When cycling long distances, it always helps to have a populated destination midway through the route.
Last weekend, Bugman and I chose a route up and over the Wildcat Hills into Banner County.
Banner County had a population estimate of 690 people in 2010. That’s not the population of the county seat, Harrisburg – the county’s sole incorporated municipality. That’s the population of the ENTIRE COUNTY.
As I said, when cycling long distances, it always helps to have a populated destination midway through the route.
Especially if that destination has fudge…
Our Banner County route took us to BeeHaven Farm Roadside Market.
We bought some tasty items for our mid-ride luncheon feast: goat milk fudge (made in Banner County, NE), beef jerky (made in Morrill County, NE), and cheese curd (made in Weld County, CO). We also sipped some iced tea (aaaaah!) and chatted with proprietors Jennifer and Rick Rutherford.
I tried in vain to find a post on BeeHaven on my SCB Citizen blog. I could have sworn I’d written one, but I must have written it in my head and never tapped it out on the keyboard.
Here are some pictures I took at BeeHaven almost a year ago:
Jennifer took a photo of us with our tandem in the shade of the store building, which was once a bunkhouse:
She said we were not the first cyclists to stop by that week. A young man biking from, I think, South Dakota to Colorado had been a guest before us. Jennifer joked that she should put a sign out front saying “bicyclists welcome!” Rick quipped that the cyclists are probably the only ones going slow enough to be able to read the BeeHaven signs.
It can be a little hard to see.
If you are headed south from the Wildcat Hills, Beehaven is on your left, south of County Road 10. If you’re coming north from Kimball, it’s about 14 miles, and it’ll be on your right.
Our visit to BeeHaven was an awesome and most-needed break. The elevation of the Nebraska Panhandle rises as you head towards its southwest corner. Once we got over the Wildcat Hills, we faced an even taller hill to climb, though at a lesser grade.
The ride back down that grade was pretty fun, except the part where we had to negotiate between the rumble strip and gravel patch at the turnoff to a disused weigh station when we were cruising at about 20 mph. We came pretty close to biffing it. Scary!
It was funny – I’d asked Rick whether he’d seen any pronghorn antelope on their land, since I’d seen them in Sioux, Morrill, and Kimball Counties, but never in Banner or Scotts Bluff Counties. He said that, yes, he’d seen a few. And then, on our way home, we saw three of them!
It was another exhausting ride – 67.68 miles – but a pleasant one.
Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw