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Nebraska


This road runs along the border between Wyoming and Nebraska. Starting here, the main road does abou... Mitchell, the first proper town in Nebraska. My immediate impression of it is that there's a lot mor... The library. A load of old agricultural junk. I think the Tri State Canal is just an irrigation channel. There's no room to get a boat under this ... Rocks. Rocks. An out-of-town church. This was at a place which makes signs. Now I'm being overtaken on both sides. Prairie dog burrows. I just saw one scamper across the ground and disappear down one of these. I think that is Scotts Bluff. In the town of Scottsbluff. Industry. The silos on the left belong to a sugar company. I had planned to go through the town centre but I've accidentally ended up staying on the bypass. A man hoping to sell corn on the cob from a truck. Another view of Scotts Bluff. Nebraska: a coal train, a grain elevator and a mirage. This road has bad cracks across its shoulders. The traffic lane is smoother and fortunately the road... Oversize loads like this are quite common. This is Tom from Texas. He's 68. He has spent the majority of the last six years cycling. Each year,... The view from where I met Tom. Cows. Is this a prickly pear? Scene with cows. A little way back, I came through some roadworks where traffic could only pass one way at a time. He... This looks like the right way. Scenery. Nebraska. A train going over a hump. I have heard a few people now say that one of the most ubiquitous feature... The building to the right of centre has a sign above the door saying "Antiques". It's in p... Sunflowers. At last, a train carrying something other than coal. Incidentally, for a while last night I couldn't... I've seen a few signs with place names next to the railway line. They aren't stations. They must jus... More sunflowers. That looks like a damaged building. Around here, cement mixers are what I would call the normal way round, with the open end at the back... A train approaching Alliance. 	For the first 50 miles today, I was cruising along with a tailwind. Then my route turned North and ... Trains in the sidings at Alliance. The radio-controlled aircraft club is having an eclipse event. Alliance, Nebraska. Tom the cyclist mentioned that there was a McDonalds at this end of the town and ever since then I'v... Most of the hotels are at this end of the town but there is a faded poster there for the Sunset Mote... Having failed to eat at McDonalds, I was attrached by the signs for a family restaurant in that buil... I ordered the spinach and artichoke dip. I don't really know what I expected but I thought it would ... In downtown Alliance, it's not just the buildings which are made of brick. It's the road. We're now into the core part of my trip: the part which I booked over a year ago. Disconcertingly, t... The first European-looking cemetery I've seen on this trip. I've come out into the cornfields on this lovely evening to visit Alliance's big tourist attraction.... ... Carhenge! Jim Reinders, from Alliance, worked in England for several years as an engineer in the oil industry.... I'm not sure which bit of Stonehenge this is meant to represent. The construction took a week and Carhenge was dedicated on the Summer Solstice in 1987. Carhenge. This sculpture is called ... The car art park which surrounds Carhenge. Carhenge. This car is a time capsule which was buried in 2004 by people who attended the school in Alliance du... ... Then how are you supposed to watch the sun rise? Alliance in the morning sunlight. Brick. I think the lanes which don't have cash machines are for people who want to interact with a cashier ... The railway yard in Alliance. Coal. I'm entering a region called the Sandhills. Flowers and cows. These are the remains of a potash facility. An information board explains that potash is used in fer... Ducks. More pelicans, probably. Scenery. Here are two people working on the railway line. I'm surprised how much work needs to be done to the... The railway. I'm amused at how tall the cellphone towers are. The population density is very low so they want to ... A house. A sign. I think this is a locust. I passed quite a lot of them today. The road. Scenery. The tiny village of Ashby. I was amused that the sign pointing into it from the main road said "... Sandhills. Sandhills. I still think this feels French. At the petrol station. The building in the distance is a warehouse full of wood.... A school. The flag of Nebraska. I had wondered what happened on the backs of flags with writing on them. Now I... Scenery. A landscape dottted with cows. A train. It doesn't look like it from this angle but they have about 140 wagons each. This afternoon... This road has a sign warning of 17 miles of roadworks. That actually turned out to mean 17 miles of ... Here's an empty train heading back up to the Wyoming mines. I have heard that something like 70 to 8... Two horses. Some kind of dredging machine, probably. Here's my motel, with one of the vehicles which can drive on rails parked outside. It's right opposi... This is odd. I normally roll my clothes up in a towel and wring it out. I got that advice from one o... I'm not very impressed with these trainers. When I went to buy them, the old shoe shop had turned in... There was no footpath along the main road near the motel so I'm taking a side street into town. ther... Mullen. Most of the vehicles in Mullen have registration numbers beginning "93-". Nebraska must as... I'm looking for a restaurant. That place looks a bit like one but I don't really understand the sign... Apparently, ... The sign on the left says "PAST SHOOTERS WELCOME YOU TO MULLEN - HOME OF SANDHILLS SHARPTAIL SH... I thought the building with the red sign was some kind of restaurant. Inside, near the door, there w... The Sun setting behind a cloud. I haven't seen the Moon for over a week now. I have looked. If it's ... I bought a very basic watch for this trip but I can still never remember how to adjust it. I'm about... This morning's scenery is similar to yesterday's. Scenery. I'm puzzled about where the Moon has gone. It should now be about 50 degrees ahead of the Sun on the... I thought this was where the time zone change would be but the signs for it, for traffic going in bo... Baby horses. The guy cables for one of those tall cellphone masts. A scene with a train coming through it. It's not a coal train. In fact, the first two things on it a... For a few years, I have had a vague interest in trying to ride the whole length of route 83. As Cana... Despite what Tom the cyclist said, there are some stretches of this road which have some quite bad c... I think the little rail maintenance device on the left track had been waiting for this coal train to... This stretch of the road was so quiet that I had to check my GPS to make sure I hadn't gone the wron... The Dismal River. It looks like there has been some flooding around here. This farmer sensibly put all the hay on the ... Anselmo looks like a typical Midwest town... ... apart from the church. Anselmo. I would see a lot of tanks of anhydrous ammonia between here and Broken Bow. Sorry it's not a good picture but that's the second lorry load of train wheels which has passed me i... There were no roadworks. There was a sign 11 miles back saying that there would be roadworks for 11 ... The Sandhills have now given way to fields. A Midwest scene. I'm fairly sure these are beehives. The sign on the right says "Focus On Pheasants Project"... A view from a small hill. An anhydrous ammonia tank with tractor wheels. My arrival times are getting silly. I've had the tailwind all day again today and the route has been... That sounds fascinating. After I had to use the lift in the hotel in Douglas, somebody advised me that you can usually find t... It's a very nice room but for a while, I was considereing not staying in it. It's too late to cancel... Can you see my bike? The hotel and all the other buildings around it are new. The receptionist waved in this direction an... It's been five days since I went to the bike shop in Casper and five days until I next intend to vis... The man in the bike shop put the rear tyre on. The tube must have been pinched like this the whole t... I have heard of Almond Joy from the film ... I have now found out that the initial number on a Nebraska number plate denotes the county. From loo... Sunset in Broken Bow. I'm still not convinced. Somebody has stuck flyers to all the cars during the night. I don't think they're advertising the ba... As forecast, the wind has changed direction. I'm expecting it to be against me for the whole day and... Downtown Broken Bow. "Future Home of ASSEMBLY of GOD CHURCH" Fields of corn on the cob. I think this is about as flat as the landscape is going to get on this tr... The wagons on this train are labelled as molten sulphur, although I don't know whether they are empt... I have now spent two nights in counties called Custer: one in Challis, Idaho and last night in Broke... Mason City. Main Street in Mason City. I think the sign said that the town's population was about 130. Really? A corn irrigator. A queue of trains. These are both full, so both headed East, and both stationary. Ah. It looks like the front train has come apart. Most of the wagons have come detached from the engines and now the second train is stuck behind this... More migrating birds. It's been confirmed that those were pelicans that I saw ... A rural road. I'm not going this way. I have heard people talking of trying to reach their eclipse v... A mushroom. Riding over something like this when I haven't seen it always worries me because the noise that it m... I wasn't expecting this to be here. I think this will be lunch. I think I heard somebody in Subway say that this town with a population of about 1300 was expecting ... Here, all the anhydrous ammonia tanks have been joined together to form a long train stretching righ... I don't know what this crop is but I like how it ripples in the wind. An eclipse campsite. Some scenery. A lone bird box. A slightly unusual vehicle. Later, I would be overtaken by a big motorised tricycle with two seats s... I think I'm probably fine. I think it's a vulture. Approaching the town of Cairo, which stinks and has no shoulders on its road. A brick barn. Colourful trees. Some agricultural machinery. Another level crossing, for people who like that kind of thing. The outskirts of Grand Island, today's destination. I've got here a lot quicker than I expected. Suburban Grand Island. Grand Island. I've returned to the valley of the Platte River, which means that these tracks belong to the Union P... Grand Island. Grand Island. Oh. I'll have to go a different way. An unusual house. I can see my hotel. Nebraska joined the United States in 1867. This bank has chosen to mark the 150th anniversary using ... Excellent. The hotel has a solar eclipse in every room. Another man was parking a bike here at the same time as I was. He hid his in the bush. I don't know ... I've been surprised how almost every room so far has had old incandescent light bulbs. It was especi... A drive-in restaurant. Not a drive-through but a drive-in, like in ... Tonight's dramatic sky. My room has very thick curtains so I was surprised when I opened the door to go to breakfast that it... Nebraska in the morning. I've just had my briefest visit to any county of this trip. At the start of this bridge, I entered M... Scenery. The view from a bridge over the railway. A chemical plant. The irrigators around here can bend. I wonder if it's to let them reach into the corners of the fiel... I've met two cyclists going the other way. As you can see, they are riding from New York to Los Ange... I must say, the nightmare traffic which was predicted for today hasn't materialised yet. A Midwest view. For most of today the railway was one field away from the road so I could often hear trains but only... York is a town of 8000 people so it must have petrol stations but it keeps them very well hidden. If those are bridges, they're not very effective. Some experimental crops. The scenery has been like this all day. Just using my zoom lens to see it that it a petrol station up ahead. It seems a little funny to be having lunch next to all the de-icer and engine lubricant. After buyin... It's Christmas in the toilets! All of the headstones in Utica's cemetery look very new. I wonder how long the town has been here. This is as flat as the landscape is going to get. It's been almost continuously downhill for 10 days... The Big Blue River, which is looking rather brown at the moment. It looks like it is higher than its... Seward. Seward. There is a sign explaining that Seward has been designated Nebraska's official Fourth of July city, ... Its namesake. There's a Cattle National Bank. The library. Seward's Parade of Flags. The ones in the near corner are the flags of the various armed forces. I d... Maryland has a notoriously hideous flag. By the way, I'm sorry that these flags are back to front. B... Perhaps I could just take pictures of the flags here and then pretend that I had been to all of my r... Linoln is still about 20 miles away but I can see it already. I'll be very glad to get there just be... I just liked the way the cutting framed the cloud. A wiggly field edge. Two recently mowed fields. One of BNSF's quieter lines. The State Capitol building, seen from across the airport. I'm glad this bridge is designated as a bike route because it has no safe shoulder. The silly thing ... Lincoln Airport. I saw a couple of little planes land but tourists don't seem to be flooding in by a... Lincoln Airport. A sign welcoming arriving air passengers to Lincoln. These little flags all warn of buried cables. Where is everybody then? the car park is almost empty. This tree is bigger than I expected. I only j... I had no trouble at all checking in so I'm in my room in Lincoln, all ready for tomorrow's show. There's an attractive-looking restaurant over there but I would have to cross a fairly busy four-lan... Many people have been speculating that restaurants in the path of the eclipse will be fully booked t... This is incredible. It seems that my hotel actually has rooms available for tonight. I'm beginning t... Good morning. It's eclipse day! I don't know whether this is normal traffic for a Monday morning. Li... Oh. I've gone the wrong way already and ended up at a dead end next to a substation. Old cars. I never knew this type of fire hydrant was called an American Darling. Lincoln, Nebraska. The dome isn't on the US Bank building. One is in front of the other. This is where my cycleway begins. Oak Creek, I think. The Memorial Stadium, where the Nebraska Cornhuskers play. First game 1923. Capacity 86047. Record a... This is as close as I will get to the centre of Lincoln. A railway bridge with wooden supports. A McDonald's with real arches. I've found where the cement mixers fill up. These train engines are painted in the colours of the Norfolk Southern company but can't actually be... Yes, in the vertical direction. A bit of spare railway. This is where I cross the line where we just saw the Norfolk Southern train. Striping a pitch. I miss the clear green rivers of Idaho. A school bus. I think today is the first day of term. These long slow trains can cause long queues at level crossings. One of several fallen trees which blocked the first part of this converted railway line. The roads still aren't very busy. A bridge. Ah, more cyclists. Another bridge. My shirt is wet. For weeks, I've been up in the arid air of the mountains and the high plains where ... A film crew waiting for cyclists to come over the bridge. There are a lot of these pods on the ground. Berries. Caution animal holes. It's getting quite busy along here now. These back roads are  on a regular one mile square grid. This seems to be some kind of organised event. Look at the tyres on that bike on the left!... Cortland. Cortland. A toilet. Cortland. Cortland. Cortland. Cortland. I've picked up a passenger! This is my chosen spot. Telescopes. Now I just have to lie here in the lovely warm Sun and cooling breeze and wait, half dozing, listeni... Cortland. I don't really know what a State Trooper is. Cortland. Cortland. Another cyclist. There's the Moon! Cortland. Cortland. Howdy, Sheriff! Cortland. Cortland. Oh. It's clouded over. The wind is blowing from the South but that band of cloud hasn't been moving ... Bye! That's strange. I've found this camera just standing on its own pointing at a field. Some more tourists. Still under cloud. This isn't helping. The sky in the East looks a bit lighter. Tonight's hotel is in that direction so I'll try going that... It's no good. Totality is three minutes away. I'm going to have to stop here for it. Before the darkness fell. Here it comes. The eclipse. Before and after the total eclipse, the warning lights on that tower were giving brief white flashes... The total eclipse. It's gone very still and quiet. There's no bird noise. There isn't even any wind, although that coul... Total eclipse on a back road in Nebraska. The total eclipse. The total eclipse. Sky which is not in the Moon's umbra. Now the light is returning, like a very rapid dawn. Three minutes after the end of totality and already it doesn't seem dark any more. I saw and heard a few distant fireworks during the total eclipse. I think that's what made these lit... Some blue flowers. There's a patch of blue sky. This short section of road is quite busy and has no shoulders. Barns. The cloud has thinned enought for me to sort of see the Sun. A church at a crossroads on its own. I'm not sure what that is. Sterling. In the petrol station. This is the only example I saw of the eclipse tourists putting strain on the local facilities: the q... Now the Sun is coming back out. The side road here is called 612.5 Avenue. I don't think I've seen a non-integer road before. Hey, I know what these railway wagons are. They are one ones which carry ... Another view of them. The same train. The road has turned into constant hills. I hope it won't be like this all the way to the Atlantic. Scenery. The town of Tecumseh, names after the Native American chief. No. My bike has got a bit dirty from that long gravel track. My room here has one door onto the corridor, like a normal hotel, and one onto the car park, like a ... It would take about 20 minutes each way to walk into town and I don't know what's there so I think i... Somebody told me that there was a good ice cream place in Tecumseh. I don't know if this is it. I th... In Tecumseh, an advert for a meat business in the next village. This morning's road. Rolling hills but with a lovely tailwind. I can actually feel it helping to push me up some of them. A church. The churchyard. This was just standing at a road junction. Roadside flowers. This seems like some kind of puzzle. The first three are all types of salt but there's no such thing... Table Rock. My bike, with the previously advertised meat business in the background. Some kind of marker. From yesterday. I feel quite at home in this kind of landscape. That must be a line-painting vehicle. I didn't find any wet paint on the roads. Scenery. Humboldt, where I believe you can buy a lawnmower with two years' interest free credit. I've had the... Not my route. I'm just showing you what a "minimum maintenance road" looks like. Rolling scenery, with the water tower of Dawson on the left. Scenery. I'm still amused by the height of the phone masts. It's four minutes past one. This time yesterday, this place was having its total eclipse. I wonder i... A wind farm. The road.