Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 30: Chaos in the Cornhusker State

With sizzling eggs and bacon draped across the table, and a lovely host serving more and more food onto our plates, it was extremely difficult to pack up and leave the Kennedy’s home in Lincoln. Mike and Jason were scheduled for Mystery Machine duties today, and as they packed the van, the rest of our star-studded team yawned at the thought of short, 45-mile bike ride to Omaha.

Now, if you haven’t picked up on the fact that we are often ill prepared for our journeys, you are either A) not reading the blogs thoroughly, or B) forgetting that we are a bunch of procrastinating, fast paced, college students. Well, that is except for Kirsten, who at 22 is just a few years away from nursing homes and discounts at the movies. Anywho, as history tells it, our 45-mile ride was actually a 90-mile ride (apparently Google maps screwed up the calculations?) and your favorite meddlesome kids had a few minor mix-ups along the way.

Leaving promptly at 9am, our first group of heroines, Kirsten, Claire, and Zane, somehow got lost in the wilderness of Nebraska’s cornfields, and wound up completely separated. Kirsten and Claire used their special, power-puff esque, telekinesis to reunite, but sadly, our favorite cowboy, Zane, was nowhere to be found. In other headlines, the dynamic duo of Sanford and Shane, which departed the Kennedy house at 10am, managed to pass by the confused threesome and rode into the outskirts of Omaha an hour before the others. With the riding team split up into three different teams, chaos was bound to transpire, and I will try to exaggerate it as much as possible to make sure that every mother begins to worry about our well being:

1. Kirsten and Claire somehow biked onto the highway and had to be picked up by the Mystery Machine
2. Zane suffered from severe dehydration in the 115 heat index day and was picked up after biking past our destination
3. Sanford accidentally biked into a pot hole and fell off his bike, adding some new marks to his jersey and skin
4. Shane was forced to ride the last 10 miles alone in hopes of carrying the face aids torch to its cauldron in Omaha

After finding diverse routes to the city, we were graciously taken in by Angy Schmidt who rehydrated us and gave to us man’s single greatest invention: air conditioning. Omaha’s famous Old Market provided the perfect location for a recuperation lunch, and after the meal, Shane decided to visit Creighton University while the others drove back to the nearby house.

Mother Nature just couldn’t let the day end smoothly, however, as the tornado sirens sounded around the downtown district as soon as the Mystery Machine pulled into the Schmidt driveway. Within minutes, the purple sky threw down buckets of sideways rain, calling Jason and Claire to run out and jump into puddles and forcing Shane to seek refuge with a Baptist Church group in the basement of the cathedral at Creighton. Amen.

After an hour, the storm began to roll its way across the Missouri River, and the worried team picked up the newly baptized Shane from his basement retreat. With heartbreak and heart attacks, the day’s excitement never stopped, and as nightfall came our entire group was ready to curl up into their sleeping bags. Tomorrow’s ride would be the beginning of the trek through Iowa, and everyone’s excitement would be left back with the wonders of the West.

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