Day 37 - O'Neill to Battle Creek - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 9, 2016

Day 37 - O'Neill to Battle Creek

Lordy, lordy, lordy -
The wind blew all night.
Got up at 4:45 - an absurd hour.
But I knew it was going to be hot.
And I knew there was going to be a killer headwind all day.

I can set up camp in 2 minutes. Packing up takes a little longer - maybe 10.
Of course everything is nasty wet because of the eastern dew.
I grabbed a couple of biscuits at the McDs and was on the road before 6:00.
Glorious sunrise - but the wind was already kicking me.

Sublime Sunrise East of O'Neill
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Got to Ewing by 8:00 and had a huge cinnamon roll - kept going.
Got to Clearwater and had a big lemonade - and kept going.
Got to Neligh - 40 miles - and stopped

Black-Eyed Susans along the Roadside
with Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson
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Note - The Cowboy Trail parallels US 20 and US 275 for 200 miles, but it is gravel with an iffy riding surface and is usually right next to the highway. Thus, there is little reason to be riding on it. There are, however, a couple of sections with high bridges or along the Elkhorn River which are quite nice.

Small Stretch of the Cowboy Trail with a Little Shade
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Historic little town with a great library.
Also, big trees and cool shade on the courthouse lawn.
The 140-year old Neligh Mill is on the river - but there was zero shade.
And shade was essential since it was 94F.

Historic Neligh Mill - in Neligh, Where Else?
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Between the heat, humidity, and the headwind, I had no desire to keep going.
Instead, the state of my clothing indicated that a laundry day was in order.
I didn't manage to head out again until almost 6:00.

This time I took a section of the Cowboy Trail with a lovely crossing of the Elkhorn River.

Quiet Bend in the Elkhorn River from the Cowboy Trail
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I also found the old abandoned church in Oakdale.

A Once Impressive Brick Church - Now Covered in Vines
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Stopped in Tilden for a large chocolate milk shake.
Then got back on the Cowboy Trail heading towards Battle Creek.

Abandoned Homestead along Dry Creek
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The trail is unpaved, rough in spots, and slow.
Didn't get into Battle Creek until sundown.
Thought the town park permitted camping.
It didn't - but the tent went up after sundown.

Old Grain Elevator along the Cowboy Trail
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Today's ride: 67 miles (108 km)
Total: 1,855 miles (2,985 km)

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