Nebraska Wildflowers, Heat, Horseflies and Box Turtles

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Cycle America/N

After my first bike ride across the US in 1979, people asked me if I took the time to smell the
flowers. Working too much on rebuilding my body and my mind, I can honestly say I did not paralyze
myself enough in the present to breathe in all that was around me. I crossed the US a second time,
thinking I was complete enough to correct such myopia. Well as I cobbled together my speaking tour
for the National Head Injury Foundation from the road and even practiced the speeches I would give,
different for each venue, as I pedaled away, I once again failed in the observation department.
Especially compared to Jim. Do get a look at an America that all too few people see:


Good Sunday Morning: Here I am again enjoying the beautiful country side. There are more flowers -
some yellow little ones, some purple, the orange ones are interesting. As you look closer, they
really have four or five blossoms clustered together. The cactus, those low spicks in clumps are
sending their stems of white or rather light beige flowers up in abundance. When I first saw them up
on a hillside, I mistook them for sheep. Each stem about 12 to 18 inches long is filled with these
little bell shaped blossoms that the bees must love. Some of the plants have our or five stems
filled with flowers.

Even the grasses are showing some color. The seeds bend the stems over and are turning a purplish
hew. They wave in the wind like a million little heads that say, "Come on you can make the next
hill". And yes, the hills are appearing.

This morning I saw my most unusual Nebraska Wildflower. In the distance at the crest of a hill I saw
a reflection from something shiny. Then I looked again and it was white and pink. It was Margret
Pullen, an inventor, and Genetic Physicist who works for Evergreen Applied Research, Inc. in Aspen,
Colorado. She had on a white halter and pink shorts, a silver helmet, the most unusual sun glasses I
have ever seen and the same biking sandals I have. She is a bubbly, enthusiastic person like most
bikers I have met. She gave me several blessings for a safe journey. It was a very pleasant meeting
in the middle of a quiet road in Nebraska. She is also interested in riding for NBG next year.

Want to comment about the types of responses I get to my waves. Of course there are some who will
not even look at you. There are those who give you a blank stare. I discard these as not aware of
life around them. The ones I laugh about are the one finger waves. They lift one finger from the
wheel, as if it is an effort. Sometimes, they lift two or three. I appreciate the whole hand wave
while sometimes everyone in a car waves. I love the thumbs up sign out of the window. Rarely, do I
get a friendly toot. It must be against the law to blow your horn out here.

The friendly birds singing to me make up for it. The meadow larks have the most pleasant call. I
always wondered why the red winged black birds have the red on their wings where it is. Well, when
you see them raise their wings as they do their little mating dance you can understand.

Have seen wild turkeys, skunks, hawks rabbits, squirrels and even saved a box turtle yesterday from
sure destruction. Just hope I put it on the side of the road it wanted to go. Almost wanted to keep
it as a mascot, but did not know what to feed it.

This afternoon I came upon a huge field covered with prairie dogs, standing like little sentinels
guarding their holes. One was not so lucky. A coyote had it in its mouth as it ran across the field.

I wanted to have a closer look and get a little shade in the process. Had not seen a tree shading
the road for the last 20 miles. Well, the minute I got out of the direct sun, I got attacked. In no
time at all, I was covered with horse flies. When I hit them I saw blood -- my blood!! They are used
to punching thru cow hides so mine was a breeze. I raced out of there.

I will never complain about rain again. Today, when a cloud would shade me I was so grateful. The
end of a warm day -- 80 miles into the wind again. Jim

Local access to PocketMail mobile e-mail now available in Europe, North America & Australia

Jim Muellner can be found at His email on
the road is: [email protected]

If you want to start from the beginning and/or follow Jim our other NBG relay riders as they move
forward in the National Mayors' Ride at <>, point to
their blog at <>. All of this
excitement will al be consummated at the second annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest

btw: If you want to become a rider, we N E E D you!! Go to
<>, to find out how!! btw2: We
have pictures from the various ride legs on line at btw3: If you want to see who these
cyclists are, go to <>.

MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
Greenway CEO

Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru clinical death
and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.
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