2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 2 Auburn to Weeping Water

I’m not sure if I ever slept in Auburn. My nylon sleeping bag was too gross and sticky to lie on, and my silk sleeping bag liner was too hot to crawl into, so I tried to just lay on top of the liner and not move too much. I texted my husband around 4:30 a.m.:

Operative word for today is “clammy”. Dew covering everything.

The inside of my tent “window” – the whole inside of the tent fly, actually – was dripping with condensation.


Pancakes for breakfast again, but this time it came with showmanship. The Pancake Man is a hoot, even at 5:30 b.c. (before coffee).


pancake 1

And she did!

pancake 2

(I’m so glad he didn’t choose me for this stunt!)

Fearful of the heat, I hit the road by 6 a.m. Got to the first SAG stop by 7:15 a.m. Funny how the bottle of hand sanitizer was always surrounded by cones. Not sure if that was a *hint, hint* to use it, or if people kept knocking it over.

first sag

We went through a little construction, but it wasn’t bad at all.


We got into Nebraska City, and I deviated a couple of blocks from the course to pick up another Nebraska Passport stop (it was closed, of course).

TTM toys

The route turned west down Central Avenue for our Nebraska City tour. Oh my! I like Nebraska City’s downtown. It’s hard to believe the population is just 7,265. There were a bunch of bikes in front of a cafe, but I pedaled on and stopped in front of this building: Central Apple Market.

central apple market

I went inside. Oh my! The bakery case! I must have been the first cyclist to stop in that day, as a group of people gathered for morning coffee asked me lots of questions about the ride.

bakery case

I got an apple fritter. I think it was the best one I’ve ever had. I chatted a bit with the guy behind the counter. He showed me the plaque on the history of the building that Nebraska City Main Street Historians had put together. Pretty neat!

building history

Further down the block *cue heavenly music*: a public restroom! (I didn’t need it, but it was there if I did, assuming it was open.)

public restroom

In a small plaza off Central, there was a lovely mural.

mural 1

The mural plaza had a twist: a memorial chalkboard on which anyone could write.

mural 2

There was also the first specimen I’d seen of a public art series featuring painted tree silhouettes. This one had insects in the design. (My husband is an entomologist, so I tend to notice these things.)

public art 1

I passed Arbor Lodge, of J. Sterling Morton / Arbor Day fame. I love trees. I really do. Without their shade, life would be so much more unpleasant. Especially when changing a flat tire. (That wasn’t me in the background changing a flat – it was another BRAN cyclist.)

flat tire tree shade

I kept a lookout for Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard. A fellow rider joked that I should take it easy on the alcohol at this time of day, but I wasn’t after the wine. I was after the passport stamp!

Aha! Found it!

kimmel orchard

The building opened a bit early because so many cyclists were knocking at the doors. The smaller squeeze bottles of apple juice were popular. I split a larger bottle of cherry-apple juice with two other cyclists. It was just enough for each of us to nearly fill a water bottle. They also had cherry and apple juice slushies! I totally would’ve gotten one, but the machines weren’t turned on yet.

I was interested to see the partnership between the orchard and University of Nebraska Extension.

kimmel extension center

Another example of the public art series.

public art 2

Nebraska City is really into its trees and orchards. Interestingly, there used to be many more fruit orchards in the area. Our BRAN riders’ guide repeatedly mentions in the history of small towns we were passing through “the disastrous frost on Armistice Day, 1940,” which killed many, many orchards.

Randomly, on Highway 75 between Wyoming, Nebraska, (!!) and Union, Nebraska, was a gas station that knew we were coming. They set up a shade tent, were selling chilled pickles and chocolate milk from a cooler up front, giving out ladles of pickle juice for free, were very welcoming about us using their bathroom facilities, and even put up a sign asking truck drivers to keep a lookout. Wish I’d seen the sign and gotten a picture! Instead, I have a picture of my bike parked against some advertisement panels installed on a fence.

gas station fence parking

As we headed west through Cass County, we had a lot of rolling hills, just like we’d had most of the day.

rolling hills

Here’s the elevation profile for the day: up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, etc. I rather like rolling hills on a bike tour. Yes, you have to work harder on the uphill, but the downhill gives you a little rest, or at least a burst of speed.

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 8.14.26 PM

Here’s a photo of the scenery that was behind me to my right when I took the rolling hills picture:

rural view

I made it to Weeping Water around 10:30 a.m. and immediately began sneezing. Something allergenic in the air! I had to take another allergy pill. We were camped at the Weeping Water Lakes Campground, directly adjacent to some train tracks. When I arrived, there was a train honking past, but luckily, that was the only train I saw.

campsite weeping water

Again, it was so, so hot, and my tent was baking in direct sunlight. I showered and tried to nap in the shade of a tree. I overheard someone talking about tent fans. A tent fan! Genius! They’d gotten one at a hardware store. I hitched a ride with a nice young man in a four-wheeler into the downtown and stepped into Meeske’s Hardware.

hardware store 1

Oh my, Meeske’s Hardware! This is the kind of old-timey hardware store you hardly see anymore. You just never know what you are going to find in there. I asked about a battery-powered fan, and a woman who worked there said, “Oh, that would be in housewares. Come on, I’m headed there anyway.” And we marched smartly down the street to the housewares building.

hardware store 2

The woman looked and asked to try to find a battery-powered fan for me. There had been a run on them, it seems. She headed upstairs to “the fan room” to look for more while a second woman poked around in the aisles. Triumphantly, the second woman pulled out from behind a display the LAST battery-powered fan in all of Weeping Water . . . and sold it to an older gent who had come in after me. She thought we were together. I cannot express my annoyance and disappointment at that moment. To keep from crying, I joked about listening for the fan in the tents, waiting until the fan purchaser fell asleep, and absconding with said fan.

Oh, MAN! Here was the temperature on the church sign across the street at that time:

church weeping water

I popped into the church’s activity hall to see if there was anything left of the “rice bowl” feed, which was supposed to have ended at 2 p.m. They were out of rice, but they still had lots of toppings. That was fine with me! I filled my bowl with black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream, and salsa, and added a homemade granola bar to my tray for dessert.

I held onto my ice-filled cup and found a bench in the shade to loiter upon while I sucked on the ice cubes. Just in front of me, a man maneuvered this vehicle into an angled parking space and popped into the auto parts store.

skid steer parking

Once my ice was gone, I wandered down the street. The Lighthouse Youth Ministry, which would soon be hosting a chicken and noodle and mashed potato feed, had put out a symbolic welcome for us cyclists.

lighthouse weeping water

I popped into Memory Lane Museum (they had a bathroom!) – I didn’t realize until later that there were several other buildings within the museum complex. I just cracked up at their volunteer solicitation method. Clearly, they “need a hand”! Ha!!

need a hand

In addition to old stuff, and a neat diorama of each block of downtown complete with pull-out boards listing the history of businesses in each building, the museum showcases a local’s “celebrity collection.” Wonder Woman (actually, Wonder Girl) caught my eye.

wonder woman.jpg

I wasn’t ready to head back to camp yet. I browsed around Grandpa Snazzy’s – a coffee shop / consignment gift shop / theater costume and props rental store (!!!) and chatted with some folks I knew from Scottsbluff. Then I loped across the street to the gas station to buy an orange juice.

I just happened to be leaving the gas station as they were setting up their beer tasting event at the edge of their parking lot in the shade of a neighboring building. I was one of their first customers. (Good craft beers!)

gas station beer tasting

The craft beer tasting, which had been advertised in the BRAN ride guide, soon drew several more aficionados. Bread crates were pulled up to serve as seating, and a convivial evening was had by all.

impromptu seating

I used the bathroom at the gas station before heading back to camp, where there were just four flush toilets and two portable toilets for our whole group. I tried to appreciate the cricket chirping under my tent as I attempted to sleep.

day 2 stats
50 miles
2,499 feet of climb
11.2 mph avg
(weather data from Nebraska City)
low temp 69
high temp 93
avg humidity 41%
precip 0
wind 7-13 g 17 NE

Copyright 2017 by Katie Bradshaw

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 1, Falls City to Auburn

I woke up before 4:30 a.m., thanks to the 7,872 robins that were singing in Falls City’s Pioneer Park. My stomach was growling. Bless the Falls City Lions Club for getting pancakes going at 5 a.m.! (I schmeared peanut butter on my pancakes for a protein boost.)

falls city lions pancakes

I was on the road by 6:15 a.m. As I biked up the short hill to get out of Falls City, my low gears were sticking and gnashing all over the place, worse than the day before. If I were smart, I would have turned around and headed to the mechanic’s tent. I was worried about starting too late and riding in the heat of the day, though, so I sallied forth. The upper gears worked just fine.

I stopped to take this photo about 15 minutes in, partly because a man had been silently riding close in my wake for some time. It was kind of creeping me out, and I wanted to lose him.


First SAG stop, 7:30 a.m. Each SAG driver has a little trailer set up with water and fruit, and the later SAG stops had additional snacks (candy, crackers, cereal bars, cookies, beef sticks; the last SAG always had pickles and pickle juice, too).

SAG stop 1

The man who’d been following me was at the SAG stop. He asked if he could ride with me the whole week. I said no thank you, I prefer to ride on my own. I didn’t see him again after that, thank goodness!

Ah, the well-worn beauty of corn belt homesteads.

corn belt image

Second SAG stop, 8:30 a.m. This one came with a puppy!

puppy at sag

Passing through Nemaha, hoping for a bathroom. None that I could find, but what a quaint library!

nemaha library

The Nemaha Cheetahtruck in its native habitat:

cheetah truck

A long descent into Brownville – lovely, except for the knowledge that I would have to climb back up.

I parked my steed at the hitching post.

brownville parking

And huzzah! An open public bathroom!

D’oh! Take to heart BRAN’s advice to cart some TP with you.

no toilet paper

There were several cute-looking shops in Brownville, but none of them were open at 9 a.m. on a Sunday. Bummer! I would have loved to stop into this ice cream shop. They speak my language!

brownville coffee shop

I would also have loved to visit the Flatwater Folk Art Museum and Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery. They were closed, too, but at least I got my Nebraska Passport stamp for the Brownville Historic Area. (I decided to participate in the Nebraska Passport Program, but I’m only collecting stamps from businesses I visit on my bicycle.) I contented myself with a photo of the windmill weight tower outside the museum.

windmill weight totem

The museum was on the corner of the road we were to take out of town. A steep hill! Without the use of my lowest 3-4 gears, I had to stand and pedal to keep moving on the hill – a new technique for me on my road bike. I didn’t quite make it. I dismounted (without crashing!) and walked the rest of the way to the summit, accompanied by a 4th grade teacher who had stopped on the hill to get a photo of a historic building, who was not able to get going again on that slope.

big hill

10 a.m., and it’s getting really hot. I was jealous of these cattle and their cooling pool.

cool cattle.jpg

Near the turnoff to Peru, the Peru State cheerleaders were staffing a tent with water, granola, and ice. It might have been nice to check out Peru, but it was down a steep hill I’d have to climb back up, and it was just too hot. I requested some ice from the cheerleaders, and, per the core-cooling technique I learned while training for a half-marathon, I slipped the ice cubes into my sports bra. It felt so good to clutch the ice against my heart! I imagined the coolness circulating through my body, and I felt much better.

peru rest stop

A few hundred yards past the Peru cheerleaders was the third SAG stop. (Hrm. That could have been planned better.)

Before the final turn towards Auburn, there were full-lane rumble bars. Gaa-aa-aaa-aaa-aah! I hate those!!!! The Department of Transportation should ban them forthwith! At least throw cyclists a bone and leave a rumble-free gap so we can escape the torment/pain/potential bike damage, wouldya? Or can’t some engineer come up with a style of rumble bar that alerts drivers but isn’t so awful for someone on a bicycle?

Our campsite at the Auburn High School lacked shade. It was hot, hot, hot in the sun, and hotter inside my tent. I dug out my gear, cleaned up with a cool shower, and caught the shuttle bus (with broken A/C – boohoo!) to the firehall for a spaghetti feed. It was cool in the firehall, and the food made me feel better. (No photos, as I’d left my phone at a charging station.)

I slowly ambled back to camp, going from shade tree to shade tree as much as I could. I wheeled my bike over to the bike mechanic tent, explained my worsened problem with the gears, and left the bike with them. I wandered into the Pork Belly shade tent, but it was just too hot to sit on the plastic chairs. I was tired, but it was too hot to be in my tent. I inflated my air mattress and retreated across the street and down the block to the shade of a tree for a cat nap.

While I was attempting to nap, I heard someone talking about a movie starting soon. Movie? I bet there’s A/C! I inquired at the information booth. Yep, the downtown theater was playing the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, the theater was air-conditioned, and the shuttle would take us there. Thank goodness!

I was so glad I went to the movie, which only cost 5 bucks. The Pirates movie was “meh,” but The State Theater in Auburn is so cute, and has a great story. The former owners couldn’t manage the expense of upgrading the theater when a conversion to digital was required, so they donated the theater to Auburn Public Schools, which was able to apply for grants to fix up the theater. It has all-new seats, upgraded projector and sound, and the adjacent building was purchased to enable an expanded concessions area and accessible bathrooms (the flooring material in the bathrooms was recycled from a school gym floor replacement).

auburn state theater

Thanks to a partnership with a Bible camp that’d had a pirate theme, The State was all decked out for the movie. So cute! (I work for a nonprofit historic theater, so of course I pitched some green into the theater’s donation box!)


I didn’t want to leave the air conditioning when the movie ended. Here’s a bank clock across the street at 4:21 p.m.:


I loitered in the shade until the shuttle came along to take me back to camp.

I headed to the bike mechanic tent for my verdict: bent derailleur hanger. The mechanic was able to bend it straight again. I’d be all set for future hill-climbing!

I did some more loitering in the shade, in the Pork Belly tent. There was a lighthearted attempt to create a breeze with an electric air pump.

faux breeze

I moved to the shade next to the high school, where I chatted with a guy who turned out to be the person who’d helped advise me via Facebook about how to box my bike. The clouds to the east turned dark, and there appeared to be some weather headed our way, but it never materialized. I was sad because I was hoping for a post-storm cool-off.

storm cloud

I needed some food, but the shuttle had quit for the evening. I decided to walk about a mile to El Portal, which had advertised in the BRAN riders’ guide. I often eat Mexican food at home, and I’ve found that keeping a consistent diet is a good idea on a long bike trip.

On my walk, I spotted this lawn decoration. Flamingos on a tandem – love it!

flamingo tandem

The restaurant tables had flip books with event information and area history. Did you know: Auburn has two downtowns.

auburn history

I ordered the enchiladas Jalisco. I am not a fast eater, but this plate was empty (save for some rice) in less than 10 minutes. Very tasty!

plate before

On my walk back to camp, I stopped to see the New Deal mural in the Auburn Post Office – “Threshing” by Ethel Mafagan.

auburn post office mural

Threshing was thirsty work. I could relate, after the day’s ride!

thirsty work

By 9:15, it was time to try to sleep. (“Try” being the operative word.) It was still too hot and humid. Above our tents, streetlights glared, once of them directly into the “window” in the side of my tent. Some gals in a tent across the way dubbed it “the camp of the midnight sun.” I was glad I’d brought a sleep mask!

tent light

day 1 stats
49 miles
2,540 feet of climb
11.2 mph avg
(weather data from Nebraska City)
low temp 67
high temp 91
avg humidity 49%
precip 0
wind 5-12 WSW

Copyright 2017 by Katie Bradshaw

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: overview and Day 0, Falls City, Kansas and Missouri

I seemed to be a rarity on this year’s Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska – it was my first time on the ride. There are lots of people who have done BRAN multiple times – even one guy who’s done it all 37 times so far! Yes, BRAN has lots of “regular” riders. Hah! (Too bad it’s not Bicycle Ride Across Incredible Nebraska – BRAIN, which sounds less dorky.)

My favorite parts of the ride were the small-town hospitality and opportunities to talk to people and learn about parts of my adopted state I’d never seen before. I chose to ride this year in part because the route was south-to-north on the eastern end of the state, instead of the typical west-to-east. (I live in the far western Panhandle and know very little about eastern Nebraska.)

The theme of the ride was fun: “Five Nations, Five States” (if you did optional miles, you could ride in Omaha, Winnebago, Sac-Fox, Ponca, and Iowa Nations lands and in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and South Dakota). I really liked the jersey design.

jersey back16649450_1483544301664614_3267842122140596876_n

My least favorite parts of the ride were the three H’s (Heat, Humidity, and Headwind), and the fact that I hadn’t known to do more research on the routes ahead of time. I never knew if the next little town would have an open business that could provide much-needed bathroom facilities or foodstuffs. There were SAG vehicles with snacks and water, generally at three points along each day’s route, but bathrooms were not a given.

I know plenty of other rides operate with “choose your own adventure” food and toilets. I think I just got spoiled the past four years doing Cycle Greater Yellowstone (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). CGY was more organized in general, with more information available ahead of time, which may be due to the fact that CGY is supported by paid staff in addition to volunteers. BRAN is entirely volunteer-operated – a huge task that deserves lots of accolades. Being a volunteer organizer of an event like this can be a thankless task. You hear a lot of the complaints and not enough compliments. So I will say here – THANK YOU to all the folks who helped make BRAN happen. Your work and dedication are greatly appreciated!

A couple of weeks before the event, a ride guide was posted online. The maps, elevation profiles and turning directions were very helpful, but I needed more of an overview earlier in the process to wrap my head around things, so I created my own overview map (using the Map My Ride maps and the shortest route options posted there).

my map

The day before the pre-ride, I drove across the state and stayed overnight at an AirBnB in Craig (population 191), with a lovely couple who let me use space in their shop to box my bike. (It was my first time boxing a bike.) I got a lot of ribbing about “bringing a TV on a bicycle camping trip,” but my relatively wide Frankenbox meant that I could leave my handlebars and pedals on the bike. I only had to remove the seat and front wheel to make it fit.

bike box 1bike box 2

On BRAN Day 0, I drove the 10 minutes from Craig to Tekamah, parked my car for the week at the Tekamah football field, and handed my bike off to be loaded onto the truck.

bike boxes on truck

There was food and coffee for sale while we waited to board the bus. I struck up conversations and wound up meeting a couple from Missouri who would turn out to be my neighbors for the week in the Pork Belly Ventures tents. (I sprung for the tent service because I don’t have my own tent and because the last thing I want to do after a hard day of riding is haul my gear and set up my tent, especially if the weather is less than perfect.)

On the 2 3/4 – hour bus ride from Tekamah to Falls City, I had great conversation with my seat mate. He’s a fellow advocate of healthy living through daily activity. Here’s a thought to ponder: why are modern humans like polar bears in the Sahara? Because we are living in an environment we are not adapted to. Humans are built to move, yet we spend lots of time sitting – at our desks, in our cars, on our couches. We are maladapted for our modern sedentary lifestyle, and it shows in our rates of chronic disease and declining life expectancy. So, events like BRAN work for the good of humanity, yes? (Additionally, BRAN is a fundraiser for Rotary scholarships.)

In Falls City, our Day 0 camp in Pioneer Park was just getting set up as the bus arrived.

A quick rundown on camp amenities:

This was by no means a “roughing it” trip: there was a shower truck (with towels and soap provided) available for all riders this year. Alas, the truck always packed up by 8:30 p.m., so no access to showers or a handwashing sink after that time, unless the host town provided it.

shower truck

There was also a water bar for filling water bottles, though there were some days in camp when I couldn’t find it. I wish it had always been by the shower truck, which was big and easy to spot. I was glad Pork Belly Ventures always had a water jug near our tents.

water bar

There were also wringers near the shower truck, for folks who washed their biking clothes in the shower. (Not me – I can’t get them clean and rinsed enough that way.)


There were plenty of device-charging stations, one provided by BRAN, and one inside the Pork Belly Ventures shade tent (which was a convivial place to kick back after a ride).

charging station

This year, Pork Belly Ventures had a coffee machine every morning, with free coffee available to all. In this photo, another camp amenity is obliquely present: the guy at left is one of the bike mechanics from The Bike Rack who staffed a bike repair tent all week.

coffee truck

I wandered around downtown Falls City a little bit before deciding to do some of the “pre-ride” miles that BRAN organizers had laid out, so I could check off some of the eponymous five states. The jaunt down to Kansas sounded fun – plus, there was a museum in Reserve.

I got a fellow rider to take my picture at the Kansas border.


In Reserve, the museum was closed. Bummer! But I was interested to see the name Robidoux. There’s probably a connection to the Robidoux family¬† out west.

sac and fox

I biked around town a little bit and found a magic door. Oh, what adventures await anyone with a playful imagination!

magic door

Reserve did have a trading post C-store, in the event supplies were needed. I didn’t need anything at that time, so I headed back to Nebraska.

Any fans of the Simpsons out there? You will know in what voice I read this sign to myself:

thank you come again

On the way back to Falls City, there was a cute-looking cafe on the west side of the road – Breezy Hill Cafe. Wish I’d stopped. It’s permanently closed now, I understand.

Back in Falls City, I hesitated. What to do now? I should probably find a meal, since all I’d had to eat past breakfast at 6 a.m. was some candied nuts and jelly beans. But . . . I encountered another rider who asked if I’d accompany her to the Missouri border, since she wasn’t sure she could find her way to and from camp. Well . . . I could get another state checked off, and what else did I have to do? OK! What’s another 20 miles when I’d already done 15? (I’d thought there was SAG support with snacks on the routes. Turns out it was just a SAG vehicle on the Nebraska part of the Missouri route, I think.)

We stopped briefly in Rulo. There was a bar there. I should have stopped for something to eat. Instead, I took a picture of something that tickled my funny bone:

Rulo door

Made it to Missouri!


I should have turned around when I made my goal. I should have turned around when I started getting tired. Instead, I kept going another 5 miles, hoping there would be a cafe or c-store in Big Lake. There wasn’t – at least not as far as I went. (Had I gone another mile or so, there would have been a c-store.) There was a bar, but I didn’t want to go in. I was at the point of weariness where I was starting to make poor decisions. I ate a granola bar, guzzled some water, and began the 15-mile slog back to camp in Falls City.

My bike wasn’t shifting quite right, so when I got back to camp, I had the mechanics look at it. Turns out my back wheel wasn’t completely set in the frame. Yikes!! The mechanic seated the wheel, and then clicked through the gears to make sure he hadn’t messed up the shifting.

I should have taken the bike out for a spin to check the shifting under load. Instead, I showered and headed into the Falls City Auditorium, where a potluck dinner was on offer. Yaaay, food!!!

That evening after the introductory ride talk, the hosts in Falls City presented a cycling film (American Flyer?) on a giant inflatable screen in the auditorium.

TV screen

I was too exhausted to stay up, though. I went back to my tent and crashed.

day 0 stats
47 miles
2,341 feet of climb
12.1 mph avg
low temp 62
high temp 87
avg humidity 68%
precip 0
wind 4-13 g 17 S

I’m going to write posts on each day of BRAN and link them below. If you’d like a higher-res copy of any of these photos for personal use, shoot me an email.

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 1, Falls City to Auburn

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 2 Auburn to Weeping Water

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 3, Weeping Water to North Bend

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 4, North Bend to Wayne

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 5, Wayne to Wakefield

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 6, Wakefield to Winnebago

2017 Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska: Day 7, Winnebago to Tekamah

I would note that these were my individual experiences, and that other people’s experiences on BRAN may vary greatly.

Another note, since I’ve got your attention:

If you live in Nebraska and own a vehicle, the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance needs your help! NeBA is working to make a bicycle-themed license plate available in Nebraska, which requires that NeBA get 250 prepaid pre-orders before the plate is put into production. Please consider signing up for a Nebraska bicycle plate, even if it’s only for the first year! The first 250 registration will make the license plate available to anyone ever after! It’s a mighty handsome plate:


For more detail on how to order, see here: http://www.nebike.org/license-plates/

For my Top 10 Reasons to Preorder a Nebraska Bike The Good Life License Plate, see here: https://wyobraskatandem.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/top-10-reasons-to-preorder-a-nebraska-bike-the-good-life-license-plate/

Copyright 2017 by Katie Bradshaw