June 6, 1997

Burke, SD to Niobrara, NE
77 miles

"Nebraska: A great place to visit if you want to see strange and unusual animals, some of which you may eat." [from a Nebraska state advertisement comparing Nebraska with Africa]

Today was the last day of week 4. We left South Dakota and entered Nebraska, where we had a great second breakfast. It got hot and shade was at a premium. Dave Wallace, who rode part of the trip last year, joined us for the remainder of this year's trip.

Tomorrow we rest.

Typical scene early in the ride, still in South Dakota:
South Dakota

We left South Dakota and entered Nebraska (Mike Weston, Win Westervelt, Sandra White, and Rob Christian):
Entering Nebraska

Nebraska is wetter and less flat than I imagined:
Nebraska pond

Rob and I had a second breakfast in Butte, NE at the Butte Cafe (Win had an early lunch instead, while Mark Bazerman and Sandra had snacks). To give you some idea of the amount of food we are eating, earlier in the morning I had a bowl of leftover rice (with cinnamon), a bowl of Grape Nuts, a yogurt, a bagel with cream cheese, and a banana. Two or three hours later when we stopped in Butte I had an omelet. This is more than usual but not surprising. Note that Rob also had an omelet, plus two large pancakes, which he said might have been the best he has ever eaten. We talked with the locals, one of whom was named Marge. The long sign near the ceiling is a humorous description of the price of coffee, depending on how long you hang around (if you pay for all day, it says to the right of where this picture cuts off, you get a hour to go home for lunch):
Breakfast in Butte, NE

I really don't remember what I was trying to capture in this shot:

There were more trees than I expected:
Nebraska trees

I believe this is the Ponca Creek, which we crossed four times today:
Ponca Creek

While it may be hard to read, this town has 6 residents. The next town down the road had 59 residents and two bars (one on each side of the road, which by the way was highway 12):

Nebraska is way wetter than I expected, and these marshes actually got substantially more pronounced a mile further down the road:
Really wet

The camp area looks like it has trees, but all the mature trees are behind the site and on a very steep bank, making them useless for afternoon shade. The tarp is for shade and not rain:
Shade at a premium