Day 7: Continued; Chadron, Nebraska’s Hadron Collider, Favorite Bar and Bean Broker Coffeehouse and Pub


After 258 miles I decided to stop for the night in Chadron, Nebraska. It had been a strange day. All of the miles were on Highway 20 so at least I didn’t get lost. Farms, fields, and ranches. I saw a man on horseback leading a horse with supplies, and he was carrying an American flag. I saw trees in the fields that reminded me of Fairy Thorns in Ireland; isolated trees in a field which are the entry points to the underworld for Leprechauns.
In Chadron I found one of my usual stopping places, a motel with a number in it. 6, 8, 9. I went for a walk around the town, the main street.
I almost never do travel reports because I’m not good at them. But here goes a brief one.
On the main street there were signs in all the windows explaining the history and architecture of the buildings. Incredible detail. Here’s an example: “Hotel Chadron/ YMCA 115 Main Street. This three-story structure features a metal cornice at the parapet. The windows have segmented arches and limestone sills…” It goes on and on. Someone with a lot of heart and knowledge took the time to research this.
Wikipedia mentions some history for Chadron: “During the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Chadron was the starting point of the 1,000-mile “Chadron-Chicago Cowboy Horse Race.” Nine riders competed for the $1,000 prize to be the first to reach the entrance of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Among the riders was the former outlaw Doc Middleton. John Berry won the race in 13 days and 16 hours.” Apparently, it was the longest horse race ever in the USA.
I spotted a place on main street called: The Favorite Bar, and I went in. Draft beer, a Boulevard, went for $1.50. Happy Hour prices! Regular price was $2. Great biker bar. A beer garden. Folks in cowboy hats. Nebraska banners on the walls along with lit and unlit beer signs. Plastic buck with antlers on the wall, signed dollars above the bar, pickled eggs, almond nuts in a bubble gum machine, beef jerky. Music floated through the place: Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Plus the saddest song I’ve ever heard: “He stopped Loving Her Today.”
There was a small crowd, maybe 10, and folks chatted with me and made suggestions for my trip. “Don’t pay to see Mount Rushmore just see it from the road.” They mentioned a nearby coffee house and so I had to visit there.
The Bean Broker Coffeehouse and Pub was completely different. Gourmet coffee shop on one side and a pub on the other. Old furniture, sofas, carpets, wood fire stove, John Coltrane playing on the stereo, chandeliers, different shaped mirrors on the walls, games and puzzles stacked on a shelf. Only a few folks there, surfing on the internet. Small selection of craft beer, mainly New Belgium and Sam Adams. Chatted with the owner and her cousin. “You have to go in and see Mount Rushmore. Go to Sturgis and Deadwood and travel around the badlands. Skip Wounded Knee; it’s so depressing.”
Chadron was a very friendly place. A great town. I almost hate to leave. But I’ve got a daughter and son to go see in California! And miles to go before I’m finished.

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