Monday, July 4, 2011

Go East, Young Men (part 4)

On the 4th of July we said Auf Wiedersehen to Wolfgang, who was headed east. Dave & I saddled up and went north into the Nebraska sandhills.

That there, yep, it's the sandhills.

Cool morning departure from North Platte, Nebraska.

North o' North Platte. July 4, 1981.

We rode 25 miles north-northeast on US 83, then hung a right on Nebraska Hwy 92, toward the town of Arnold.

Above two photos: Rest break & view west of Arnold, Nebraska.

17 miles further along, we'd crossed into Custer County and arrived in Arnold, a town of about 700 people and at least one Really Great Café. Arnold looks a little greener on satellite photos than some of the surrounding country, I suspect because it lies in the valley of the South Loup River. This is one of the few drainages coming out of the sandhills.

So, that Really Great Café: We decided to take a break and went on in and found table by the window. There we sat for a nice long while, writing postcards to send home and to Grandmothers and such. We ordered delicious cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Refreshed, we got up to pay at the counter. "There'll be no charge," I remember the person saying. I don't remember now if it was a woman or a man, but I will always remember the words. We were stunned. Such generosity! They would not take our money. Many thanks, Arnold Nebraska!

Sitting in the café in Arnold.
I guess we got the waitress to take the photo?

If I ever see bicycle travelers in the same restaurant as me, their food is on me, dig? Feel the love. Can I get an amen?

We got off the "main road" and followed the smaller River Road southeast along the the South Loup River. At the small town of Calloway we turned northeast, over the sandhills to the Custer County seat, Broken Bow. On the way, we stopped so I could photograph the local fauna:

Suspicious yet curious, these cows inched toward us...
til ol' Dave banged on the fence and they took off running!

Dave gives further analysis: "As I recall we played the cows-inching-toward-us and then bang-on-the-fence game several times. It was at that point and several along the way afterwards that we realized just how “slow” cows really are. I remember you pointing out to me that if you watch a cow looking at you as you ride by, it will not watch you in one continuous motion. Rather its head moves in a start-and-stop motion as you pass by. I’m watching bull riding right now so there is kind of a disconnect, but I think we decided that start stop motion was again a sign of cow “slowness”."

In other fauna news, Dave recalls being chased by a really big dog somewhere in through here.

Somewhere near Broken Bow, Nebraska.

Think Nebraska's just all flat? See that hill? That mess'll keeya if you're already parched 'n' tired. I recall one climb nearly a mile long.

We camped out that night in a park in Broken Bow, Nebraska. I have no pics from the place. I presume this is because we were dog tired and not caring about much. We were finding out what happens if you ride too many miles. It was the 4th of July and there we were in the American heartland with festivities galore around us in this park. There were softball games goin' on, and of course fireworks. Both of us recall being annoyed by the fireworks. I think we just wanted. To. Go. To. Sleep.

A shame! Wish I could head back to Broken Bow for fireworks tonight!

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