Day 10- Kimball to Mitchell, 60 miles (9-10-17)
We had a late start, as Father Sagar invited us for some coffee and toast. He was an excellent host, and we are very grateful for his hospitality!
We had some long hills/bluffs as we headed out of Kimball, and a nice downhill to Gering (county seat of Scottsbluff County, population 8500) and Scottsbluff (Scotts Bluff County, population 15,039). We enjoyed lunch at a Runza in Gering.
We were able to see the Scotts Bluff National Monument- awesome! The Scotts Bluff is an important 19th-century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The Scotts Bluff National Monument contains multiple bluffs (steep hills) located on the south side of the North Platte River; it is named for one prominent bluff called Scotts Bluff, which rises over 800 feet above the plains at its highest point.
We have seen numerous small (dead) rattle snakes on the highway, so we know that we need to be careful if we ever leave the road.
I found a nice 4 foot level on the highway. It will be a challenge to carry it home 650 miles. Ha! Ha!
This was our hottest day of riding: 98 degrees and 10-15 mph head winds. 60 miles later, we arrived in Mitchell (Scotts Bluff County, populaton 1702) which is about the center of the western part of Nebraska’s panhandle.
We are camping at a nice City park in Mitchell, with clean bathrooms and nice grass. But, we will be enduring train whistles throughout the night, as the tracks are only two blocks away.
Tomorrow’s ride will be interesting, as there are very few towns between Mitchell and Crawford, our Day 11 (83 miles) destination.
5 hours, 46 minutes
Average speed- 10.4 mph
Gering and Scottsbluff Trivia
* Gering and Scottsbluff are know as the Panhandle’s Twin Cities.
* The two thriving communities share the banks of the North Platte River: Scottsbluff on the north bank and Gering on the south bank.
* Gering was founded in 1887 at the base of the bluff that is now the center of Scotts Bluff National Monument. It was named for Martin Gering, a pioneer merchant.
* Scottsbluff was founded in 1889. The monument and the town were named after Hiram Scott, a Rocky Mountain Fur Company trapper.
Learn more about Gering and Scottsbluff.