a great place to camp.
It was quiet and fully lit all night.
We rested well and woke up at 6. There were several other groups there too, so we had safety in numbers. Bill left at 7:15 and I left about 2 hours later after some work on the internet. Our little hotspot decided to work here so we got the blog and Facebook entries all done. I caught up to Bill in about 30 miles in Atkinson, Nebraska. You’ll never guess what he was doing…thanking a police officer of course! :) I got to meet him too and got a patch out to give to him. Chief Tim Larby drove back to his office to get us a couple of patches
and when he returned, I snapped a picture of him and Bill.
The Chief took a look at our map and told us more about Nebraska. That Cherry County, which you saw yesterday, is the largest county in the United States…100 miles by 100 miles. How would you like to patrol that! We shook hands and each went our way. I’ve only gone 10 miles this time because there’s a storm coming in from the west and we want to be sure that Bill doesn’t get caught in it. So far it’s staying put, think we will have lunch here.
Bill ate and rested for a bit then pedaled away. The storm decided to turn south, so it’s clear skies ahead. As I drove through O’Neill, I saw a billboard that said it was the “Irish Capital of Nebraska”. I kept driving until I reached Inman where I circled through town, took some pictures of interesting buildings

and then parked on the main street where Bill could see me. There are quite a few trees here; in the western part of Nebraska if you saw trees, it meant there was a town. Bill arrived and had to stop for the day. He got a few pictures of old equipment as he went along.

Headwinds again. He did do 57 miles so that was good. We drove to the next small town where there was a campground in the city park. Full hookups, but no wi-fi. The hotspot wouldn’t work either so we will have some supper and call it an early night. Thank-you for reading.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Valentine, Nebraska to Bassett, Nebraska

We spent yesterday doing laundry, cleaning the little beach house on wheels, and getting Bill’s bike all clean and ready for another week. Even got a nap in! LOL! And, also…..drum roll please…..Bill has completed his first 1000 miles! Only 3,500 to go! :) I think the nap was how we celebrated…:) This morning, he stopped by the Valentine police station and found out the sheriff's office is in the same building. So Bill thanked them and exchanged patches with Chief Deputy Vince Lopez

and received a patch and a coin from Chief Dana Miller.

They got a picture all together and he also gave them New Testaments.
Thank-You all for what you do! The fire department was all volunteer, so there was no one there. He was on his way out of town by 9:45 and I was on my way to the grocery store to pick up some supplies. I caught up to him at the 37 mile mark and we had some lunch in the town of Johnstown, population 42. It was just in time too, he was ready to chew my leg off. LOL! He took a 5 minute snooze, filled the water bottles, and was on his way again. While I was there, I got a cool shot of an old piece of farm equipment – Bill thinks it’s a horse drawn manure spreader.
Next stop is Bassett where I’m sitting next to the city park. It’s 84 degrees with a quartering headwind. It’s partly cloudy with a coolness to the breeze that I’m enjoying while I write. When Bill pulled up, the last 10 miles had taken their toll. Between headwinds and rough road, he was ready to call it a day. He did over 60 miles so it was time to stop for the night. 5:00 and I found out I’m right near a city campground right in the fairgrounds. Looks like it’s a freebie tonight! Water and electric hookup too! So the AC is on and we are both typing up the days events to share with you. Supper’s on the stove and we are thankful.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gordon, Nebraska to Valentine, Nebraska

June 25th, 2016

The wind came through last night and blew the heat away We woke up to a cool morning and smoke in the air from a fire in Sundance, Wyoming.
The wind was blowing it away to the south so Bill won’t have to breathe it today. He left at 6:45 this morning to get miles in early and I followed about an hour and a half later. About 3 miles down the road I noticed the truck was down to 1/8 of a tank of gas. Turning around in the road was a slow process with a camper behind you, but there was no traffic and the mission was accomplished! LOL! I drove back to the Sinclair station in Gordon. There was a big dirt area to the right of it for  semi’s to turn around in, so I parked there and puzzled out how I was going to get in by the pumps. With a big swing, I managed to get in place and fill the tank. Now the tricky part…getting out. A few people left the convenience store parking lot in front and the person on the left moved too so I said a quick prayer and slowly went around all the pumps and parked vehicles, straight back into the big dirt area, turned around and…out! Woo! Hoo! I drove close to 30 miles before catching up to Bill. The wind is all over the place today and he was feeling it. He rested for a few minutes, refilled his water and was on his way. The next stop was Cody, another 24 miles away. Along the way, I saw quite a few cyclists going in the opposite direction. I would toot and wave and wondered what they were involved in. When I pulled in to Cody,
there were quite a few of them outside the local watering hole. So I overcame my shyness and hopped out of the truck and walked on over, cards in hand. As we talked, I found out they were doing the Tour De Nebraska. I snapped a picture and they were on their way once more.
I hope Bill gets to talk with them on his way here. Its 10:21 and only 71 degrees with a cool wind; what a relief from yesterday’s heat. Bill rolled up about an hour later and told me how he had met Rich Rodenburg, the head of the ride and told him what we doing...
fter an amusing conversation that you can read about on our Facebook page.) He invited us to have a burger with some of the cyclists and we shared stories and it was nice to sit and have conversation. We met Fred and Eunice (aka Susie :)) and heard about their history and their involvement with cycling.
We’ve even been invited to their banquet tonight in Valentine by a lovely lady who is 
married to a police officer! I asked if I needed to wear a dress and they all laughed and said, “This is Nebraska, jeans and t-shirts!” Good, I don’t think I could find my pantyhose in the camper anyway. LOL! They wouldn’t let us pay for our lunch and we were humbled by their kindness. We traveled on to the little town of Kilgore where I’m sitting on a little dirt road. I can see quite a ways down the road here so Bill should be able to spot me. After a fast refill, he took off and I drove on to Crookstone. I love how the old buildings look and took a few pictures of them and also some equipment.

Small town America is struggling for sure. People are hanging on hoping for better times. We are on the last leg of today’s journey at last. 11 more miles to Valentine and we are done. When we arrived, we went over to the Fairgrounds where the cyclists were having their banquet. There were hundreds of bicycles outside so we knew we were in the right place.
The friends we had met at lunch found us and invited us to sit with them. We had been looking for them, but didn’t see them since there were about 400 people there.
We enjoyed the company, the meal, and watching their awards ceremony. Rich Rodenburg then invited Bill up to say a few words and he told them what we were doing.
We had met two police officers so gave them patches and coins and thanked them for their service. Bill then surprised Rich by giving him a coin also. Since the T-shirts were marked down to half price, we went over to buy a couple. Bill was going out to get some cash out of his bicycle bag when a man stopped him and said he wanted to buy the shirts for us.
He told us he was also a police officer and appreciated what we were doing. We got choked up a little and thanked him and also thanked him for what he does as a police officer. On the way back to the truck, we saw a Trek bicycle that looked just like the one Bill had 27 years ago! We reminisced for a few minutes and I got a picture of it.
Then it was back to the Wacky West Campground for cool showers and rest. Sunday we’ll be catching up the blog, Facebook page, pictures, and doing cleaning and laundry. Back on the road on Monday! Thank-you for reading.

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Fort Robinson, Nebraska to Gordon, Nebraska

June 24, 2016

We woke up early this morning so decided to get started. Bill met Dale Ackerman in the campground last night and he expressed his desire to ride today for the first 20 miles. After we got morning chores done, we met up with him and his wife, Marilyn. We took pictures, 
prayed together and the guys were on their way. Someone was waiting for the dump station where I was parked so I said good-bye to Marilyn and drove away. The first 15 miles went really well…tailwinds today. Bill was impressed with the recumbent bicycle that Dale was riding. He could go faster with less effort and he didn’t hurt his back or neck while riding.
They had some water and snacks and took off.
Dale for 5 more miles before turning back,
Bill for another 15. I arrived in Chadron and saw some road construction up ahead. When I got to the top of the hill, I realized that it went for quite a ways. An Arbys was on the left so I pulled in there to turn around.  It was a quick left and then right after I got out of the parking lot and with the road construction, I didn’t have enough swing coming out onto the main road and something on a telephone pole snagged the edge of the awning. I looked in the side mirror and saw a 3 foot strip of awning fluttering in the wind.
Oh my, my nice awning that keeps out the sun! I’m not sure if we can patch it but I am not looking forward to Bill’s arrival this time. When he pedaled up I said, “You’d better kiss me now…” Then I showed him what happened. He didn’t fuss at me, just hugged me as I sobbed. He said it was just an awning and he could patch it this weekend. Bill taped it in place temporarily with some aluminum tape and hugged me again. He drove through the construction then hopped on his bike and pedaled off. This is the second small town we’ve gone through where they totally rip up the whole main street at once. Probably more cost effective but difficult to drive through pulling a camper. On the way past “the telephone pole”, I noticed a metal sign fastened to it at awning height….that’s what ripped the awning. So for now we have a redneck awning and I’m sure our “bumper to bumper protection plan’ won’t cover that either. We stopped at the city park in Hay Springs to have some lunch. 92 degrees and we are laid out in the camper. After resting for a few minutes, we were back on the road. 12 miles to  Rushville City Park. I found the park but no way to park under the trees. The truck idled while I tried to stay cool…up to 100 degrees now. Bill pedaled up, spotted a police car and went over to say Thank-You! We decided to head to Clinton, Nebraska about 7 miles away where I’m sitting right now. 101 degrees! I bet if I was next to a corn field, you could hear the corn grow. Its 8 more miles to Gordon where there’s a campground. After wandering around in Gordon for awhile, we found the campground just in time…a storm was brewing in the west. Full hookups but no wi-fi, no laundry facilities…that’s okay, I didn’t want to do laundry tonight anyway…;) Thanks for reading.

Lusk, Wyoming to Fort Robinson, Nebraska

We were without wi-fi for a couple of days so playing catch-up....

June 23, 2016

It was a quiet night in the campground last night. Bill was falling asleep on his feet so went to bed at 7:30. I followed about an hour later after working on pictures and the blog. We woke up at 6 and started the day once again. Bill left on his bicycle at 8:15 to meet with the Lusk Police Department, Fire Department, and the County Sheriff’s Office. After he left, I finished packing up and made a run through the grocery store in town. His first stop was the police department. There was no one there, so he went in and talked to the city clerk whose husband was a police officer. She gave him a call to come over and also called the local newspaper to do a story. While the police officer was on his way, Bill went over to the sheriff’s office where he met with Detention Lieutenant Gwen Riter  who was very impressed with what we were doing. She exchanged patches with Bill 
and he got a photo.
He went over to the fire department and found out it was all volunteer so no one was there. They did have a really tough looking truck though.
The reporter called Bill and drove to the fire department to meet with him. He also called the police to meet both of them at the firehouse. When the police arrived they had Bill tell our story and they shot a picture with the bicycle in front of the town hall. (the Chief is on the right)

Bill offered to exchange patches with the Chief and he ran back to his office to get one for us. Bill talked to three officers there and was impressed with what good men they were. The Chief came back with the patch and the exchange was made.
They talked a little more and Bill waved good bye and was on the road again. So far, almost every officer we talk to says that no one says thank-you anymore. He had done just under 20 miles when I caught up to him. Since there was nowhere to pull over, I just stopped and put on my flashers so he could refill his water. Good thing the road is really quiet. Lots of rolling hills today with prairie as far as you can see on all sides. As soon as I crossed into Nebraska, the road improved quite a bit with wide breakdown lanes and smoother pavement. I reached Harrison, Nebraska after 12 miles and there was a pull off there. Looks like Bill might just have some tailwinds today (no tail winds after all) He’s still climbing hills today. He’ll be glad to see I’m parked in a spot just after some downhill. I think we’ll be lunching on the side of the road here in Harrison. When Bill arrived, he bicycled up a couple of streets and found a small park. It was out of the wind and off the side of the highway so we enjoyed a couple of sandwiches. When he went through Van Tassell, he told me how it was the home of the very first American Legion and had a few pictures to show me.

Too soon it was time for him to saddle up again. The temperature is up to 92 degrees now so I extended the awning to keep the sun out. There’s a warm breeze coming in but it’s probably in the 80’s in the little beach house on wheels….whew! Just before Fort Robinson, Nebraska there was a long downhill so I called Bill to let him know there was some relief from all the hills he’s had to climb today. I parked in a small parking lot near the entrance of the state park. Lots of history and conflict here. I’ll attach a link so you can go read about if you would like.  When Bill arrived, he had over 50 miles and the temperature had risen to 98 degrees so we decided to call it a day. There was a campground right here in the state park so we found a spot, registered, and started up the AC! Bacon and eggs for supper! Yum!  See you tomorrow!