"Quiet in here today," the bartender muttered, "although pretty typical for a Tuesday I guess." She astutely summed up my day as well. The routine seventeen miles from Polk to Marquette was bereft of any interesting run-ins.
The Don't Care Bar and Grill was the only surprise of the day. At the north side of a tiny, hard-scrabble little farming town (as if there is another kind out here) the restaurant seemed out of place with its brick interior, polished oak bar, and set of expensive guitars hanging on the walls. Half Marquette's population could fit inside the roomy interior. The food was exceptional too - I tried the Idaho Nachos, french fries topped with ground beef, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and olives, which made up what has to be the largest mountain in Nebraska.
Outside of a short chat with a biker (of the motorized variety) from Aurora I didn't learn much from the locals. Which brings me to another point I took from the bartender's comments. I am only seeing one side of Marquette, a single snap shot in time. The place would be quite different on a weekend without a doubt. Or I could have arrived on a Sunday with it closed. I meet merely a tiny slice of even the small villages' populations and try to pass judgment or sum up a place during my brief encounter with the place and its people. Perhaps I'm not seeing as much as I think.
17 miles/1989 total miles
Thanks to recent donors:
Mike and Jennifer Kalbaugh
Pat and Lee in Stromsburg
Wanda in Stromsburg
Mary from Rising City
Joe in Rising City
Frank and Evelyn from Grand Island, NE