Day 44: What the hail?

We were woken by a light rain in Stuart. Nebraska sure keeps me on my toes. We rode 20 miles to Bassett to eat breakfast at the Range Cafe. Kay, a local cyclist from Long Pine, stopped by the cafe to give us advice about the trail and towns ahead.

On the last mile before Long Pine, we saw a trail closed sign and detour arrow. We were curious as to the cause, so we rode ahead to see for ourselves. Yep, a creek washed away a 100 ft section and it was 40 ft deep (see photo).

Of all the stores we’ve gone to, we’ve been to Subway the most. They seem to be everywhere. We ate lunch and met motorcyclists Denny and Wayne from Omaha and Colorado that grew up near Long Pine. Denny told us the story of how he lost his high school class ring in a snowball fight on the tall bridge near Long Pine. He was nice enough to call his bicyclist friend Tom from Johnstown, to describe the camping situation there.

If only we left 10 minutes earlier. We tried to beat a storm coming into Johnstown but the rain and hail pounded us for the last 10 minutes. It was the heaviest rain we’ve ridden in. Soaked to the core, we shared the shelter in Johnstown with two cyclists Tom and Anna from the UK. They were going from west coast to New York. They’re the first cross-country riders east-west that we’ve met.

We changed into some dry clothes and relaxed with some burgers and beers at the L-Bow room Saloon in Johnstown, population 64. We stood out like a sore thumb but Jeff, the bartender chatted with me a bit about Johnstown and a few of the travelers he’s met in his 3 years here so far.

Breakfast in Bassett
I never noticed before but the 66 is tilted on sign and pump
The reason for the trail closure section before Long Pine
Long Pine history
Bridge after Long Pine
Looking down about 100ft on bridge
Early sample of infamous Texas burr thorns in this section. No flats so far!
Camping shelter in downtown Johnstown

Summary: we rode 55 miles from Stuart city park/campground to Johnstown shelter on The Cowboy trail and a 1 miles detour on highway before Long Pine.

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