Jumping ahead to the return trip, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. I was cruising along US136 in southern Nebraska, getting tired of driving, and looking for a motel. I missed my turn and ended up in Superior. I stopped at the Victorian Motel and got the last room (I'd find out the next day that there wasn't much further down the road, particularly my original destination, Red Cloud). This town has some sort of Victorian fetish (including a festival). I have to admit, my room was quite charming in the style.
And only 50 bucks!
The hostess recommended Dave's Place for dinner. I ordered the house specialty... the kraut pizza... standard pizza with sauerkraut and your favorite meat.
I didn't find much in the way of Victorian homes, certainly not like can be found in Canada. But I did discover a couple interesting buildings... the local movie theater and an old opera house under slow restoration.
An interesting little town of about 2000 people. And 100,000 geese in the Fall when they hang at a local lake and gobble up leftover corn from the harvest.
The small town of Monmouth is a sleepy little burg, still looking sad and neglected, sustained by a small college. It is also the birthplace of Wyatt Earp, but even this tourist attraction, including a corral, doesn't seem to attract. Notice the For Sale sign.
Right off the freeway between Lincoln and Omaha is the Strategic Air Command Museum. A beautiful building contains some cool old military planes and other implements of mass destruction. Some pics from the museum.
I decided to drive back to my 50th class reunion in Illinois. I rented a Cadillac (turned out to be a low end model, but still comfortable and spunky) and bolted across Wyoming through the rain. Only one stop, to see Abe at the highest point on I-80 (Lincoln Highway).
My first day goal was Alliance, NE... sort of on the NW corner of Nebraska. I did stop to see Chimney Rock (and actually was stopped, by a County Sheriff, thankfully forgiving). Chimney Rock has significance as a landmark for the early Westward bound pioneers... some who didn't make it.
Finally I pulled into Alliance... kind of a funky little town that forms the western edge of sandhill country. A cool theater, a cool fountain (forgot to see it at night with the lights), and a massive railyard. Strange how these little burgs become major rail centers.
But Alliance is probably best known for it's true wonder of the world... Carhenge! There are no words that can describe the glory that is Carhenge. My life is forever changed...
Then is was off down Rt. 2 through sandhill country, rolling hills, quite lush with vegetation, and following the rail lines with coal trains from Wyoming every 15 minutes. Tons of coal! 150 long trains a day! Hauling into the midwest for power and industry... what a carbon footprint!