Merritt State Park, Nebraska

merritt state parking, camping in nebraska, motorcycle travel
Getting ready to enjoy a cigar while camping in Merritt State Park


Two hundred fifty-one more miles were added today, amounting to a total of 3,725 miles. Getting there though, wasn’t easy. The entire ride, we saw few cars. It was all back roads, which is fine with me and how I prefer to travel anyway. The problem however was our GPS devices started to act “crazy” and we couldn’t get to where we wanted to go. What made it worse was the “kamikaze birds.” Huh?

Yes! Apparently during that stretch of road as I have been told by truckers, you will come across hundreds of birds crossing your path. A few of them nicked my helmet or the windshield. You know how there may be a nest in your backyard and the mother bird protects it by swooping in and attacking you? That’s how this is except with the difference that I am on a motorcycle and hundreds of mother birds are attacking. For some reason, Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind.

It is cause for concern so I rode in a tucked position to get behind my windshield in order to protect me from any bird crashing into my face. To make matters worse, grasshoppers are seriously creepy insects and when I saw something from the corner of my eye on my leg, I kept wondering what was that. I look down at my leg and see a huge yellow grasshopper, probably the size of a Chihuahua, walking towards my crotch. Oh my god I was terrified!

This grasshopper must have been about two feet long! Finally, after several tries, I was able to flick him off, but trust me the bike was weaving in all directions. Yes, I know it is strange, but we all have our fears.

After getting lost, well, bikers never get lost, the GPS finally got it right and led us to Merritt Reservoir State Park.

The road in was somewhat rough, plenty of potholes to dodge, so it was a second gear ride for me while Anny went to find a campsite. She returned about fifteen minutes later excited about a campsite on the lake that she found. I would meet her at the campsite, well… not really.

There were numerous campgrounds so when I finally got there, I couldn’t figure out which one she chose. Of course, we had no cell reception either. Great! Ask any couple and they will tell you what happens next.

Sure, we found each other an hour later (argued somewhat), and we also lost a beautiful campsite on the lake. Now what? It’s hard to look for a campsite when you are arguing and blaming each other.

Well, as became the norm in this trip- every mistake became a blessing. With several different campgrounds at Merritt, we found one that had the almost perfect site; there was no electrical hookup, but that didn’t matter because we would cook dinner on the fire pit. The hot showers were nearby which required more quarters of course.

Our campsite was on top of a sand hill that was shaded by trees and overlooked Merritt Lake. It was surreal because I had to keep reminding myself that I was not looking at the beach.

The sand hill was approximately fifteen feet above the beach area and there were steps that led down to the beach. With an empty beach, Bella went crazy running up and down the beach and jumping into water.

As the sun was setting, it was the perfect spot to enjoy a cold Heineken. Actually, a cold Budlite. I couldn’t find a Heineken anywhere and I was told, “they don’t drink Heineken in these parts.” That’s fine, any beer is better than no beer.

Did we enjoy Merritt? Well, we extended our stay by another night. With the sun setting over the lake, we took a bath “island style.” We took a dip in the lake and lathered up. I’ve never done that before, but, Anny being from the Dominican Republic, that was for her, part of growing up.

At Merritt, I didn’t walk any trails or even leave the site. Every few hours I would climb down the steps to the beach area, let Bella run around, walk to both ends of the beach, and turn back, of course, while enjoying a cigar. Cigars help me relax. And with the Merritt Trading Post minutes away by car, any essentials could easily be obtained.

Now get out there and ride.

MC Atty







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