#99 PNW - Nicodemus, Kansas

2007 July 28
421 miles
PNW Trip
Day 21

Leaving the Days Inn of Greeley at 8:10am in a nice 66 degrees. Feels good to be getting back on the road. It was nice to sleep in yesterday, but I'm ready to roll again. Being back on the road is good even though the road isn't offering much scenery along US34 in eastern Colorado. Since I was bored from the lack of scenery, I took great interest in the train traveling along with me.
We ran along side each other for awhile... Then we'd cross paths...I'd wave real big like and they'd wave back and give me a little blow on their whistle. Then I left them behind and started looking at other things...like the darkening sky above me.
(Looks worse than it was...just dropped a few raindrops my way and kept things cooled off.)
I took time to visit with the horses near the road...
They seemed to take a bit of interest in Fleeter also. In the mean time, the train would catch up with me so we'd acknowledge each other again as I flew past them...again.

I started thinking thoughts like... "racing the train through the grain in the rain" I made it to the Nebraska state line before they did, so I stopped and set up for a photo as they flew past.

I am standing along side the state line when they come rolling along. Timing is everything when you're this close and the train is moving that fast. Darn! I missed judged the shutter delay and missed the shot of Fleeter and the Engine "nose to nose"!
I didn't see much of Nebraska, but I did catch the official "Cornerstone of Nebraska" in the southeast corner of the state.Since I didn't stay in Nebraska for long, Kansas turned up pretty quick. Running along KS27, I came upon a memorial to the Cherry Creek Encampment of 1864-65.
This sign posted information regarding the possible Cheyennes at this encampment.
Check the names... Sunflowers of Kansas...These buffalo weren't at the encampment.
I noticed something curious...
Seems that when I stopped, they all looked at me and then turned away with obvious disinterest or possibly irreverence. Why I think that, you ask? I couldn't help but to notice that not only did they turn away from me, but about half of them chose this moment to take a poop. What's up with that? What does that mean? Is this a Bison defense mechanism? Or a personal statement toward me?
Well, I decided to try get over the Bison's reception by turning to the corn...
At least the corn didn't turn their silk toward me in a disrespectful way.

In Hill City, Kansas I see a sight that takes me back about 30 years to when I used to run around Goliad, Texas on my horse.
Next stamp stop carries a special bonus.
Nicodemus Historic Site http://www.nps.gov/nico/Nicodemus, Kansas was holding their annual "Homecoming" where current and past residents (which many of them are related) all come home for the weekend.

"The Spirit of Nicodemus... Despite the decline of Nicodemus and scattering of its people through the years, it lives on in spirit and place as a reminder of the many African-Americans who ventured far throughout the west as farmers, cowboys, soldiers, miners, politicians, stagecoach drivers, entrepreneurs and many more. Descendants treasure their spiritual bonds to this place. They come from throughout our Nation to return to Nicodemus every year during the last weekend in July to celebrate "Homecoming". It is a time for renewing family ties and friendships lasting generations. Originating from Nicodemus' earliest times as "Emancipation Day" to observe freeing of slaves in the West Indies, Homecoming has evolved and endured over 100 years. Homecoming is celebrated by a parade, fashion show, food, drink, and much more. People of all races from nearby communities, and around our Nation, join the celebration."

The ladies in the tent were handling registration and t-shirt sales. They got a big kick from me riding the country by myself on Fleeter. Their comment? "You Go Girl!"
After getting my stamp, I decided to walk around and see if I could find the origin of the BBQ I smelled as I pulled in. I quickly found it...I'm sure the fact that I hadn't eaten today honed my hunting skills... at least my "sniff & find" skills. Keeping an eye on the sky, I quickly ate my BBQ sandwich supper before I decided to get rolling before the rain catches me.
I decided a t-shirt was in order to commemorate the lucky timing of my visit during "Homecoming" weekend.
The ladies decided to give me one of last year's t-shirts to go with the one I purchased from this year.
I barely stay ahead of this storm.
If I keep playing "cat & mouse" with the weather, it will eventually catch up to me...but not today.
I'm sure that storm has hail in it, but I don't want to stick around to verify my hunch.Once again, I head for the light in as a tactic of escaping the rain.
I run down to catch US183 and take it south to I70 where I turn back east to cruise on into Russell, Kansas about 7:30pm where I land at the Days Inn for the night.

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