A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Fifty: Friday 17 August 1990

North Platte, NE to Ogallala, NE

On the road to Ogallala, I meet two cyclists heading east on US 30 somewhere east of Paxton, NE. Looking ahead, I spot a cyclist coming towards me on the opposite shoulder. I slow and he crosses the highway. We chat a while. He is heading to Saint Louis, MO from Vancouver, BC. As we are talking, I spy another cyclist coming east As we are talking, I spy another cyclist coming east. He too crosses the highway and joins us.

The new cyclist is riding from Anaheim, CA to Des Moines, IA for a class reunion. The new cyclist is 79 years of age riding from as he put it Disneyland to Des Moines.

Before we all part ways, the first cyclist asks me if I am offended by hunting or meat eating. I tell him no to both. He suggests that when I reach Paxton, NE, I should stop and eat lunch at a place he calls “Big Ole’s Game Bar”. He says I should check it out even if I do not eat there.

When I reach Paxton, I locate Big Ole’s and enter. Immediately after opening the door, I am greeted by a glass display case with a taxidermied polar bear and seal. The place is covered in hunting trophies and photographs of, I can only assume, Big Ole hunting. The hamburger was tasty.

I continue after lunch to Ogallala, NE where I locate a motel for the weekend. I have to check in at the post office to retrieve a care package from a friend in San Francisco containing maps of the remaining states on my journey. I have reached a point where the vast distances of the United States no longer trouble me; In fact, I am beginning to wonder if there is actually another coast to reach. The distance is no longer daunting; it is tiring.

Also, more miles and miles of US 30 being repaved.