Day 56: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Eads to Seibert: 64 miles
Today is the day I leave the TransAmerica Trail. It's sorta fitting: Eads is the halfway point of the trail. I'm heading north to Flagler, to visit Gib and Nancy, who put Jack and me up in 1981. So goodbye to the official TransAmerica Trail maps, with all their useful information, and hello to Google Maps and the time-honored technique of talking to people.
Google Maps didn't have me off to a good start. It said I could go directly north (with a few jogs) from Ordway, last night's stop, to Flagler. But it didn't mention that the route was over gravel roads. So that's why I continued on to Eads. It would mean going back west a little, but that's life.
Eads was the last I saw of the Wounded Warrior group. They're sticking to the TransAmerica trail. Eads was also the last I saw of that nice strong south wind. After it died down last night, it did not return to help me on my trek north. But the heat stuck around. Oh boy, did it.
I was warned about the heavy truck traffic on route 287 north from Eads. But it was the best road so far on the trip. The highway is concrete. The shoulders are concrete. They're eight feet wide. And they're kept clean by the wake of the trucks. It was an excellent 20 miles. When I had to switch to route 59, the road went back to asphalt, with a narrow shoulder. But then, the traffic dropped to one car every 15 minutes or so, so that wasn't so bad, either.
|Narrow shoulders - but who cares?
There was no traffic!
As I traveled north, the crops got taller, and greener. People were still complaining about the drought, but at least things were growing. The ever-present storm cells brought promises of rain, but they never seemed to pan out. And I would have been happy if that one off to port, that was doing a very good job of keeping pace with me, was all bluff and bluster as well.
|The storm followed me into Seibert.
I hit Seibert (SEE-bert) at about 60 miles, and while I was stopped at the Conoco station at the junction with I-70, that storm cell came through. And stopped. Right over us. I was debating whether to set up a tent behind the station, or accept the clerk's offer of a ride to a motel in Flagler, when Bernie came in with his grandchildren, Abbey and Jace, for an ice cream cone. We got to talking, and he invited me to come home with them. That was an easy decision.
|Seibert may have more grain silos than houses.
They live in Seibert, just across the Interstate. Abbey stripped Jace's bed and did a load of laundry, Jace moved in to his grandfather's bedroom, and I had a nice warm shower and a place to sleep!
Bernie drove a truck for 34 years. Now he's retired. He had spent the day slaughtering and dressing 22 old laying hens a friend had given him. His next-door neighbor Martin, also a truck driver, came over, and Bernie gave him six. He would probably have given me a couple too, but what would I do with them?