Thursday, October 22, 2015

Riding the CoNeKa Confabulation Jr!

On October 18, Paul Foley and I inaugurated the new CoNeKa Confabulation Jr 130km Permanent Populaire. 

There is also a non-junior version which is 17
 miles longer, but we didn't want to over-exert ourselves. Here's the route:

Wray CO to St. Francis KS and back via Haigler NE
It is patently designed as a route that includes three states- and two time zones, as Paul points out - but it also turns out to be a pleasant, quiet route, and scenic in its own way. Both Paul and I lacked Nebraska for RUSA's American Explorer Award, - reason enough to drive 2½ to three hours to get to Wray, CO.

The day we rode started out at 37° and topped out at 82°, sunny with some high overcast, and breeze (of course!).

Wray is a pleasant town in a valley with a butte. It was a good start/end point. We headed down a quiet US-34, with good, smooth shoulders, and lots of greenery in terms of irrigated crops, trees, and ground cover. The area is also breeding grounds for the greater prairie chicken, which birders travel some distance to see.

Each county we passed through has its own numbering system - this sign, in Yuma County, outside Wray, is a combo of letters and a fraction.

The prospect of a good life during our eight-mile transit of Nebraska made us feel better already.

We turn south, climb out of the Republican River valley (North Fork), and are alerted by Nebraska to make sure our livestock branding is in order.

I'm wearing my Last Chance jersey because we'll be intersecting the Last Chance route.

Paul noticed that the Kansas sign was graced by a "Don't Mess With Texas" sticker. 

We're now climbing over a succession of ridges and plateaux. It's a strongly rolling stretch, open, and exposed to any breeze that may pop up.

Irrigated crops suddenly give way to prairie and dryland crops, and terrain punctuated by these deep fissures.

Descending to the valley where St. Francis is located - the south fork of the Republican River brings us back to lusher, greener pastures. 
We're now on US-36, and the Last Chance 1200k route.

Our St. Francis control and lunch stop is the same store riders use on the Last Chance. It offers a wide variety of food choices, included fried burritos and other fried items, and cheeseburgers, Paul's choice here.

Lots of signage going on as we re-enter Nebraska ...  and a curve in the road.

It's been lots of fun for such a relatively short ride!


1 comment:

  1. EXCELLENT write up to cap off another fabulous day of riding. Thanks for designing a great route yet again!!