As with ever night storms were never far off, but this time I was spared a visit. For once I escaped from my cocoon around dawn and made for Loma, covering the five miles by 9:30. Although only three or four people seem to live in Loma, the town is famous for "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," the And You Will Know Them By the Trail of Dead of cinematic titling long-windedness.
The film stars Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as drag queens who travel cross country in an automobile before breaking down in a small town in middle America. Needless to say we are talking cult classic amongst the Friends of Dorothy.
Entering Brainard I was expecting to be reminded of another movie, "Fargo," part of which takes place in a city of the same name in Minnesota. Instead I felt like a visitor to the town from "the Children of the Corn," which actually does take place in Nebraska. In that horror flick the kids take over a town, possessed by some demon force within the fields. In Brainard I witnessed an over-abundance of parks and playgrounds, then was overwhelmed by a troop of thirty high school aged boys and girls when attempting to enter the Brainard Cafe.
On the way out to Highway 92 I did meet an actual adult (fleeing?) who offered me a ride. I told him I could not accept but if he saw me off trail on 15 going towards David City to feel free to ask me again.
Shortly after I hit 92 I had my first meeting with Nebraska law enforcement. Per usual my license was run for warrants. Thank God I chose not to traffic heroin in the off-season. The polite officer also offered a lift.
Only half an hour later a firetruck pulled over. I wondered if now their department had to run my beleaguered ID. Instead gentleman number three asked me if I'd like a ride to the closest town.
By the time I turned onto 15 the day had turned into a ninety degree scorcher and I was beat. Now I was hitch legit and begged the hiking Gods my luck with Samaritans would hold. As I sat on the shoulder finishing a bag of M&Ms the man from Brainard reappeared, along with his wife and two daughters. They rode me up to David City Park where I collapsed, exhausted.
18 miles/1927 total miles