Nebraska

While driving through Nebraska, it dawned on us that for the last three days we have been driving through corn fields.  That’s over 1500 miles of corn fields, you realize.  It’s amazing just to think about it.  Corn for all those processed food additives (let’s not go there), corn for corn meal, eating, livestock feed, fuel and god knows what else.  Three days of driving through corn.  Can’t get my brain around that one, yet there it is.

More road construction.  But at least the minimum speed is 75 (that is, when there isn’t construction) so we can cover some major ground.  We have also noticed that as we get further into the road trip we switch off more frequently.  At first it was toughing it out for 2-3 hours at a clip (maybe a little less for me).  But now with open sky and relatively consistent scenery the boredom factor is lessened by a one to one and a half hour switchover.

Wind is a major factor passing through Nebraska.  It is so bad at some points that there are wind socks for when the road is raised over the local roads, and there are sections that are closed down when the wind is too strong.  Barricades are there at the ready, too.  Fortunately we didn’t have more than 20 mile gusts, and there were several sections of 4+ mile construction zones where the speed limit was dropped to 55MPH.

We still saw a lot of corn that was dried out on the road – news about the drought is a reality on the road, all the more ironic when hurricane Isaac is terrorizing the gulf states on the 7 year anniversary of Katrina.  Go figure.  What we didn’t see were the wind power mills that had dotted Iowa, although there sure is enough wind across Nebraska to make it feasible there, too.

The road rises and falls, matching the rolling hills.  Cars and trucks rise and fall out of view, like boats on a swell in the sea.  And the sky is a kaleidoscope of change – light blue from thinly stretched clouds, brown from the dust kicked up by the wind, or deep blue with huge balls of white fluff.  We had a few sprinkles as we headed to the Wyoming border.  We got to Cheyenne in record time – another day for dunch.  The Albany Restaurant is an historic landmark, but their dinner service didn’t start till 5 and we were starving.  So we hit the local brewpub right in the depot – Shadows.  I had the bison burger and Denny had the kielbasi with peppers and onions.  Can you believe a pint at $1.50, tax included?  Brewed on the premises, and it hit the spot.

We had enough time to tour the Capital Building and the State Museum.  Both were free admission.  I really liked the Capital Building – unpretentious but rich with wood and stone and some interesting exhibits.  But it sure is time to put up the feet!  Tomorrow we will visit the Botanical Gardens and then head on out to Colorado.

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