Arlie's Bar appeared around mile 5 of our ride today, with a marquee reading: CARS MOVE THE BODY. BIKES MOVE THE SOUL. We chose an inclusive interpretation of the term 'bikes,' assuming that Harley riders would love to include us in their crew.
After a long, sunny day riding alongside Union Pacific coal trains, we arrived at the Evangelical Free Church and the Presbyterian Church of Central City, NE (located somewhere close to smack dab in the center of the country, according to Central Citians). John rolled up with a sweet pair of antlers duct-taped to his handlebars.
Central City turned out to be eventful enough to rival yesterday's night of glory at the Casey and the Sunshine Band concert. We were lucky enough to have our visit coincide with Central City's annual firemen's dance and barbeque. Alongside the North Platte river, we inhaled bowls of barbequed pork, beef, and (my favorite) meaty beans, and sat on the lawn watching the sun set and talking with locals.
For the evening's climax, Darrow pulled out a pair of scissors. They glinted in the setting sun - melodramatic lighting fitting for such a momentous occasion. With great pomp, in honor of our long, tough week in Nebrastika Fantastika, Alex's locks were shorn into a mohawk, and Rob's into a mullet.
With Alex and Rob looking pretty darn suave, we moved over to the live band. Some of us fumbled through the electric slide, Severin found a few locals to tutor him in the country two-step, and Meg, Lindsay and others spun and frolicked around the dance floor at random. We were a big hit - so much so that on our way out, an extremely nice man handed us $100 for Habitat! The kindness and generosity we find in strangers along this trip is incredibly heartening.