Today was it… 40 miles to the ferry at Vallejo. I was surprised by all the country roads we were traveling on when we were so close...
We got to sleep in today because the bike shop didn’t open until 9:30am. I headed out to Taco Bell breakfast around 8am and looked over our...
This morning was a slow start after fighting the urge to stay in our warm sleeping bags, and finding out Seth had a flat tire. By the...
100 miles ago we were in Fallon, NV… now we’re sitting on top of Carson Pass, California which happens to be our very last mountain to get...
Being bummed out from not getting the hotel room last night, today we planned on just riding 47 miles to Fallon, NV and calling it a day to...
Today we started with a climb over two mountain peaks at 6am before coasting down into Austin. It took about 3 hours to do the two peaks...
*Delayed post 1 day due to no service* Yet another day on the Loneliest Road In America. The one exciting part about this day was the fact...
My name is Neil Emeigh. I absolutely love going on adventures and pushing myself to the limits. All the beauty on this planet wasn’t put there to not explore it and witness it, and my goal is to experience as much of it as I can in my lifetime. People call me crazy, nuts, ‘somethin else’, but a lot of those same people wish they had the spontaneity to go on the same adventures that I go on. And maybe I am crazy… who decides to ride a…
By flat, I don’t mean the elevation. It was far from flat.
What I do mean is that after 250 feet from our campground last night, Seth discovered our first flat tire. In the brisk morning wind we quickly disassembled the tire, aired a new one up, and headed on to Sharon Springs which was 10 miles away. We stopped at a gas station there and I ate a quick donut and filled up our water bottles.
Our next destination was Kit Carson, CO which was 58 miles from Sharon Springs. Along the way we finally reached the Colorado border – what a great feeling that was! But as the wind kept blowing, and the sun kept hiding, we quickly moved on to keep our bodies warm from the cold Colorado air.
A few miles from the border we reached Arapahoe, CO where we sat down for a quick lunch. As we unpacked a loaf of bread and peanut butter, we realized… there was no more peanut butter, and we had 8 slices of break left. So, our main meal for lunch today was a whopping 4 slices of bread each… yum!
We knew we had to get food as soon as possible because we had no idea when the next food place would be (gas station, restaurant, whatever). To our relief a town by the name of Cheyenne Wells had a wonderful grocery store that allowed us to stockpile back up. Next destination – Kit Carson (25 miles away).
Up one hill, and down another, we pedaled through a harsh North wind. Luckily highway 40 faced west, so we counted our blessings by it not facing directly at us. The terrain continued to change dramatically by hills getting steeper and longer, and the landscape becoming more barren. Fatigue was starting to set in from all the hills and wind, and to make things so much better a few sprinkles of rain started coming down. As we were 10 miles away from Kit Carson, hundreds of tumbleweeds were blowing directly across the highway at our bikes. My fortunate granted me two of them into my gears which completely stopped me. It’s not a good thing to stop your rhythm so suddenly, let alone twice!
And finally, we reached Kit Carson where we had the delight of coming across a small town diner with two friendly elders working it. As we ate our meals, they talked about the snow storm coming in tonight and mentioned they have rooms available for their motel. Seth and I made the collaborative decision to rent a room for the night and began unpacking our things in the room. It’s supposed to rain/snow overnight, with snow in the morning until about 10am. Whether we ride early tomorrow morning will be determined by the accumulation on the ground and how bad it’s snowing when we wake up. We’ll wait and see, but in the meantime I will surely be counting sheep in my comfy bed tonight!
Total Miles: 66.8 miles
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway
Finally ate some real food! There was a place right by the interstate bridge that we stopped at and had a homemade burger and fries, along with some beer-battered fried mushrooms. After eating peanut butter sandwiches for pretty much every meal up until that point, let me say you have a deeper appreciation for real food!
To get to that food place we pedaled 41 miles from Leoville, KS to Oakley, KS. It was only 11:30am at this point because we had an awesome wind at our back (a north wind, odd) as well as fresh asphalt that had allowed our tires to coast easily. However, with that fresh [black] asphalt came a beating sun that took a toll on both of us. I thought I would pedal the day away with a shirt off to even out my great looking tan thus far, but I quickly realized the sun was prying right through my sunscreen. As our water levels in the bottles began to get lower and lower, and lips starting to crack, we made the decision to pull over to a farmhouse along the highway we were on. Out came a lady and her young daughter and she gladly allowed us to get some water from their hydrant in the front yard. As we filled our 6 water bottles, and drank 4 as we did that, she offered us ice cubes to top it off. Such a great lady and we extend our thanks to you for your help!
As we left the eatery in Oakley, there were just a lot of small towns along the way that we passed without much excitement. I noticed that the landscape was starting to become more hilly, hot, and barren. The only thing that really got me going was seeing a handful of ‘dust devils’ (which are just very small tornadoes that were made from dust). We hit Winona around 3:15pm and rested until 4:30 since we were so far ahead. Then came the decision to either crash in a ditch for the night, or strive for Wallace, KS which was 22 miles away. To our delight, there were a lot of big hills going down, and few large ones going up, which allowed us to make it to Wallace by 7:00pm. Although, it technically was 6pm since we finally hit a timezone change (picture below)!
Total mileage today… 90 miles!
“Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
Picture 1 – Hitting our first timezone change!
Picture 3 – “Selfie” of a Turkey Creek sign (we have a Turkey Creek that goes through Wilber, NE)
Picture 4 – Buffalo Bill Cody Statue
Picture 5 -Our first real meal! Hamburgers and fries
Today did not start off well at all. Seth and I awoke (moreso lightly slept) in the middle of the night to our tent being damp with dew in the inside. It was so damp that it was soaking through my sleeping bag and getting my clothes wet. After rearranging myself a little I was able to keep dry, but the misery set in.
It was definitely below 32 degrees out, we didn’t have the gear for that kind of weather, and the night hours were winding away. At one point Seth decided to just go sleep on the ground outside because our tent was too small and the dampness was getting to him. So I rolled around for a few more hours in our small tent until I turned my alarm off at 5:30am. We laid around until 6:30 because we were just so exhausted, and then finally got moving and packing up. Words cannot describe the cold that was going through our bodies, let alone the exhaustion from that previous day’s ride. But we continued on and headed for Norton, KS to hit up a grocery store which was 10 miles away.
To our extreme delight, we also found a McDonald’s to eat at. After eating 9 peanut butter sandwiches the day before, some real food was a great change. We spent a good 30 minutes in McDonald’s preparing to move on, but we were told that there was a Shopko up the street. This was our change to gear up for upcoming nights…. lesson learned there. Seth purchased a heavier sleeping bag, I bought a fleece blanket, and together we got a 7′ by 7′ tent – a definite step up. With the limited space we already have, the previous tent was tossed away (sorry mom).
Finally we were back on the road… but at a cost. It was 11am and had only gotten in 10 miles so far. We had a LOT of catching up to do. Our next stop was Clayton, KS which was 15 miles of barren highway, and to our disappointment there wasn’t much there. So, we found a single tree along the highway (we rode for an additional 1-2 miles before we actually found it) and sat down for lunch at 1:30pm. At 2:15 we hit the rode again and made it to Dresden, KS by 5pm.
At Dresden, which is a very small town, we went into their local gasoline/auto-repair shop and bought some candies and a drink. There happened to be some chairs to the side with a long table, so we sat down to rest a bit because of the fight with the wind the past 15 miles. An older lady (from Germany we found out) and her husband came in and sat with us and chatted about everything and anything. As she talked, another local lady came in and had somehow heard about us being there and she brought in some homemade chili dip with some chips. The next thing we know, there were a total of 7 local people sitting around this table talking with one another! If any of them read this blog – Seth and I appreciate your hospitality, it did not go unnoticed! Such great people!
It was time to take off and the day was coming to an end. The wind and exhaustion from the previous night made us decide to call it a day in a town 4 miles from Dresden – Leoville, KS. There was an amazingly beautiful church there that we camped behind (pictured below). Both Seth and I got in a good wash down also, which was much needed at this point.
Today we totaled only 50 miles, but if everything goes as planned we will be in Colorado in the next two days. Let’s just hope tonight is a better night of rest…
…. begins with a single pedal. It’s 2:14pm and Seth and I have just past the Kansas border a few miles back, a total of 65 miles. A 22mph wind has picked up so we’re going to take a break for an hour or so. I’ll be writing a part two later tonight when we finish. Until then, journey on!
UPDATE: Finally done with the day. Definitely went further than planned, clocking in 81 miles to end up in Almena, Kansas. The riding hasn’t been as difficult as I thought. What I foresee being a challenge is the day-in/day-out of living on the road. No shower, cold, have to wear shoes all the time, and my biggest problem – FOOD! The peanut butter sandwiches are tasty now… but in 10 days…
I want to take this time now to thank the Bike Shed in Kearney, NE (http://www.headtotheshed.com/) for making this trip a reality. Without all of your guys’ (and girl – Crystal!) help, Seth and I would have been completely lost. Thanks for believing in us and helping with all our questions and issues before we took off. You guys are awesome!
Also, I want to extend my thanks to Brennan Burling for making this killer logo for the website and the cards we’re handing out to people – great talent there!
And finally a thanks to friends and family for believing in us, or at the very least being realistic with us. Your encouragement is extremely motivating and only helps the success of our journey. Mom and dad, that includes you!
Anyways, moving on from today we plan on just seeing where tomorrow takes us since we’re so far ahead of schedule right now. In the meantime, here are some pictures from Day One (including my already good-lookin sun tan)
I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to visit this blog! As I journey through my adventures I will update this blog as often as possible. The first adventure on the list: Bicycle to California. My friend (Seth Schnakenberg) and myself (Neil Emeigh) will be biking from Kearney, NE to San Francisco, CA. More information to come!