May 22, 1997
Location: Keystone, Nebraska - Location: 41:12:58N 101:34:59W
Summary: Paxton to Keystone.
Journal entry: We were all spread around the town last night to sleep. Because it was quite a blustery night, the wagons and many tents were at the campsite. The weather was quite threatening and the Days Inn Motel filled up quickly. They had an RV park close by and that also held several trekkers. To help a few strays the community center was also open. So getting all of us up was each person's responsibility. It helped us knowing we had an extra hour of sleep because we went over the change of time zone. We moved our clocks an hour the correct direction and got up later. Mountain time zone now.
We did a lot of sand roads today and in the early hours it was tough. WE had hills of sand to go up and down, and there were a few times I would have gladly dumped the handcarts. A few hours into the morning the rain started, gently at first and then pretty hard. We thought it would be hard in the rain, but although we were getting wet, we were warm. And the biggest plus of all, the rain actually turned the sandy road into a paved road. Instead of soft and powdery, it was like pavement. It was great.
We had a mutiny in the handcart company today. We had about five miles to go when the porta potties were called into camp. Well, we had just finished a break and we were OK with that. Well, after about four more miles, we were needing a place to go. We could see camp down the road about a mile when Capt. Mike called for a rest stop. We were kind of confused, as the porta-potties had been called in.
On the left side of the road was a large stand of thick evergreens. On the right side of the road was a flat open, unplowed field. With a grin on his face, good ole Mike called, " Boys on the left, girls on the right." And he and about 10 of the male members of the party took off. Well, you can imagine our shock and total indignation. It was mutiny time. A bunch of the girls grabbed two of the handcarts and off they went, out of line, at break neck speed toward camp. When Mike returned, they were history and we were all just in tears we were laughing so hard. Mike lost a little of his authority today!
Keystone put on a great feed tonight: roast beef, potatoes and gravy, corn, brownies. It was good even in the humid damp air. They put on a great show, too. Quite impressive for such a small community. Our hats off to you and thanks a lot.
This rain is a welcome sight to these folks. They had very little snow this winter (we got it all in the Utah mountains) and they have had very little rain this spring. It is kind of cool and damp traveling, but if we can bring a little rain, we're glad to oblige. The signs around say "Welcome, Rain".
Did I tell you Walter who was hurt yesterday will be OK? He has to rest his leg for a few days. It was bruised quite badly. We had a little boy kicked in the arm and face by a mule this afternoon. He was taken to the hospital and kept under observation for a few hours. We need to remind parents to keep an eye on the little ones. There are animals all around and kids need to be careful. Everyone needs to be careful.
Buddy, our bus driver, has a red cast on his right hand. Two days ago he stopped to help the people in a car that rolled and somehow broke a bone. It has been really swollen. Buddy says he might as well go back home to Iowa since it is really hard to drive now. Sure hate to see you go. It's been interesting having you around. Actually, Buddy's been smiling more this evening than I've seen him smile for quite a while. Maybe he's ready to go home. He's been a volunteer and the job hasn't paid a whole lot: just the joy of seeing our lovely smiles every day. See ya, Buddy! Night has come.
I walked with Virginia today and picked up some wonderful bits of wisdom. She keeps us laughing with all her funny comments. I am compiling them for a "Night with Virginia." It will be coming up soon. HappyNetTrekking!