Waning Crescent Moon
Picking a favorite place on a trip this long, with so far yet to travel, might be hard to do. But I’ll say this. Ole’s Big Game Bar is gonna be tough to beat.
Ole’s (pronounced OH-lee’s) is dynamic. It’s iconic. It’s classic. It might even be magical. If you travel the Lincoln Highway west from North Platte NE, you go through Hershey, then Sutherland and soon you get to Paxton. Population ~ 600.
Ole’s is right there. You can’t miss it. Just go where all the cars and trucks are parked.
I was greeted almost immediately by the Holzfaster family and invited to their table for a hearty breakfast and friendly conversation. They called their local newspaper reporter over to interview me and showed me around the historic bar and steakhouse.
I must have met ten people in the short time I was there. Amazingly nice, friendly, curious, open, big-hearted souls all. My weary brain can only recall a few of their names. Patrick was the first one to talk to me. Ralph and Beverly were the two who most grabbed my attention.
After breakfast, Ralph drove me around the area for a little while. He showed me the Sandhills cattle ranching country north of town near the North Platte River. Then he explained how, in the 1930s, an ingenious canal system was build to move water from the North Platte River under the railroad tracks and under what was later to be I-80 to the South Platte and the Tri County Canal. Incredible. Thanks for the tour, Ralph!
Ralph also showed me the Paxton School and a marker for the old Oregon Trail.
Before I left Ole’s, I got to meet “Sam” the sweetheart of a waitress who has been working there for 29 years. Her picture is in a book about the Lincoln Highway that I have to buy as soon as I get home. Here is the book and here is Sam with her picture.
Ain’t she cute? I can’t lie. I ♡ Sam.
I finally had to leave Ole’s Big Game Bar. When I crossed the South Platte Bridge on my way out of town, I spooked about a zillion swallows who came flying out from under it.
This was one of the very best days. Paxton NE and Ole’s Big Game Bar are must see stops on any road trip across America. Just get up and go. It’s a free country, so act like it!
Peace, Love, and Friendship,