Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why the Wind Blows

The inescapable Sutherland Irrigation Canal

May 24

I was back on the ADT again soon after leaving Paxton.  Start placing your bets on how long til I divert.  If you picked three miles you were right!  The Sutherland irrigation canal, which I was supposed to follow, twisted and turned too much for my liking.  The straight westward route of the country road to my north looked a whole lot more appealing so I jumped on it the first chance I got.  There never was a sign saying what the road was called so when a farmer stopped next to me I thought to verify my plan of action with him.
"You lost or just crazy?" the farmer asked.
"I'm hiking cross country," I answered.
This response seemed to fit into one of those categories and he nodded.
"Am I headed the right way to Lake Ogalalla?" I queried.
"Pretty much son.  This road hits into that irrigation canal yonder (he points at the path I'd just left), which goes on a few miles til you run into an oil slick road - head north on that and you'll come to the lake road."
His advice turned out to match the ADT directions.  My wanderlust foiled, I was on the trail once more.  If you are wondering, oil slick apparently means black top in Nebraskese.
The main impediment today has been my nemesis for much of the length of Nebraska.  Whatever direction I went, whether west or north, the wind was always pushing against me, forcing every step to be earned.  At home we call sustained gusts like these hurricanes; Cornhuskers dub them an average day.
Despite nature's resistance, territory was gained slowly and steadily until four o' clock, when I reached Lake Ogalalla.  Another few steps closer to the end. 

21 miles/2239 total miles

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