Monday morning at 4:30 am, Sydney and Diane had to leave the hotel to catch a flight back from Omaha. We got to sleep in and check out the hot tub! Today would be an easy, short day to explore Lincoln. We started with the University of Nebraska.
Located only a few blocks from the hotel, we enjoyed the buildings we walked through, and thought the campus’ proximity to downtown was a great advantage to students. Our most memorable moment occurred at the student union when we finally succumbed to the temptation and tried a world-famous (though unknown outside of Lincoln-Omaha?) runza from Runza. A runza is a delicious.
Rebecca had to walk her bike all over campus as Tim easily walked along, and after our unofficial campus tour we decided to split up so Rebecca could go to a bike shop for tubes, and Tim got to explore downtown more. The state capitol (building above) was a marvelous site to see. Lincoln was our fourth consecutive state capital, and was this capitol was Tim’s favorite so far (sorry Carson City, SLC, & Denver)! It’s also the second tallest state capitol in the U.S.
We agreed to meet at the Sunken Gardens (one of the top free tourist attractions in the city!) in the afternoon. This garden was serene, and we enjoyed the statues (especially one named Rebekah).
That night we planned to stay at a college campus thanks to our Chicago friend, JD’s aunt Ruth. She used to work at Union College (the largest Seventh Day Adventist college in the country)
and got us a room in a dorm! We had a great time trading stories with her at a Mongolian Grill, before catching an amazing sunset thanks to wildfires in Canada (we didn’t have our camera).
The next morning we made a pit stop at a delicious donut place Ruth suggested, Lamar’s, and were not disappointed! (Thanks for everything, Ruth!).
We set out of Lincoln, but first dropped off our heavy bags at Tim’s college friend Jake’s house. He even packed a lunch for us. Near the city limits we stopped for ice cream after having donuts (we ARE burning 5-6,000 calories a day, so it’s OK!) and Tim got so much ice cream on his new beard. …he’s still getting used to it.
Rebecca left her bike in Jake’s garage so she was able to walk with Tim for another day! We had our first lunch break in a small town called Waverly. There was some community yard sale going on, so we were able to fill our water packs in the kitchen of the community center. Next we arranged Jake to pick us up at the Greenwood post office, but of course after stopping by a chocolate shop for more snacks (this walk across the country has really revolved around food!).
Jake and his wife Heather, another good friend of Tim from college prepared a terrific dinner, including one of the best steaks we’ve ever had! After dinner we all went to the University of Nebraska’s east campus to the university ice cream shop. For the night cap we played a board game (another first in this walk) Ticket to Ride. It was very fun, but Heather won and beat Tim by 100 points. Better luck next time.
The next morning Jake made us omelettes. After the delicious breakfast he loaded his truck with Rebecca’s bike, & drove us both to the outlet mall where we parted ways; Tim on foot to Omaha, Rebecca on bike to Omaha, and Jake back to work for a few hours before his flight to Wisconsin. (Thanks for everything Jake and Heather, we think we saw your plane flying overhead later that day!).
Jake found two law school buddies in Omaha who each agreed to take us in. The first night we would stay with Adam and his wife Staci.
Rebecca’s ride into Omaha was her most difficult yet. In Lincoln she learned to not bike on the minor streets, as they more often than not led to a dead end. The main roads into Omaha were all four lane roads and very hilly. There were some trails, which didn’t go exactly where she wanted, but at least the final two miles were accommodating.
Tim’s walk through Gretna and Chalco was mostly on the shoulder of a busy, loud highway. It was all worth it when he found a recreational trail for a few miles to escape the car noise.
Adam and Staci were also great hosts. After pizza and a movie Adam and Tim battled it out playing NBA Jam T.E. on the SNES. There was a lot of good spirited trash talking, and Tim prevailed 3-1, all wins by 1 point. Rebecca enjoyed playing with all of their dogs too. Thanks, Staci and Adam!
Our second day in Omaha was a planned rest day, but we still did quite a bit of walking. Due to the rain, Adam dropped us off at the zoo. The Omaha Zoo’s claim to fame is being voted the world’s best zoo. Rebecca and I stayed for over four hours, so maybe it is!
After off and on rain we decided to walk back. On the way back we stumbled upon the birth site of Gerald Ford!
Tonight we were staying with Brock and his wife Kim. Brock took a break from studying for the Bar, and drove us to the mall for shoe shopping. They took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant, and we ordered beers and margaritas the size of our head! Thanks, Brock and Kim!
We want to thank all of our friends and hosts who made our time in Lincoln and Omaha feel like home.
Today(s) we walked through:
Tim: 20,024 steps, 46,576 steps, 50,310 steps, & 22,852
Rebecca: 10 miles, 51,877 steps, 25 miles, & 25,386 steps
1828 miles finished