On the road this morning with a nice tailwind–yes, tailwind!–making the trip to North Platte speedy.

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Michael stopped for breakfast at a local diner for the standard french toast, eggs, and bacon with coffee. Nate stopped at McDonald’s.

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We’re aiming for a park in NP that has a couple of trains on display, including one of the largest steam locomotives ever built.

 

The road to North Platte was well-paved (even newly paved for 10 miles), making the ride smooth. The surrounding landscapes are beautiful, from farmlands to sandhills.

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Update (12:00 p.m.): Nate and Michael are both in North Platte, having a train-centric day. Nate is at the world’s largest train yard (probably tagging box cars).

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Michael “raced” a Union Pacific four-engine train for almost 25 miles this morning between towns along Highway 30. First the train, cruising along at 40-50 mph, passed Michael and sounded its horn. At that speed, UP took Round 1. A few miles ahead the train was stopped to allow an eastbound train to pass; Michael rode the full length of the train (almost 3 miles!) before it started moving again. Race on! Michael kept pace with the lead engine up to 27 mph, and earned a hearty blow of the horn from the conductor. Another 10 miles later, Michael caught the train again passed it, and rode out of town. A few minutes later, the train came along (tracks were then on the right side), gave a quick “hello” horn, and kept pace with Michael at about 20 mph until rounding the last corner into the North Platte train yards.

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One of two snakes that didn’t make it across the road. This one was still twitching when we passed it.

Update (Day’s end): Michael stopped for his second refueling meal of the day in North Platte while Nate continued to explore and learn about the train-yard operations.

We met up farther down Highway 30 and rode to Paxton, NE, with a crosswind and slight incline slowing our pace–but still finished with the fastest average pace of the tour yet. We were amused to see that we both scored a couple top-ten trophies on Strava during the day’s ride–with our loaded touring bikes! Ha! Congrats to Nate for also achieving his first Century ride, finishing with more than over 100 miles!

We checked-in, cleaned-up, then walked back to the crossroads of Paxton for dinner at one of two spots to eat. About as we finished eating, our weather apps alerted us to the imminent thunderstorms approaching from the west. We walked the half mile back to our rooms just in time to watch the storm move in–without getting caught in it!

 

Tomorrow we head to Sidney, NE, for a scheduled stop to visit Michael’s sister, Amy, and recharge with a rest day!

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Watch the Relive video here.

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