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  1. #1
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    Etna, where are you?

    With no high country wilderness to explore, the gravel back roads of middle America provide the "adventure" for many. Truthfully, the trails were wet and we thought the gravel would be in better shape. After a cup of coffee on the porch while we waited for the rain to stop, CQ and I headed out in search of our destination.

    Where were we going? We've been looking at old maps of Dawson and Custer county, NE, searching for interesting roads and destinations. Old maps from the 1800s showed an unknown town on the map, Etna. If it existed, it looked to be about 20 miles to the north of our start point. I know we could have easily driven out there to verify, but there was no adventure in that. We saddled up and were off to grind some damp gravel.
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  2. #2
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    Part 2

    The closer we got, the wetter the roads were. The gravel was saturated and the riding got harder and harder. Livestock on the road was about the only other form of live out on this wet Sunday morning. The gravel and mud started to collect on the bike, but we pushed on. We didn't find a lost town, but instead a monument to a time gone by. The marker was like a tombstone to the town that was now dead. Apparently the town was a trading post and residence for many until hard times hit in the 1930s. Most of the town closed down in 1931 while the school lived on until the 60s. There was a mailbox next to the marker . . . what was inside?
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  3. #3
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    Part 3

    Inside the mailbox was a comprehensive book of the former town's history, along with a guest book. Many pictures and a complete list of founding residents could be found. We searched for the remains of a house or two, but only a few depressions in the dirt could be found.

    The route home took us further west where the roads became almost impassible. At times I couldn't even push the bike as it would lock up in the mud. CQ, on his single speed, just shook his head and helped me clean off the Moots. Eventually, the road firmed up enough to roll home and sun greeted us upon our last leg back to town.

    A total of about 40 rain soaked miles on a Father's Day morning was a good precursor to a nap and some major bike cleaning. Don't think that gravel grinding is boring, sometimes a destination helps make the journey more interesting.
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  4. #4
    I'll take you there.
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    awesome.. I love history.
    Be excellent to each other.

  5. #5
    Now with 10% more!
    Reputation: Da Dook's Avatar
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    That's pretty cool!

    On a side note- is Moots giving bikes away and I don't know about it????? Seems like that is the bike of choice for passion posts with pictures.

  6. #6
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Red
    awesome.. I love history.
    We have copies of the 1872 survey maps that show all sorts of little places like this on the map. We've got a few other destinations marked for exploration and should hit them in the next month or so.

    I don't know about Moots giving away bikes . . . I had to pay for mine, but Mikesee might have gotten a deal.

  7. #7
    Afric Pepperbird
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    I am so very glad I live "out west", with real mountains, and old growth forests...

    but I am originally from "America's Heartland", and while I have no intentions of ever moving back, those photo's do tug at a certain heartstring. Thanks for posting.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Helluva Ride Hair !!! I will be ready to hit the next town site when I get back from Steamboat .

    Q

  9. #9
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    I'll be ready as soon as I get the bearings in my freewheel moving again.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    I am sooo glad I went on the SS !!!

    Q

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