On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

The start of Nebraska

By Stuart Lowe on

It was a good job I was up early this morning as WyDoT (Wyoming Department of Transport) decided to use a jackhammer on the road right next to my tent at about 7am. I let my tent dry (condensation) and then packed up. Mr Plankington gave me some bottles of water and offered me a big road atlas. I gratefully took the water but politely declined the big road atlas on account of the weight and size.

A short way out of Pine Bluffs I crossed the border into Nebraska. I was four states down. That felt good. I noticed the sudden smell of grass. I was surprised by how surprised I was at the smell. It had been missing since California and it was only its reappearance that made me notice the absence.

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Oliver Reservoir. Look! Some trees!

At this point I headed down a shallow valley bordered on each side by bluffs. Atop the bluffs was the rolling praire but from the US30 the view was limited by the bluffs. To the left was a bluff with a field or two to the highway. On the right was the railroad with the tree-lined Platte river beyond and the I-80 beyond that. On the other side of the I-80 was the other bluff. All the way to Sidney this scene was repeated, interrupted only by small towns every 10-15 miles centred around grain loading silos. Even on day one of Nebraska this felt repetitive.

At Sidney I got lunch of fake pita (a sort of US version) then went to the Police Department to ask about camping. They told me I could go to the Sidney fairground. Before heading there I went up to the I-80 intersection to find Cabelas that Mr Plankington had told me about. There I bought a new, flexible, solar charger to replace the one I had lost in the Nevada desert. I also got a tin of "mountain food" and a new can of fuel. I totally blew my daily budget. These big camping stores are dangerous!

I headed to the fairground which seemed to have no staff on duty. I paid my $7 camping fee into a slot and pitched my tent. I spent some time worrying about some building clouds. In cycling back from Cabelas I'd been passed by the Weather Channel's "Storm Chaser" twice. It was going in different directions each time. Just when I thought I might be safe from cougars I felt I was going to be hit by a twister during the night.