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Old 04-17-2007, 10:23 AM   #1
flyrodder OP
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Little Springtime ride in Nebraska

Springtime in Nebraska. Ok so its not Alaska or Baja or even someplace warm. But it is where I live and where my family came from. I had about 3 hours to go ride during the first week of April and I decided to ride the backroads of my youth towards the small farming community where my parents were raised.

I loaded up the Red Pig with my camera bag, some gum and a tire patch kit, that I hopefully would not need



I headed out of town towards the house I grew up in, where my Dad still lives. I ended up on this trip only doing about 3 miles of pavement out of about 130 total miles. The first gravel road I turned onto had just been graded -- oh great!



This section wasn't too bad, there had not been much traffic on this one yet, but growing up, I always had more flat tires right after the road had been graded. Oh well, I'm not gonna stop now!



At last, I finally came to the first DIRT ROAD! I've no explanation for the sign (I kinda like it!)





Things are just starting to green up here. Two weeks ago is was 80 degrees, this day it was barely 40.



This will be a nice shot when the weather is better and the landscape greens up a little bit. But the road looks like fun.





Arrrgh! The dreaded crushed rock, and on a corner; so it's either 50 and flat track it (yeah right) or 5 and white knuckles.



Ahhhhh -- more dirt; up on the pegs and pretty aggressive, for a FF. This is about a mile from where I grew up, been down this stretch many times.



This is the house I grew up in. Imagine single track all over the place, and my parents and I chasing each other around on a KM100 and a KL250. Dad is getting ready to build a new house on the property. The house in the pic is more than 100 years old. This is not the original location for the house; it was moved from another farm about 30 miles from here. There's a pic later of the original farm. I'll shutup for a bit -- more pics.














So much for Nebraska being flat.



FD don't fail me now!



I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this road too. Friends of the family own the land on the left, we pheasant and quail hunted this section quite a bit. This was another up on the pegs road.







CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) ground. Basically the government pays the farmer to keep the land out of production. The rules are very specific on what kind of grasses can be used.



The pasture ground has been burned on purpose. It helps fertilize the soil and kills off most of the unwanted weeds. The Great Plains burned in huge amounts before modern civilization crept in.



This is the farm where my Dad's house originally came from. The farm overlooks the Blue River valley. The folks that lived here built the new house you can see. They retired from farming quite a few years ago and now live in Missouri. This section is not the typical square mile found around here. It's about 16 square miles, with deep draws and lots of woodland. Great place to ride as a kid.







The Blue River. Not so blue these days. My grandparents would tell me stories of the river being clear as a bell. I've never seen it that way.









More fun roads running up out of the valley.



Kind of a depressing picture: weather is bleak, abandoned farmyard and not the best photography.



West Blue United Congregational Church between Milford and Crete.



Back to the dirt roads. I think these are a pretty well kept secret, at least until now!



Coming up on The Little Blue River --







I've no idea what this structure did when it was in operation. Probably a feed grinding mill?!??



Now I'm up out of the valley and onto some of the famous flat that Nebraska is known for. This is looking across a winter wheat field and a center pivot irrigation system. On the far left is the tell-tale grain elevators that mark the small towns throughout the grain belt. In this case the town is Dorchester, where both of my parents were raised.





This farmer is applying anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer for corn. Corn will quickly drain the topsoil of nitrogen. You can either fix N with anhydrous or rotate with other crops like soybeans or alfalfa which replenish the soil with nitrogen.






This is the last pic -- the tree is the last recognizable thing left where my mom was raised. The yard was taken out years ago. I just barely remember the house and out buildings.

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Old 04-17-2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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nice place you got back there, and the bridge, looks like the bridge in the movie The Blob.

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Old 04-17-2007, 12:40 PM   #3
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Excellent Pics!

My wife wants me to take her to Hastings, which is west of you a few miles I believe. Her Momma's family started there but when her Gramma died the 7 kids were scattered to different families during the depression. My mother-in-law was shipped to Los Angeles. She missed the country life style & told all 12 of her kids about good ol' Nebraska while they grew up.

Sitting on my wife's nightstand is a picture of the little house her Momma was born in in Hastings. Now that our kids are grown & her Momma passed away its kind of a dream to see the town she heard so many stories about.

I'm guessing it looks similar to the pics you've posted. I'll have to show her when she gets some time.

Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for this. I have never been east of Denver, and people look at me funny when I talk about a midwest tour.

Went to college and worked with some brothers from Crete. They were not particularly nostalgic for the place. They said if you're from Crete, you're a Cretin, and when you leave, you're an Excretion.

Is it possible for a stranger to follow the dirt roads without backtracking out of barnyards and annoying the heelers?
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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Roads like those are exactly why a GS is a great bike to have. I remember I'd ask the GPS to get me from point A to B, without avoiding dirt, and I'd find the neatest places.

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Old 04-17-2007, 01:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog
Thanks for this. I have never been east of Denver, and people look at me funny when I talk about a midwest tour.

Went to college and worked with some brothers from Crete. They were not particularly nostalgic for the place. They said if you're from Crete, you're a Cretin, and when you leave, you're an Excretion.

Is it possible for a stranger to follow the dirt roads without backtracking out of barnyards and annoying the heelers?
My wife and I are both Excretions!

Yeah, there are many, many miles of dirt roads that just either keep going, or turn to gravel at some point. Pretty much if there are no houses or farms on a given road, it was never graveled. Until someone builds a new house on a dirt road, it stays that way. More and more, at least nearer to Lincoln and Omaha, most of the roads are getting gravel now, probably as a safety issue.

The topo maps that are sold at like Barnes and Nobel generally denote the graveled vs. dirt or "unimproved" roads.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelfish
My wife wants me to take her to Hastings, which is west of you a few miles I believe. Her Momma's family started there but when her Gramma died the 7 kids were scattered to different families during the depression. My mother-in-law was shipped to Los Angeles. She missed the country life style & told all 12 of her kids about good ol' Nebraska while they grew up.

Sitting on my wife's nightstand is a picture of the little house her Momma was born in in Hastings. Now that our kids are grown & her Momma passed away its kind of a dream to see the town she heard so many stories about.

I'm guessing it looks similar to the pics you've posted. I'll have to show her when she gets some time.

Thanks.
I'm glad you liked the pics. Hastings is about 90 miles west of us. My wife went to college there (Hasting College). It's a nice place and very typical of central NE. If you come sometime, consider early spring for the annual Sandhills Crane migration. Hastings is right on the eastern edge of the central flyway, and sees a tremendous amount migratory waterfowl.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:33 PM   #8
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Did You Say Sand Hill Cranes?

Nebraska is great riding.

I wish I could this kind of quality from my digital camera:



If I ever won the lottery, I'd slather the walls with M. Forsbergs & Raven Maps.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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Except for the crushed rock riding part , the rest of it is truly GS heaven!! Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Great pictures! Nebraska has a special place in my heart. My Mom is from Nebraska and I have fond memories of spending my summer vacations there as a kid. We would stay at my Great Grandparents farm in Glenvil and have a great time exploring and innocently running around town with no worries. I still have family living in Hastings and Fairmont. I'd like to take my Wife and Daughter back there someday and share it with them. I always thought Pioneer Village and the Hastings Museum were great.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrodder
Springtime in Nebraska. Ok so its not Alaska or Baja or even someplace warm. But it is where I live and where my family came from.
Couldn't agree more!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrodder
Arrrgh! The dreaded crushed rock, and on a corner; so it's either 50 and flat track it (yeah right) or 5 and white knuckles.


No kidding. I gotta find somebody who can show me how to survive on that crap. I wish they would just leave the roads alone! Right about the time it's getting tolerable, they come along and spread the damn rock out again!

You have a track of your trip flyrodder? I gotta make a trip to this bridge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrodder




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Old 04-17-2007, 06:00 PM   #12
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Those of some awesome looking dirt roads, that would be KLR heaven for me. I really miss the midwest (I'm from Minnesota). You know what I like about the midwest? Miles and miles of wide-oen space and dirt roads like this just used by people as plain ol' roads and you can meander around all day and soak it all in. Thanks for posting.

Some of the most enjoyable pavement riding I've ever done was on a two laner in Nebraska on the way to Colorado from Minnesota. Miles and miles of twisties with zero traffic and no cops.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:28 PM   #13
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Thanks....this brought back some nice memories and thoughts for me, as well. I went to Medical School at the University of NE and did my surgical training there, too. That was in Omaha, but I did get a chance to spend time in many of the small towns away from Omaha.

Nebraska is majestic, beautiful in many ways, and has some of the best people I have met in my life. The work ethic there is something folks from either coast could learn from.

Thanks, again.

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:06 PM   #14
G.Gordon
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I just moved from Little Rock to KC area in Dec of 04. I notice the trees in this extremely windy region always have a tilt to the NE. I was wondering if the native folk ever notice?

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashstromer
I just moved from Little Rock to KC area in Dec of 04. I notice the trees in this extremely windy region always have a tilt to the NE. I was wondering if the native folk ever notice?

Yes. It's especially noticeable right now before the leaves come out. Some say it's either because South Dakota sucks or Kansas blows...................


All jokes aside, riding the Flint Hills in KS and up to The Hills in SD this summer are both in my plans. Both are very cool places to ride.
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