Jul 11, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 7/11/2014
I am currently at a laundromat in Fort Collins, CO waiting for my laundry, so I have some spare time to blog. I will try my best back track on the days that I missed. (Actually, I started writing this at the laundromat and didn't finish until today, oops)

I spent Fourth of July in Arapahoe, NE. I had heard about Arapahoe, with a population of approximately 1,000, since the start of the trip. I was really looking forward to spending the Fourth in the small town. We arrived on July 3rd around mid-afternoon, since it was a short day. Some teammates got homestays, but I stayed at the Hunt Lodge. It was pretty neat; I shared a hotel room with Emily Lake and Jocelyn. There was also a game room, lounge, hot tub, laundry, and wifi.

Later that day, the hosts at the Hunt Lodge took everyone to go shooting at a shooting club. They taught us how to hold the shot guns, and we took turns shooting clay pigeons. I've shot a gun before, but at a stationary target. Trying to hit a small target flying through the air is really hard! I got 15 shells, and I got two. Some people were really good at it, but I was just glad that I hit one.

On the Fourth, I woke up early to run a 5K Fun Run. I thought it would be a great way to meet some of the locals and see the town. The registration was $15, which would go to help the women's basketball team. The run was great, though I kind of felt like I was out of running shape.

Later in the morning, we headed to the main street to watch the parade. Candy was being thrown from the floats, and all the kids ran into the street to pick up candy. There were a lot of tractors in the parade, which is typical of Nebraska, I guess. 

After the parade, we headed towards the park where there were food vendors. I got a runza, which is apparently a Nebraska thing. It was like a bun filled with beef and cabbage. I also got some homemade peaches and cream ice cream.

In the evening, we were invited to a cookout at the mayor's house. A lot of people from the community came to meet us. It was great to chat with them, and they served us delicous grilled chicken, hot dogs, various sides, and loads of dessert. 

One of the host families owned horses and were kind enough to let us ride them. We all took turns riding the horses. I really enjoyed it!

When the sun set, we went to the baseball field to watch the fireworks display. It was a decent show, but the real show started afterwards. Nebraska sells fireworks only for the Fourth, so people go all out. There were fireworks being set off everywhere it was crazy! These weren't the tiny wimpy fireworks that don't leave the ground. They shot up hundreds of feet into the air and exploded with a huge boom. And these were going off every few blocks or so in the town. I had an amazing time in Arapahoe, and this day will stand out to me for years to come as the best Fourth of July ever. I didn't want the day to end and stayed up until 2am, even though I had to get up at 5:15 and ride 90+ miles the next day. YOLO!


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