Resting in Central City

2 bags of feed, a salt block and a patch of grass they couldn’t eat in a week. The mules are holed up in Central City, Nebraska, enjoying 2 days off after 2 weeks of almost uninterrupted walking.

Our first stop in town was Bomgaars ag supply. I came looking for grain, salt and a place to keep the mules while I was in Central City. Here, Cracker’s schmoozing with Bomgaars employees Dusty Ericksen, Karla Jensen and Threasa (pronounced “Theresa” ) Johns. (Central City, Nebraska)
Brick and Cracker at Bomgaarners. Manager Dusty Ericksen donated 2 sacks of feed to our journey. Thanks Dusty and Bomgaarners! Dusty and her dad Brad Wells also arranged a place for us to stay at the Merrick County Fairgrounds just outside of town.
Brick combining grass eating with a head rub.

Getting to Central City

The last days, as we’ve ridden west across Nebraska, the land has been steadily rising. One farmer I visited with said it gained 7 feet per mile. It’s starting to feel more and more like we’re out West, or at least at the western edge of the mid-West.

The land is getting more open. Here, a tract of what I believe to be CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land. CRP is a federal program that pays farmers to take land out of farm production and plant it with plants that improve environmental quality.
Lest you think Nebraska is nothing but open prairie, don’t. The eastern part is heavily and intensively farmed, mostly corn and soy beans. Here, a field of alfalfa that’s been mowed and is ready for baling.

This morning we left Hordville and made our way via the back roads to the Platte River. This will be the last major river we cross for some time. While I will miss the flowing waters traveling through increasingly dryer country, I won’t miss the bridge crossings.

The land around here. This back road is one mile from the Platte River. The land is low and mostly pasture.
Brick to Cracker: “Yeah, another one of those bridge-y things we have to cross….”

Fortunately, crossing the Platte today involved no drama. No police escort. No hopping off halfway across to lead a balky mule. I was riding Brick. It was her first bridge crossing and, aside from shying at the expansion joints, she gave me no cause to fire her.

I was surprised how built-up the Platte was outside Central City. Here, a half dozen homes right on the river’s edge. I would not find this home owning experience relaxing in light of the massive flooding the mid-West has experienced. No word on whether these dwellings got dunked.
Camp: you can just barely see our tent under the tree. It’s right above Brick’s withers. We’re staying at the fairground just outside Central City.
Where I’m writing you from. Feed bag chair compliments of Bomgaars farm supply.


  • Bomgaars ag supply of Central City: for donating 2 sacks of feed to our journey
  • Bomgaars employees Dusty Ericksen, Karla Jensen and Theresa Johns
  • Brad Wells: for helping me find a place to give the mules 2 days off
  • Merrick County Fairgrounds: for giving mules Brick, Cracker and me a place to unwind for 2 days
  • Sherry: the Pumpkin Spice horse treats

The Road Ahead

The mules and I plan to spend the next 2 days here at the Merrick County Fairground. Then it’s off toward Loup City to visit Trent Loos who I visited 11 years ago on my “Lost Sea Expedition” wagon voyage across America. The last time I visited Trent we raked hay together. You can see those photos – and listen to Trent’s views on horse power versus mechanization – right here.


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4 years ago

The land is sure changing…you aren’t in the mountains of NC anymore. From curvy to straight, from steep to flat and what’s with all the sky showing? I love watching the progression of the mules walking through an ever changing landscape. Lucky the people have stayed unwaveringly friendly and kind.

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