DAY 54

May 7, 1999

Getting up, I checked the local temperature – 36 degrees with a wind chill of 21 degrees…Brrr! With my 3 layers of clothes on I rode into the cold. I wasn’t feeling very well, sort of like nausea or diarrhea, my stomach just wasn’t right. I think I ate too much last night. Now the cold wind was giving me one of those awful headaches. Almost like you get when you eat ice cream too fast. I really hate the cold! The pace was very slow but at least I was going somewhere.

Reaching Rushville, I stopped at a store to get a 7-Up and extra strength Tylenol. Sitting in a booth I read a photography magazine from the magazine rack while I drank my 7-Up. After about 20 minutes I continued my journey west. By the time I reached Hay Springs the temperature was warmer, I was feeling better, and I was hungry. The small town looked very old as I searched for a café. Bob’s Bar and Grill was on the right and looked like an old saloon. I parked my bike and headed inside. It had big thick wooden doors. I thrust the door open thinking it would be heavy and difficult to open. The door flew open much harder than I expected, and I stepped into a room with all the tables filled. Conversations stopped and many eyes were looking at me as I entered onto the wooden floor. My bike shoes with metal cleats were loud on the wood. I felt like a cowboy with boots on as I made my way to the wooden bar. Sitting down on the wooden bar stool, the waitress hands me a menu. Again, red meats and fried foods. I ordered a chicken sandwich and salad.

Leaving Hay Springs, the road changed direction and I rode northwest, directly into headwinds. By 2:30pm I was finally warm enough to shed some layers of clothes. At 3:00pm I reached Chadron and immediately found Mountain Mania, Inc., the local bike shop. It’s a very small building and also houses a tanning bed and a corner for haircuts. The owner, Herb, runs this very unique shop with his son, David. Actually, David is called "Boo" by everybody and prefers that nickname. They were both exceptionally nice and fun to talk to. Herb has been a barber for over 20 years. The bike shop was added to fill a need in the area. Although initially, he didn’t think it would do very well, they are now in their sixth season. Bike sales have increased from 40 the first year to 100 last year. As I watched Herb work with the different customers, he was always very patient and took a sincere interest in everyone. Herb is also the best resource for any riding in the area. He has spent many years in motocross and competed many times in the Enduro Challenge. So if anyone rides through here, stop by and say "Hi" to Herb and Boo.

Before leaving, Herb recommended that I stay at the Roundup Motel, one of the cheapest in town. The lady at the motel said they were booked up and that all the motels in town were full since it’s graduation at the college. She said I might try the Log Cabin Motel. I cross the street and head a block west to the motel. And Yes! One room left. The lady said they wouldn’t take reservations in advance and are just "taking them as they come in." I paid my $32.70 and then had to carry my bike down a flight of stairs to my room. Then I walked a couple of blocks to "Donald’s Hamburgers". Hmmm, sounds like another restaurant I’ve heard of. This is one of the favorites among the locals. They offer a wide selection of food, even pizza and subs. After eating my grilled chicken sandwich I walked back to the motel and relaxed for the evening. The phone consisted of just a handset with no way to dial out. I had to pick up the phone, wait for them to answer at the front desk, then tell them what number to call. Giving them a toll free 888 number the lady was skeptical, "you mean that’s toll-free?" Apparently they’ve never heard of the newer 888 and 877 numbers. Using my calling card would have been too much of a hassle. So I called it a night and went to sleep early.

Temp 36 degrees (21degrees with wind chill)
Wind – blowing to the southeast

Today - 49.94 miles
Total -  2789 miles
Avg. Speed - 8.0mph

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