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Hot Springs, SD to Chadron, NE – 57 miles

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7/11/12 Hot Springs, SD to Chadron, NE – 57 miles

Left Skyline Motel with all the folks staying there waving us out and sending best wishes. It was nice.

Stopped at a cafe in town for breakfast on the way out – it was excellent. Before leaving, I went to the restroom for one last time. I am in the stall and happen to look at the wall beside me and see 3 framed photos of WNBA players – Swoopes, Holdsclaw and Bird. This struck me as so funny. What were they doing there in a bathroom stall in Hot Springs, SD of all places? I almost laughed out loud and, of course, immediately thought of Fran Harris. ( for those of you who don’t know Fran, she played in the WNBA) Aside from my family, Fran is one of the few people that thinks I actually have a sense of humor and gets it. I thought, while I’m at it, I think I’ll say one of those brief specific prayers of blessing on Fran and her day that I mentioned in an earlier journal entry. I wonder what would happen if we all did that even occasionally?  Even with people we think about that we don’t agree with or even like? How would that change us? Hmm… something to think about.

We re-traced our route back to the highway we were on yesterday and headed for Chadron, NE some 55 miles away. Thankfully, it was not as windy as yesterday and we were better prepared with plenty of water. More of those never- ending rolling hills and long inclines. Randy and I both took to listening to music. I was going with the shuffle of all my music. I have found that to really keep things interesting. One moment you are listening to classical; then folk; then maybe rock followed by instrumental; then maybe contemporary Christian followed by hard rock. Sometimes, I hear songs I don’t recall ever hearing before. I find myself playing a game of “name that tune,” or singing along loudly as I trudge up the next incline. For some reason, the “bottles of beer” song seems to have run out of effectiveness at this stage – perhaps from overuse?

As we passed into Nebraska (our sixth state), the road changed into this beautifully paced asphalt with a gorgeous wide shoulder. We had this the remaining 16 miles into Chadron. I found it somewhat exhilarating, although this was the hottest day biking so far. For some reason, Randy found this a hard day and felt the wind more. That is the way it goes – some days are easier than others and for no apparent reason.

Once we reached Chadron, we met up with Frank and Roger at McDonalds. They had been there a couple of hours and were waiting for the temp to cool off a little before heading to the campground. I found yet another of those very reasonable locally owned motels – no camping in the hot sun with a thunderstorm in the forecast for me. This motel room was exceptional – huge and very clean with the best soaking tub so far on trip, and a rocking chair to boot. I made a short trip to Walmart to buy a cheap watch ( I have gone through 2 already on this trip). There I ran into the “trashmaniacs” who we’re making friends with the locals and we visited for a moment.  After returning to the motel, I settled in for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. I feel quite content.

We now head due east across Nebraska. I am looking for/expecting those famous west to east tailwinds to kick in and propel us along tomorrow.

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