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					BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
I went to Omaha on Friday morning, left at 8 am. Stayed at my moms, went to the Mexican restaurant on Vinton St. with my Mom, Rita, Carl, and Connie and her gang. I Went over to Burson’s at 10am on Saturday and left my truck there. We went to Yutan to pickup Sue and Laura. Saturday June 7th CALLOWAY Motel 4 Nice little rooms/motel. We went to Oconto BBQ contest Saturday night. All you could eat, ribs, pulled pork, briskets and pork roasts. Excellent!! Jeff and I went to the corner bar in Callaway for a night cap. We got in just before the storm hit. They had to evacuate the campers into the gym due to a tornado touching down just outside of town! We had breakfast at the café next to the motel and started riding about 6:40 am. Sunday June 8th Day 1 - Callaway to Dunning -- 54 miles (+15 to Brewster) (69 miles) Pass through towns: *Arnold We started a little late. About 6:40 am. We missed the pre ride pictures! It was cool and damp. Good riding into Arnold. The Arnold hill was tough but not that bad. Got to Dunning about 12:30 sat around, got a bite to eat, burger and a baked potatoes, then we road into Brewster. It was pretty flat and fast riding. Total day was around 15 mph average. Sunday Night Rooms DUNNING / Brewster UNCLE BUCK'S LODGE Brewster is 15 miles from Dunning, on next day’s route I loved Uncle Bucks. It was an old rustic ranch house. The dinner Sunday night was BBQ brisket sandwiches, baked potatoes, home made coleslaw, cold cuscue-cuscue salad, broccoli salad, home made bread, brownie sundae for desert. A nice home cooked meal. The people

Steve Mendenhall

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BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
there were very nice. The hotel had a large balcony all around the outside and nice rooms. Fred and his gang were there also there so we got to socialize with them. Breakfast was included with the rooms. They had two different egg casseroles, biscuits and gravy and fruit. A very nice home cooked breakfast. Monday June 9th Day 2 - Dunning to Ainsworth -- 59 miles (-15 to Brewster; 44 miles) Pass through towns: *Brewster Fast ride today. Over 16 mph average. Pretty uneventful ride. We got into Ainsworth and had lunch and smoothies at the Ainsworth Flower and Gift shop. They had great Smoothies, chicken and pasta, salad and fruit sitting outside on the side walk. Nice afternoon! Monday Night Rooms AINSWORTH Super 8 Motel They had our rooms reservations messed up but we ended up getting rooms. Not much going on. We ate at the steak house next to the hotel. Nice rib-eyes and baked potatoes. I went back later in the evening at got a 1 lbs piece of chocolate cake. I ate half that night and half the next day. It sucked at night but was great after about 50 miles of head wind! Super 8 had a continental breakfast. I had an English muffins and peanut butter and Tea (I brought my own good call!) Tuesday June 10th Day 3 - Ainsworth to Butte -- 79 miles Pass through towns: *Springview, *Burton, *Naper We left about 6 or 6:30 am. It was a Tough day of riding. Head wind once we turned. Slow and long. Jeff and Al and I ate a burger in Napier. I lost my handlebar plug and got a flat during the ride that day. I had a soft tire going up a large hill. It went flat before I got up it. Burson came

Steve Mendenhall

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BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
by and helped me get a new tube in which flattened out after filling it up. I pinched the tube putting it in. Ray came by and he patched the tube and pumped it up. Got into Butte about 3 pm I think. It was a slow hard day about 13 mph average. Tuesday Nights Rooms BUTTE BOYD MOTEL This had been renamed the Oak Tree Inn and what a big dump. We stayed here before in 2004 I think. No issues. We had dinner at the Corner Bar. It was one of the better meals of the ride. All you could eat broasted chicken, steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad and fruit. We ate a lot! We went to the Lutheran Church and had ice-cream and wore our Larry’s shirt. Wednesday June 11th Day 4 - Butte to Creighton -- 74 miles Pass through towns: *Spencer, *Bristow, *Lynch,*Monowi, *Vendel, *Verdigre, *Winnetoon Left the hotel early 5:55 am. We had Breakfast in Spencer at the Iron Man Café; bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast. It was good, but slow service! We came out after breakfast and it looked real stormy. Jeff, Lupe and I road hard and fast trying to beat the storm. There was a 20 degrees difference between the air of the storm and not. I got my picture taken as I was mashing the gears. It was in Sunday’s Omaha World Herald sports section. We had lunch in Verdigre at the café with Al, Burs and Bill. I had a great burgers and fries. Got a couple of dozen Kolaches at the bakery for breakfast the next day! Winnetoon had a nice setup so we spent a little time there. Got into Creighton about 2 pm. Fast ride day I think around 16+ mph average. The hotel was right down the road from the high school. Wednesday Nights Rooms CREIGHTON Blackhorse Inn

Steve Mendenhall

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BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
The hotel was brand new. Nice rooms. Sue and Laura ate lunch at the hotel and the rest of us went out for dinner. We ate dinner at the church. All you could eat chicken, creamed corn, baked bean salad and desert. It was ok. Not too bad but not too good. Creighton had a program to watch. It was little bitty kids doing batons and high school kids singing. Not too good but something to do. It looked pretty stormy out. Burs and I went to the bar for a night cap with Sue and Laura. There w met Howard and Dr. David and we had a couple. Then we called it an early night. Thursday June 12th Day 5 - Creighton to Petersburg -- 65 miles (+15 to Albion; 79 miles) Pass through towns:*Royal, *Clearwater, *Elgin We had Kolaches for breakfast. This work good as their was else to eat around at 5:30! It was an uneventful ride. Some cross wind and some head wind. There was rolling hills and it was nice and cool. The winds and hills slowed us down some. We had about a 13 mph average. Me Burs and Bill, Al Sue and Laura had lunch in Clearwater. It was one of the better lunch meals of the ride. They had pot roast, green beans and a cheesy potatoes casserole and salad and brownies. It was all very good. Me, Burs and Bill stopped in Petersburg briefly. We had a red beer at the bar. They were big frosty mugs with pre mixed red beers. It was a little warmer today and the frosty red beers hit the spot as we where pretty tired. We road on to Albion which was flat and we had a cross tail wind so it was a fast ride. Lots of truck traffic. We got in about 3pm 14+mph average. Thursday Nights Rooms ALBION Dunes Albion is 15 miles from Petersburg on next day’s route We added a single for Bill and C and Patti came up from Omaha and took his double. We sat around cleaning bikes and drinking. Nice place overall. The proprietor was a nut job republican mercenary. He was alright after we got to know him!

Steve Mendenhall

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BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
We walked down to Wild Bills Bar (or something similar) for a steak. We where entertained by the gal who owned the bar. She cooked, waited on us, bartended and drank with us. The food was so so. Me, C and Burs went to the VFW for a cocktail. There was nothing going on there. Had a Goodrich ice-cream and off to bed. Friday June 13th Day 6 - Petersburg to Shelby -- 68 miles (-15 from Thurs, -7 for Osceola; 46 miles) Pass through towns:*Loretto, *Albion,*St. Edward,*Genoa, *Silvercreek, *Oceola It was a short day. We tried moving to David City which would have made Friday longer but Saturday shorter, but they where full. We left about 7am or something. Burs and I had breakfast at Casey’s. When we came out everyone was gone. Burs and I ate breakfast / brunch in Genoa about 9 am at the café downtown. Later we stopped in Silvercreek and hooked up with C and Patti for a snack at the Café, We got into Oceola about 1 pm. Fast ride in. When we turned east and it was all down hill with a tail wind I thought I could fly. 30+ mph! I ended the day with a 17+ mph average. Friday Nights Rooms OSCEOLA Redwood Motel (Osceola is 7 miles east (before) Shelby) We should always try to ride through the overnight town. This lets everyone look thing over if we don’t come back. What a dump. It flooded a couple of weeks before. They still had the sand bags around the rooms! One of our rooms was unavailable because of this but it all worked out. I used the air mattress in a single with Burs and Sue and Laura split a single. Al and I went scouting around for dinner and I took my bike into Kelly. C, Burs, Patti and Bill went swimming across the street from the hotel at the public pool.

Steve Mendenhall

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BRAN 2008 Tour of Excellence June 7th to 14th
We ate at the White Eagle bar in Osceola. Nice place. The Owner/Cook/Bartender was kind of a butt head but not too bad. All you could eat fried Pollock fish, coleslaw and fries and we did! We went into Shelby for the closing ceremony. The high school band was doing a play and they had Salty Dawg (Kelly) in it. It was pretty good. They had it setup like a dinner theater (we probably should have eaten here!) It was an elaborate production. The only problem was at intermission they where going to do the BRAN closing ceremony stuff. Before they got to that some black guys that BRAN brought in from Minnesota started talking about Major Taylor bike clubs and how more young black Americans need to be involved. I got so tired of it that I left. (along with a lot of others). Saturday June 14th Day 7 Shelby to Yutan -- 55 miles (+7 from Friday; 62 miles) Pass through towns:*Shelby, *Rising City, *Wahoo, *Mead Everyone was nervous about making it in by 12:30 and not missing a hot dog that we where leaving in the dark. C and Patti left at 5:30 am, Sue and Laura Left at 5:45 am and Burs, Bill and I left just before 6 am. It was very flat and we had a tail wind. Me, C, Burs and Patti had Breakfast in Wahoo at the Wigwam. It was a very nice place and good food. We got into Shelby at about 11 am. I had a 18.1 mph average for the day. Conclusion: What a great ride!!

Steve Mendenhall

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