Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nebraska: Bug Guts, Road Work & Mudflap Chicks

The only thing about going to a race in Iowa when you live in Colorado is that you have to drive, unless you feel like paying lots of money for an airline ticket and rental car. I'm in a low budget mode this year, trying to recharge the savings account for future adventure runs.

The girls were not very happy to see me leave. Iris knew about the piles of mom's stuff, and insisted I take her for a run in the morning before I left. Isabelle refused to go, she stayed on the floor and pouted.

I left around 10 am and drove north to Cheyenne on I-25 instead of taking the back roads to Sterling and Julesburg.

From Cheyenne I turned east onto I-80 for the long haul across Nebraska and Iowa. It was a cloudy morning and early afternoon, the sun didn't come out until mid-afternoon when I was in central Nebraska, just in time for it to be warm and humid. Might as well do my humidity traning now, since that's what race conditions will be like. It didn't feel bad, even though it was warm enough that I wanted to turn on the A/C. I resisted. Gas is expensive enough,even though it's nearly 50 cents a gallon cheaper in some places in Nebraska than it is at home.

I've driven across Nebraska once, a long time ago, in the last century, to meet a friend in Omaha for a girls' weekend, because it was halfway for both of us. My memories from that trip include the Omaha zoo (very cool) and an encounter in the hotel lobby with a Promise Keepers convention (not so very cool). And since then I've never been back, except driving through parts of northwestern Nebraska on my way to the Black Hills. What's in Nebraska?

Well, they have windmills, new and old.

They have a lot of farmland with trees scattered throughout. It gets greener as you go east.

The scenery really wasn't that bad- I wasn't bored. There's plenty to look at, I found it pretty. I like landscapes with big open skies and space, with a few scattered trees.

They have big rivers, like the Platte.

Each town in central Nebraska has it's own grain elevator with the name of the town painted on it in big red letters.

They have nice rest areas with updated clean restrooms. I took a picture inside the bathroom, I was so impressed. They had wood planks on the ceiling!

What else does Nebraska have? They have big bugs that go SPLAT! on your windshield, leaving stars of yellow guts. They have old Pony Express stations.

And they have mudflap chicks.

And once you get east of Grand Island, you start to see some hills.

The worst thing about it was the road construction, across the entire state. Most of I-80 was a one lane road in each direction, and with all the semi trailers and traffic, it was annoying. I made decent time, but it would have been a much faster trip if the roads weren't narrowed to one lane. It's 450 miles from one end of the state to the other end on I-80, and I'd guess that 400 of it was under construction.

There's this bridge over the Interstate at Kearney. I didn't stop to check it out. I was already over the road work. By then I was just interested in making a beeline for Omaha.

When I got to Omaha, during rush hour, it really wasn't all that rushed. I had made reservations at a hotel in downtown Omaha for the first night, which was a good call. I got a nice room that was inexpensive and I was too tired to drive anywhere, ordered food delivered to the room from a Chinese restaurant and I got an incredible meal, it was hot when it arrived, with tons of veggies cooked just right, for less than $10 including tip. Holy crap you don't find those things in too many places!

Onward to Iowa, seeking truth...


Ultra Monk said...

I'm looking forward to your story since I am doing 24 hours in another week.

Alene Gone Bad said...

I'll do my best to make it a good one!