June 14, 2010- Rainbow, Rescue, Racks

Kate Murr

I woke up early to seek wi-fi on Brownville Main Street to write and send some work. Generally, I’ve not been able to get much work done on this trip, but have been participating in hours of conference calls and attempting to get things set up for when I get back. I haven’t decided whether it’s better to struggle to get things done whilst traveling, or set things aside till later. Some days I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I’m not getting done, and I’m thinking of starting a Facebook support group for traveling employees. I’ll call it, “My briefcase is a dry bag.”

After goodbyes to our Brownville friends, we biked to Peru, NE via the high road to avoid flooding. The old timers were predicting a 39 ft. rise, and sections of the Trace between Brownville and Peru were certainly underwater.

What we found on the trace after Peru wasn’t surprising then: water. Eight miles from Nebraska City the trail was flooded, not from the river, but as a result of the increasing water table. We diverted around the section via dirt road, where Stuart asked some locals which way we needed to go to reach Nebraska City. It rained on us a little, and then, as we were pedaling up hills on loose gravel, we saw our third rainbow. Because of all the rain, everything looked incredibly vibrant. There were almost no browns in the landscape so all the colors–the butterflies, birds, insects, flowers, crops, sky, grass, water, all of it—popped.

At a crossroad Brad found us. He invited us to stay for the evening in his hunting cabin four miles up the road (and on our route). He leases the cabin to a gentleman in Kansas City and is able to use it for his purposes anytime Mr. Wilson isn’t there. He rescued a couple of young guys from an ice storm last year and put them up there.

We biked to the cabin, intermittingly pushing our loads up hills. By the time we reached the cabin we were bushed, but the view at the top was beautiful (save the unsightly coal fired power plant that rose from the river, dumber than a wart on a supermodel) and the cabin was very posh and comfortable. We were greeted by taxidermy of all varieties, including some mechanical breasts, barely covered by a red bikini top, that jiggled and with a Texas drawl sang a son (the title of which probably isn’t appropriate for a family blog) that I feared Brady would be repeating for the next 1000 miles. Once I pried the children away from the breasts, Brad and his family showed up with food and cheer and we visited on the front porch overlooking the river valley below. Brad talked about his uncle, who in the late eighties or early nineties, had traveled up the full length of the Missouri on a jet ski.

I took comfort in that story and fell asleep there on the porch wrapped in fireflies and stars before moving indoors to lay beneath thirty or so sets of antlers and one very large rack.

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