Story and photos by Bruce Thorson
July 23, 2009, Mullen, Neb: Mitch Glidden loves to get other people tanked. That's as in stock tank, and he uses them for people to float down the Middle Loupe River. Once again I met another friendly and outgoing Nebraskan. I asked him if he had anyone floating down the river in a tank and would it be OK to take pictures. He said, "Yes, you can do that."
Mitch owns the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rentals. He bought the motel in 1993 after a windstorm wiped out his efforts at hog farming. He added the canoes in 1994 and the tanks came in 2003.
The economy has made the motel business somewhat spotty. Right now it's about two-thirds full during the week because the railroad has work crews staying there.
The number of people riding the tanks, however, has been increasing every year since he started them.
From May until about the end of September, his work day starts at 7 a.m. and ends when it's dark.
Tankers have to get flat in the tank as they pass beneath a steel bridge.