November 8 - Shelby Iowa to Sidney Nebraska

Another 400+ mile day is in the books... our second in as many days.  It might be a good idea to explain our urgency... the rush to get from the Midwest to the Northwest in just a few days.

That explanation boils down to this:  it's mid-November, Winter is closing in, the entire route is between 41 and 45 degrees north latitude, and there are a couple mountain ranges that will have to be dealt with... and an elevation of about 9000 feet. We're trying to hit a window of relatively calm weather along our 2200 mile route before all hell breaks loose... as it certainly can (and will) any day now. So our motto is "git while the gittin's good". Those who linger will certainly pay the price.

All that said, we got another early start as the sun rose over Shelby this morning. Strong southerly winds were brisk and buffeted the bushouse as we passed through Omaha and around Lincoln... enough wind to make driving tough but not enough for us to give up and throw out the anchor. As the morning wore on and we neared Grand Island and Kearney, the wind eased considerably for an hour or two, and then reversed direction and gusted out of the north most of the way to our destination, Sidney Nebraska.

Sidney is the home office of Cabelas. Their complex here includes a huge store, a huge office building, a large RV/truck parking area, and a full service RV park. Seeing as how it's getting cold again tonight (upper 20s), we opted for the RV park ($17 after discounts for 30amp electric). We might be getting soft in our old age.

The route today was all I-80. Total mileage was 435. We're positioned to take advantage of good weather tomorrow for the apogee of our dash... 9000 feet, the highest point on I-80... located just east of Laramie Wyoming. From there, as they say, it'll be all downhill.

We did stop for about an hour today at The Great Platte River Archway Monument, which is built over the top of I-80 at Kearney.  Kearney is almost exactly half way between New York and San Francisco, and over the years so much American history passed this historic outpost on the prairie.. the Oregon Trail, California Trail, Mormon Trail, and the first transcontinental railroad are all right here. Although a bit pricey at $10/head for old geezers like us, it's a well done set of walk-through dioramas and exhibits that span from the days of old Fort Kearney in the mid 1800s to today. The Monument has struggled in recent years and it's future is in doubt. We're hoping those responsible can find a way to keep it alive... and keep the story of those early emigrants alive too.

Missouri River at Omaha

The Great Platte River Archway Monument


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