|At times you are reminded that Nebraska was once one big ocean of grass.|
So, I rolled on into Garland and the checkpoint was set up in the downtown area of the village. A guy was barking out rider numbers and some other volunteers were handing out pipe cleaners which were to be used as "proof of check point passage" markers. It made me think, because a lot of events have borrowed this form of checkpoint marking of riders and I was trying to remember where I first saw that. It was at an Odin's Revenge where, I believe, I first came across this practice. I don't know where it originated from, but Nebraska is where I first ran into it. Anyway......
There was a well stocked aid station under a tent there and I was very glad of that. I had not seen a convenience store and I was in need of water and something else to munch on while riding. I didn't see anyone I knew there, so I wasn't distracted, and I re-filled the bottles, used the Hammer Heed that was available to all riders, and grabbed a couple of packets of fig cookies.
|An old, classically inspired bank in Garland, Nebraska.|
|While the event directors wisely took out all the minimum maintenance roads, there were still some pretty rustic byways in the Solstice 100.|
|Another example of a nice building in a super small village that has been kept up really well.|
|The view from under the nice, shady tree in Dwight I sat under.|
|It was one after another on the Northern side of the route.|
Of course, that was predicated upon having everything go right besides that part. Mentally I was fighting between stopping and carrying on. Nutritionally I was okay, but I was going to need a resupply. I also needed to have the bike to continue to work well, and I needed to keep navigating well. There was a town on the route I was supposed to be coming through, so I was hopeful that would provide the re-supply.
I did stop and take a short "ditch nap". I probably would have slept longer had it not been for the biting black flies. Dang sleep interrupters! So, I decided I wasn't getting any further sitting there and took off again for the next long climb. Interestingly, I hadn't seen another rider since I sat under the tree in Dwight. No one had passed by as I sat in the ditch for about 15 minutes. One good thing: The clouds gathered again and it was cooler when I started again. I felt reinvigorated, at least for the time being.
I reached a "T" intersection right on cue with my mileage, but instead of "Road 25", I was pretty sure the sign said "Rd 27". One small note about Nebraska rural road signs. If the name of the road is short, so is the sign, and their font is about 3/4's the size of what Iowa uses. Add in nearly 60 year old eyes and well...... I wasn't sure I read that right, even after two double takes. Hmm.... Concerned, but the mileage was right and the direction for the turn was there, so I took it. The next cue was in another mile. When I arrived there, nothing made any sense. None of the road signs matched anything I had on my cues. Only the mileage was correct. I pulled up my mapping program on my phone, but it did not show a "Rd 25" at all in the vicinity. Bah! Lost in Nebraska!
|The only way that made any sense at the time. A pea gravel bike path to somewhere......|
Next: Part 3 of the Solstice 100 Report.