Monday, July 20, 2009

We're In Cornhusk Country...

Pictures L to R: Toll into Nebraska?; Nebraska highway; We're actually passing another vehicle!; Spencer, NE Campground.

20 July 2009 Osawa, IA to Spencer, NE 173 miles

Let’s see…it must be day three…yes, gray skies and thunder booming to the west. Well, at least we had two beautiful days of blue skies!

We got up and headed straight to the bathhouse for showers, and by the time Dave got out it had begun sprinkling; by the time I had my hair dry, Dave had the tent down, and car packed and idling to warm up. Maybe we are bringing the rain with us…and it just takes two days for the thunderstorms to figure out which way we’ve gone!

The rain wasn’t bad for most of the morning. After a quick Egg McMuffin at the Golden Arches in Osawa (one of the only places open for breakfast) we headed west for our first glimpse of the Missouri River and Nebraska. Imagine our surprise when we got to the center of the bridge and there at the other end was a big sign that said, “TOLL $.75” and a second one that said, “Welcome to Nebraska.” And here I thought that the admittance to each state was free! (Actually, the toll was for the bridge but this was too good not to comment on it.)

By the way...we are off the Lincoln Highway, since we've decided to head further north along the north edge of Nebraska and the southern end of South Dakota so we can add Mt. Rushmore to our trip. (I talked him into it Bob!)

We turned north just past the Missouri River and have been following the Lewis and Clark Trail through this part of Nebraska—beautiful doesn’t describe it! Rolling hills of fields, and the forested areas really makes it possible to imagine just what Lewis and Clark saw on their journey. This route takes you through the Winnebago Indian Reservation where we saw some buffalo—with their babies. Once again, we were surprised to discover that not all of Nebraska is flat…much of our drive today was quite hilly.

Just as we turned north northwest on Highway 12, just west of South Sioux City, Dave started concentrating intently on the car—he said it felt like it was suddenly vibrating more. We stopped along the highway where he checked the motor, but everything seemed fine. He ultimately decided that it must have been a combination of the roadway, the way the wind was hitting the car from the back, and the fact that he wasn’t using much acceleration…once we headed up hill accelerating more, he relaxed and said the car felt fine.

It began raining as we left Crofton where we had stopped to walk around the town for a bit. As we neared Niobrara, NE, we began seeing less corn fields, and more hilly cattle-looking country. With the rain continuing to fall, we stopped for lunch to sit out the rain and asked our server at the diner about any nearby hotels…the rain is supposed to continue…but she said that there was one 30 miles south in O’Neill or, she thought two in Spencer 40 miles to the west. After Spencer...nothing to her knowledge as it was all cattle country.

We decided to drive to Spencer, and once we got there, the rain had passed so we stopped and were looking again at the map for the nearest campground. One of the local ministers stopped by to visit (we were parked across from his church) and mentioned that the city had a small campground near the pool. We drove by and decided to stay here instead of driving another 20 miles or so to the next campground on the map. This city campground is right next to their county fair grounds, and is basically just a flat grassy space. They do have showers and bathrooms, and the cost was too good to pass up--$8 for electric and water hookups, and $3 for dry camping. The view to the back is rolling hills dotted with cattle. We are guessing that the electric was put in for the carne’s trailers when the fair is on…which by the way will be next week.
We have see such neat stuff that I’ve finally resorted to making notes as we go so that I can remember all the witty things I’ve thought of for the journal. So here we go…

Yesterday as we were driving past the millions of acres of corn and soybeans, we kept passing Burma Shave signs. Obviously a farmer with a sense of humor! We finally decided to take a sequenced picture of the next one we came to, but unfortunately, that farmer’s acreage must have come to an end, because so did the Burma Shave signs!

Something else we’ve noticed…as we pass through many of these smaller towns—they all seem to have their own resident monument shop—for gravestones, that is. I have seen more of these along the Lincoln Highway than I think I have in my entire life.

Now that we have the tent set up, clouds are beginning to gather once again. According to the NOAH radio there may be another storm coming in tonight in this area…in fact it might have some high winds and could produce quarter-inch hail…luck of the draw, I guess…anyone for sleeping in the bathroom?

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a Deere in the headlights there. Appartently the rain isn't limited to New England. We had beautiful weather on our trip to Dearborn, MI and we must have just missed you in Eire, PA. We took the same scenic bypass of route 3 and went through that classic beach resort town on the lake!

    Best wishes!