Let’s see where did I leave off? Oh yes, at Dinty Moore’s with John, Laurie (or, Lori, I forgot to ask for spelling so I’ll use them interchangeably) other Jon, and a new venue with Papa’s flat repaired.

I don’t have the whole story, but John and Laurie were in Nebraska City to work on nuclear power plant. They are staying in the RV park I had called earlier to ask if they would accommodate tenters. The answer was no, but John and Lori offered the space in front of their trailer for my tent (they didn’t have space for me and they have two big dogs who use the couch). Lori called the RV park manager but she would not relent, so I was left to fend for myself. I could have gone to the local marina but that was pretty far out of town down a steep hill and right beside a river and was sure to be mosquito-infested by this time of the evening. So, I opted for the Economy Lodge where I had stopped earlier. The owner gave me an extra discount and I headed to my room. I walked across the street to a grocery store but it was closed. However, there was an Italian restaurant where I got take out of spinach noodle salad. Quite good and filling. I talked to Dana for a while, wrote my last blog post, but quickly was ready to sleep.

In the morning I walked back to the grocery store because they had a coffee shop. I got the largest coffee, blueberry yogurt, a pint of blueberries, an apple, orange, and a banana. I had a leisurely breakfast as I knew I had until about 3:00 before the rain started in Lincoln. It was a 50 mi ride and about 4 hours so I dawdled a bit. I rode out at 10:00 a.m. straight from Nebraska City to Lincoln on Hwy 2 with just one short stop to reset my contacts. It was definitely an urban expedient ride versus a rural scenic ride, but I don’t like to ride in the rain, and more so have had my fill of gravel roads for a while.

I arrived at Jonelle’s place (my warm showers host) around 2:30 to a very warm welcome, a nice, hot shower, and a warm meal. Jonelle went to run some errands, and I took the opportunity to take a nice nap. The 3:00 rain never materialized; it was mostly drizzle, but at 4:00 or so it was a solid rain until about 6:30 so my napping time was well spent. Jonelle and I talked for about an hour about all sorts of things and about 6:45 I packed up to leave and head into town as I hadn’t seen Lincoln yet. Jonelle stocked me with fruit and nut snacks to take on the train and we said our goodbyes. Warm Showers has been just a great experience both as a host and as a guest. Truly a great resource.

My sister Jean’s husband Mark had lived in Lincoln as a child and attended St Mary’s School. He said to be sure to check out the “Penis of the Prairie” as the Nebraska Capitol building is referred to by the proletariat. See the pics below and decide for yourself. I also did a quick tour of the Nebraska campus. I had a very good southwestern guacamole salad at Wendy’s where I stopped for the free Wi-Fi that didn’t work. I did check the Amtrak schedule and my train was at that time an hour late. I fretted that I had left Jonelle’s too soon but not really as I wanted to see Lincoln in what was left of the daylight.

I walked to the Amtrak station through the bar section of Lincoln, which is quite extensive. I didn’t feel like hanging out in a loud bar though and just started walking around town and headed for my old friend McDonald’s where I knew I could get free Wi-Fi. On the way to McDonald’s I saw a bar with a number of bicycles out in front of it named Beer Code Co. I decided to cross the street and check it out. What a fortunate choice as as I was walking past and getting ready to park my bike to go in, a handsome young guy named Graham commented that I must have ridden many miles on that bike. I chatted for a few minutes with Graham and his friends Janelle, Kyle, & Max. Max had done a 70-day bike tour in Oregon and California so we had some common ground. Graham offered to buy me a beer and I immediately took him up on that. The bar let me bring my bike inside which was comforting of I didn’t have to worry about it. Great place – no blaring music and you could hear each other. More like a coffee shop vibe, but with good beer. We spent the next hour exchanging stories and having a really much more interesting evening than I ever would have at McDonald’s. The randomness of the universe.

I’m sitting in the Amtrak station at 12:22 writing this. The latest is that the train is an hour and a half late now, and that’s the reason this entry is so long, so thanks for your reading patience. I’m going to close now and will send this and the pics when I can get a good Wi-Fi connection.