July 10, 2016: Valentine, NE.
303 miles through Nebraska and the only thing we can say is: CORN.
The term "Cornhusker" didn't have much meaning until today. Justin thought it was a nickname for somebody who dipped tasty ears of corn into boiling butter at the fair/carnival, but after our 8.5 hour ride today... we are all starting to believe that's the only job available in this entire state.
Outside of the miles of corn fields - we joked that the entire landscape of today's ride looked like a cross between the default Windows background and dozens of old barns that would "make great wedding venues," according to Big Daddy.
The GOOD news is that Day 6 was our most efficient day (by far), except for when Elliott had a breakdown early in the day next to - wait for it - a corn field.
We pulled over, took his scoot apart and looked for damage - expecting to find the worst just like we saw yesterday with Paul's scoot. The weird part is ... everything was totally fine. He later admitted that he's pretty sure he accidentally clicked the kill-switch and we pulled everything apart for nothing.
Years from now we will likely complain that Nebraska was the worst day ever but then we'll remember that Georgia still exists that Nebraska really isn't so bad - it's just boring. Besides Elliott's little 'breakdown,' today was pretty smooth and we were able to enjoy Ron's challenge whenever we looked back in our rear view mirrors and saw a full grown man wearing a onesie in the 90+ degree heat.
FULL POWER ANIMAL!
Ron's challenge involved him "living" as his Power Animal - the big bad wolf - for an entire day.
There was a lot of beef jerky involved, but apparently the modern day wolf smokes a lot of cigarettes. Who knew? Everybody we passed looked pretty concerned about what they just saw.
Our lodging tonight is the fancy "Trade Winds Motel" where we changed oil & took showers before google-searching "best swimming hole" and "best steak house" in Valentine, Nebraska. The older gentlemen at the front desk had a few suggestions for both, so we were feeling pretty confident until we went for a 30-minute search for the water in our board-shorts only to find a river filled with broken glass.
There's a lot of cattle in this area so chowing down on steaks wasn't a problem.
There's not much else to say about today's ride except that it was boring, slow, corn-y, and we learned what the term "flyover state" actually refers to. We actually got to bed early for the first time in a week!
We're gonna try to head out of town super early tomorrow, so hopefully the scenery will be better than a few random bridges over mud-brown rivers. Not all of us hated Nebraska, but we certainly don't think anybody is in a hurry to book a plane ticket for a return trip. Unless they're opening a wedding venue, then maybe.
Tomorrow should be a good one! We'll be heading through the Black Hills, the Badlands, and get to see some granite Presidents at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota before pulling into Gillette, WY.
Happy today is over! Time for a Space Dust.
-SLOW RIDE HOME