David Freeze: Sometimes, things just work out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2017

Editor’s note: Salisbury native David Freeze is cycling from Anacortes, Washington, to Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Post is chronicling each day of his ride. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

There is something pretty magical about this whole adventure. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but memories are made every day, no matter whether I thought it was special at the time.

The best part about the results for a given day are all a hodgepodge of what I do, how local experts weigh in, some facts that my assistant gets online and how all of you folks who are reading the stories add your portion.

Somehow, it just works out.

Let’s take Friday for an example.

On Thursday night, I was under the gun to figure out quickly how to enter Nebraska and what route to take afterward, and then where to spend the night.

And I needed to get some real sleep.

In other words, I needed to get a plan together before I couldn’t hold my head up to do it. I was so sleepy on the bike Thursday but felt great Friday.

Brett and Tammy Oliver, who own Parkside Motel in Gregory, South Dakota, helped me go over some things from Brett’s trucking experience, and we came up with a good enough plan.

At least it would get me started.

Most of you wouldn’t believe how many times I say that, not really knowing what will happen later but that something will.

I wanted to enter Nebraska on State Road 43, which would then become State Road 11. I did that and was able to photograph the state sign as my personal 42nd state about late morning.

I had ridden nearly 50 miles by that time, and the part in South Dakota was pretty favorable, still sticking with State Road 18.

My goal was to make it to a little town called Niobrara, where I had arranged another motel and I wanted to see the famous Niobrara National Scenic River.

Brett had helped me get most of this together, but there was stuff we just didn’t know.

Brett, I really appreciate you taking time to share your knowledge.

Speaking of things we didn’t know, here were just a few.

The first sign, the first town and the first county all in Nebraska are called Butte. So what does that mean except more climbing?

Up and down, up and down, acting like a “want to be” South Dakota. I passed through a lot of cool little towns, the ones in South Dakota being Burke, Herrick, St. Charles, Bonesteel and Fairfax. In Burke, I bought two great egg and cheese biscuits for fuel for the road.

Then it was on to the Buttes. I think I got them all right in order with Butte, Spencer, Bristow, Lynch, Minnow with a population of 1, and Vergel with the coolest little teeth-chattering snowman I have ever seen in hot weather.

There was another thing, too, the Nebraska Outlaw Trail. I found that you can sign up to ride along on the 231-mile trail ride of State Road 12, cooking, camping and climbing those buttes.

I added that last part.

Hope those horses can get those wagons up the hills.

I ended up in Niobrara on Friday night, after 92 total miles, including a portion of a mile to the nice grocery store with pleasant people. I had another wonderful room and some ice cream waiting.

I was interviewed by the local paper and enjoyed it quite a bit.

I still had to figure out how to start today. It has been suggested by at least three folks that I go see the Missouri Bridge by bike. I am headed toward Iowa on a candy bar hunt and maybe more.

A few things so far: Nebraskans are very nice people and love to wave as they drive. I do, too, and was waving quite often Friday afternoon as it got hot.

The grass got greener as soon as I crossed into Nebraska. One particular climb over the last butte had both elbows dripping sweat, soaking my shirt.

We will just keeping riding on this morning. I bet it will be fun and that we will all learn something, too.

So meet me back here once again.