May 17, 2012

Distance today = 52.34 km; Total distance = 6348.15 km; Location = Bridgeport – 41 40.187′ N, 103 06.009′ W; Start time = 0928, Finish time = 1727


After a good night’s sleep – preceded, of course, by Libby’s birthday dinner at a great little place in Gering called the Steel Grill – I headed off for another day on the road in very hot weather.

Luckily for me, some high cloud obscured the full intensity of the sun, and I didn’t suffer too badly at all.

As you may recall, I got to run on the old Sante Fe Trail last month. Well, today I got to run on the old Oregon Trail. Both these old roads are former wagon train thoroughfares, which the early European settlers of the west used as they travelled across the country.

I actually passed a few old Pony Express Station sites on the Oregon Trail. Before the telegraph and railway, the Pony Express was the fastest way to get information across the country. Stations were located several miles apart, and were manned by a caretaker who looked after a “bank” of horses. A rider would race from one station to the next, then exchange the exhausted horse for another, in a sort of horse relay. Once again, it was very interesting to see exactly where all this took place.

I also passed through an interesting little village called McGrew. There’s a great restaurant/bar in town called the Pink Palace – it’s actually completely painted pink. Inside it is more like an Australian country pub than anything I’ve seen so far in the US. And apparently it used to be a brothel. It’s bizarre that the biggest building in town – a town with only a handful of buildings anyway – would be a brothel.

A few miles from Bridgeport I was met by local newspaper owners, Kevin and Susan. Kevin took some photos, before telling me how his aunt had cycled around the world about ten years ago. I’m guessing she may have been in her sixties at the time, so that’s quite an achievement.

The local motel wireless appears to be having troubles, so there is no tracker update today. My actual position is in Bridgeport, which is 52 km east of where the tracker is currently showing me.