By 10:30 I launched myself out into the cold going north and was thankful for having no wind for once. It was an easy ride except for the discomfort of the temperature. Within a few minutes of riding I began to sweat underneath my windbreaker but every time I took it off I got cold. So I kept taking it off and putting it back on. Each time I put the windbreaker on I was a little grossed out for feeling my own sweat which had not evaporated from the fabric but it was either that or shivering. I've had bad recollections from the previous day... one of the coldest spells I've ever gone through and this from someone who's lived in Minnesota!
I reached Nebraska to find a wide shoulder and many drivers still waving at me. There are many kinds of waves (oh, what else can you do but study them when there's nothing else for the body and mind to do when all the work is being done by a pair of muscles in the thighs?). Some give you a halfhearted lazy finger lift of a wave. Some wave enthusiastically, even occasionally with both hands. A few stick their arms out the window to make sure you see that they're waving at you. Others give you a weird wave with an open hand sideways as if asking a philosophical Why. All waves are to me a friendly gesture that add a little oomph to my riding and in the future when it's my turn to be a driver again I will start waving at cyclists.
Today's ride was again short, this time of necessity rather than crisis. Between Oberlin, Kansas and McCook, Nebraska there is plenty of nothingness and I'm told there is an even higher plane of nothingness between here and North Platte 70 miles north. Having started my riding day at 10:30 and arriving in McCook (an actual small city!) at about 2pm North Platte was hopelessly far away. I considered a campground 10 miles north of the city based on a tip but as I neared the edge of town the prospect of another night of shivering didn't feel anywhere near as cozy as the Days Inn beckoning just ahead. So I checked in for the night.
Last night after dinner I found a baby bird that fell out of its nest, still too young to have even opened its eyes or sprout feathers. I took pity on the hapless animal and wrapped it in a hand towel to give it some warmth. I wasn't sure that it would make it through the night since it had fallen at least 10 feet but the little guy survived and now I think it's the karmically right thing to take care of it as best I can. I stopped in the morning at a vet but they were unwilling to do anything with it because it was "wildlife". After leaving I wondered what kind of an answer was that - when one rescues a cat or dog from the wild does it not become, er, tamelife? domesticated? whatever? Well, it's my burden now. I got a dropper and have now learned to feed it a few drops of a mixture of milk, water and powdered Cheezits. I have no idea what I'm doing and not sure what to Google for but I'll keep you posted.