After a few days of the sky closing in around us with no sunrise or sunset to speak about, driving east under a blue sky was a welcome change. Two days ago we woke up in Alliance Nebraska where there was a layer of snow quickly melting into mush on the pavement.
That morning we drove a little further west, to Scott’s Bluff, to visit the National Monument. It was still freezing when we got to the summit (which is only about five minutes from the main road) and were really not feeling compelled to walk even the quarter mile to the scenic lookout point. It was a sloppy mess and would have soaked our socks and shoes all over again. I took a lot of pics from the car window.
After that we headed south and a little east with the best intentions. There were loads of things circled and marked on our atlas but we quickly discovered that getting close to any of those things would mean more treacherous driving. We went about 10 yards on one country road and the tires just sank in the mud. We reversed out of that situation and decided that all those buttes and Chimney Rock were really quite lovely from a distance.
I’m fairly certain we had lunch in Sidney, but all the small town cafes and bars are starting to melt into one memory. I was really grateful when we crossed paths with I-80 and let that lead us to Kearney for the evening. By the time we arrived, the Kearney Arch Museum was closed so we had dinner in town and called the day done for. The room at the Candlewood was likely the nicest thus far, and it was a good night for watching a movie on Netflix. (We’re such an exciting pair).
Waking up this morning, we once again packed all our things into the car and headed out. First the Arch and then south to the Pioneer Village where I received positive confirmation that I’m not really all that into museums, or antiques, or reading blurbs printed, framed, and mounted next to some random old stuff.
I find it fascinating that a person spent a good portion of their life and finances accumulating and assembling such a collection of stuff. It’s quite impressive actually and really a shame it’s fallen into such a state of utter hopelessness. Several city blocks and buildings full of stuff – cars, planes, trucks, Art, clothing, and engines. Entire buildings configured in a circle that you can wander in and out of. Most of it meticulously labeled with commentary. All in all, there were about 6 other human beings wandering around besides us. At 14.50 a ticket, it’s probably barely enough to keep the electricity on and pay someone to take the fee and stamp people’s hands.
We spent about an hour there and that was enough. We were actually both pretty spent in general and as we drove back east, toward other historic sites and places of interest, we found our desire to “see” anything more was waning.
We passed through town after town and instead of stopping. as we had been, to have a look, we just kept going. It was early afternoon and everything became incredibly uninteresting. Quite frankly, we didn’t even want to stop for food.
Looking at the map and thinking about spending the night in yet another hotel, schlepping everything from car to room and back again in the morning, sounded silly since we were only a few hours from home. I brought up the idea of skipping the rest and going home first.
He agreed. We both perked up at the idea and suddenly had enthusiasm for stopping a few more places along the way. That’s right about the time the storm that has been looming in the distance had suddenly relocated right above us. We tried to get to two distinct “X”s on the map which took us away from the highway and we never saw whatever it was.
Somehow, we ended up on another unpaved county road in the pouring rain. There was lightning, and thunder, and for a hot-second, there was hail. I suppose we cheated fate for 3 days and the “getting stuck”, was inevitable. I’ve never been more happy than the moment we found the highway again (I’m sure I have been though). After that little tangent, I was so over all of it. I didn’t care if I ever saw the “worlds largest porch swing”.. I just wanted to get home.
It’s late now and it’s been a long couple of days. I can’t say I have much to show for it or say about it (that’s not already been written above). I’m glad to be home, back with my kitten and looking forward to a long relaxing weekend.. with no driving. I do love a good road trip, but coming home is pretty great too.
Until Next Time,