|The former territorial capital building, now Central High School|
The return to trail life was indeed surreal, as it was prefaced by seven hours spent in airports and aboard various flying machines. Since Eppley Field was only three miles from last year's finish line I chose to eschew a taxi ride to the start and hoof out directly after landing.
The new course through the eastern section of Omaha gave me a chance to see Ameritrade Park, the nascent home of the College World Series, which was christened with a South Carolina victory last summer. Nearby stands the monument to Lewis and Clark, who met with the local Native Americans here. I have now crossed paths with the explorers on three separate occasions now, once at Harper's Ferry and again in Belvue, Ohio before this, our last meeting. They headed up the Missouri whereas I'll be following the Platte River.
At 20th street I spotted an intriguing building. Perched atop a hill, the huge granite structure was clearly an important edifice. Was I looking at the county courthouse, a magnificent museum, or a madman's mansion? Wrong, per usual, even with multiple attempts at the correct answer. This impressive structure was actually Central High School. What was now a bastion of learning had once been an important spoke in the wheel of governance - the territorial capital was housed there until 1859 when statehood was granted and the legislative center moved to Lincoln.
Of course I had to walk the busy streets of Omaha to see all these places and I quickly became reacquainted with big city traffic. Apparently many drivers are unfamiliar with the law: does a walk sign not give the pedestrian the right of way? If not please let me know before I give out more one fingered salutes to these ignorant motorists who insist on trying to run me over.
I finished the day just to the west of Nebraska-Omaha's campus in the Old Loveland section of the city. I'd say day one was quite successful, even if I do feel like a clock melted over a tree branch.
Ten miles/ 1806 total miles