June 8, 1997

Niobrara, NE to Ponca, NE
81 miles

"It's shorter if you go that way." [unknown employee at Ponca State Park, who should attempt to remain unknown since he sent everyone in a direction which was both substantially longer and had substantially more climbing, at the end of the ride]

Today could have been a great day. The countryside was very nice, and other than a few areas the road conditions were reasonable. But the winds were in our face essentially all day, and were stronger than probably any day other than May 23rd. Other than that, I have no complaints.

Some of us got an early lunch in Crofton, at the People's Market. Mark Bazerman and I bought sandwiches there with the intention of eating them in Wynot, but ended up in Obert instead. And I think almost everyone stopped just before the end of the ride to get some ice cream in Ponca.

After dinner we went looking for a place to watch the NBA finals game. The place originally suggested, the local bowling alley, turned out to be closed, but the motel in town had a room downstairs for parties, and we talked the owner (Randle, 82) into letting us use that. And then he talked to us, telling us how the room we were in was flooded 4 feet deep last summer, about woodworking, about big fish, and lots of other topics too. And the game turned out to be a good one (sorry, Chicago fans).

Rolling hills and cows (not rolling):
Rolling hills and cows

Flatter agricultural land:
Flatter agricultural land

The sign directing us to Wynot, which we did not stop in because a truck full of people honked at Deb Klein, yelled at Mark Bazerman, and then turned into Wynot:

Mike Nickolaus, with his recumbent bicycle and his RAGBRAI shirt, who we met in Obert:
Mike Nicklaus

Two horses, one quite young, also in Obert:

More typical Nebraskage: