Day 29: What a day. Started off with an interview with the local Spalding newspaper, then headed down the road with no fuel in the tank (they have no restaurants in town). Not long after, got a call from Robert Bernt who with his wife, Christine, runs an organic dairy operation in Wheeler County, NE near where the Keystone XL pipeline would cross. They caught up with me a little down the road, where Bob spoke with me about TransCanada’s lies and how he and other Nebraskans were recently ridiculed by Nebraska State Senators at a public hearing (look for his insightful interview to be posted on YouTube soon). Bob and Christine also thoughtfully brought me some organic cheese and beef sticks to help power me through my morning, which could not have been more appreciated, as I had 20 miles of non-stop hills to tackle. Did an interview while pedaling with the Daily Nebraskan. Yet more hawk encounters. Towards the end of the day, organic farmer Jim Knopic caught up with me on the side of the road. He also had much to say about Keystone XL and the threat it poses to his livelihood (look for his interview to be posted soon). Thanks for dinner, Jim, and the traveling cash!
Finally got within striking distance of Lincoln, in hopes of finding a motel, but the dark caught me (again) on a road with no shoulder. Not wanting to put myself and others at risk, I pulled down a dirt road and was preparing to pitch my tent in a roadside ditch when a nice couple pulled up to ask if I was okay. When I told them my plan, they offered their front yard instead. So I pedaled and pushed (through deep gravel) the trike about a mile and a half down the road and quickly set up camp, as the temperature was quickly dropping below freezing. Am now sitting in my tent with 70 miles behind me on the day, tired but content. Nights like this make me grateful for my toasty MontBell sleeping bag.
Got a call today with the news about President Obama’s decision not to decide on Keystone XL until after the 2012 election. Check out this New York Times piece on the subject: http://tinyurl.com/7houpj6. How sad that we can’t get real leadership from the Obama White House on this issue. We don’t want a review of alternate routes. We want the project stopped. By punting on the decision, the President is failing to do his job: protect America.