nebraska has not wasted any time revealing the new adventures waiting for me.
23 miles really does not do my day justice.
after fighting thru a dust storm that threatened to blow me off the road
i spent most of the night playing hopscotch with electrical storms that put on quite a show all around me.
ginger drove behind me with flashers on, so i could hop in when rain showers passed over.
as it came on 0400 radar showed a monster cell closing on us
( i could see it coming without the radar) and i jumped in at the last second.
i got in a valuable (if not comfortable) two hour nap
while 3.5 inches of rain poured down.
at 0600 the rain (supposedly) ended
and i returned to the road feeling sort of smug about passing thru 3 rainstorms with still dry feet and decent mileage…
for about a half a mile until an unexpected downpour soaked me through.
a little later the skies cleared and the day looked promising
so i removed my rain gear and sent it down the road in the crew vehicle.
20 minuets later i was shivering on someone’s front porch next to the cat food bowl
and hoping they would not look out the window
while i texted for rescue and my rain gear back!
after that it never came off again as it rained repeatedly.
and i had not even reached the bridge out yet.
yesterday i scouted it at the end of the day
since no one thought i could cross it.
but i knew
crossing beat another long detour
and when i got there it looked simple.
i could just go through the dry creek bed like the construction crew…
it wasn’t like it was gonna rain 3 inches overnight!
cut to today.
it was pouring down when i got there.
so the construction crew was not there to veto crossing the bridge.
the creek bed was out.
loess is solid when dry
and liquid when wet.
the mud looked to be knee deep.
the bridge was the only way to avoid a long backtrack and detour
but it was only complete in the middle.
there was about an 8 foot deep gap between the bridge and the bank.
then some intersecting concrete walls about a foot wide on top that i would have to walk to get to the bridge.
well, it is this or backtrack to a 6 mile detour.
there was a big piece of steel lying on the ground
one end was out over the gap
within about 2 feet of the outermost concrete wall
metal is heavy
i was pretty certain it would not tip over with my weight
so i used my walking stick for balance and walked out and stepped to the wall.
i carefully made my way around the walls until i could step on the bridge
then went across to see if there was a way off on the other side.
no handy hunk of metal was around.
it looked like i was stuck.
then it dawned on me the tread on the crane was fairly close.
there was a big crane they were using to put metal parts into the concrete frame.
it was still running
but all the workers must have taken shelter when the rain started.
no one in the cab
i was sure the crane would not move.
so i walked out to the nearest point on the wall
leaned over and put my hand on the tread.
then i was committed.
actually it was easy to climb over the crane
and step back down on solid ground….
and on i went.
that familiar surge of adrenaline pumping through my veins.
when ginger came out of the detour on the other side i raised my stick in a gesture of fierce triumph ;
“ i will not be stopped!”
only 23 miles today
but i earned every last one of them.