Trail Ramblings: It’s Heating Up. Where Can We Go to Escape It?

As of June 4, Nebraska Parks are open with the exception of Danish Alps SRA near Hubbard. Everyone has cabin fever and parks are one of the few places to go. I got away for a second weekend of bikepacking, to Wagon Train State Recreation Area, riding out from Lincoln. It was good I left in the morning, because the campground was filling fast, with the shady sites already taken. I’ve learned from experience that it’s always a good idea to take a swimsuit along when riding past a lake on a hot and dusty day. Taking a dip resulting in a wet chamois for the rest of the ride is a bad idea. The only thing that was concerning was the lack of social distancing at the beach, with groups of teenagers completely ignoring the guidelines. In that respect, it was fortunate that is was windy, I guess. And it was busy. And the water was still cold, but refreshing. I did appreciate the ethnic diversity of users that there was, but there was a glaring lack of black park goers. Yet another example of a felt lack of safety?

If you can’t go to the rally, take it with you.

I rode solo from Lincoln this time, and though I could have left my gear to be brought along later, I wanted to dial in the packing set-up a little more, including the tent I didn’t have to carry last time. It was only about an 18 mile ride for me from near downtown, making it an easy destination for those wanting to get away, but not too far. The area southeast of the city is being developed at such a rate you really do have to research your route to find one that’s not too busy. Saltillo we know is a death trap, S 68th is very busy, and many roads don’t go through. Soon there will be a beltway to contend with, too.

There was one road that wasn’t busy. it may have been the best one.

Riding with a group of cyclists with varying expectations and levels of comfort with distance meant we broke the group into two early on so everyone could have the ride they wanted. Some of us paid a visit to Stagecoach Lake, and Roca.

Did you know Stagecoach Lake has a tiny cemetery?

After dinner those who wanted toured some more gravel roads, and there was a music option in Roca. On another day I will ride the singletrack in the park, on a more appropriate bike. Riding into Hickman for re-supply was more problematic than I remembered it, simply because of the amount of motor traffic there is now, and they don’t all like to share the road. 110th street was surprisingly busy too, even the gravel part. I rode out near Palmyra recently, and found some of those roads can be quite busy at times, too. As a gravel enthusiast, I look for quiet roads with little traffic, and try to avoid the busy paved ones unless there’s no good alternative.
Sunday was hotter and windier, so after escorting Chris part way back to Omaha, I kept to the trail hoping for less wind, and for the most part, got it