Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Cat Trip - Day 4

(note added 10/18/12 12:39am - just suddenly realized this was 3 weeks ago)

Two weeks ago i woke up in Nebraska.
Let me start by admitting that i have always had something against Nebraska.
I don't know why, but it was my least favorite state in the union.
Ever since i was a kid i'd say I'd rather go to Nebraska to indicate how awful something was.
In middle school marching band when we weren't practicing well our director would say we sounded like a band from Hooterville, Nebraska.
Soooooo, my hopes for Nebraska were kinda low. I mean, i hoped it was more interesting than i thought it would be, but i didn't really expect much.
Thank goodness for low expectations because Nebraska was boring.
I mean mind numbingly boring.
Don't get me wrong, i'm sure Nebraska is full of good people and i appreciate its agricultural contributions, but driving 14 gajillion miles along I-80 through Nebraska was brutal.
And there was no cell phone reception.
 Let me clarify: the cell provider was Fred's Windows, Door Sashes, Airline and Communications, LLC so if you had them as a provider you had reception. Since i was driving i didn't notice at first, but it did seem weird that i wasn't receiving any texts.
In fact, as we neared the edge of Nebraska i said to Nancy, Hey, Is that a cell tower? and my phone blew up with back logged messages. David -our official trip navigator- thought Nebraska had managed to bore me to death cause he hadn't heard anything for hours.
To Nebraska's credit there was one really cool thing along the highway, actually over the highway:
photo credit: Ken Dewey
That my friends is the Great Platt River Archway Monument in Kearny, NE.
Magnificent, huh?
 It appears literally out of nowhere like a mirage, but has almost no signage and there is no exit nearby so that you can get off and explore it.
Really Nebraska?
You have one cool thing on the entire length of I-80 and you make it inaccessible?
I take it back, there was one other interesting thing on the side of the highway:

Nancy took this picture of a giant howling coyote silhouette when i'd taken an exit to play musical cats.
A giant howling coyote silhouette.
Who'd have guessed that?
I didn't know that Nebraska considered itself part of the Southwest, but okay.

It is certainly more interesting than the one picture i took in Nebraska that day:

In fairness to Nebraska i will say that these signs continue throughout the drive on I-80 in other states, but you can understand my alarm in seeing it for the first time that Nebraska sometimes closed the highway. I mean, you don't close highways on the East Coast; at least not in the Mid-Atlantic. Yes, i realize it probably has to do with snow drifts and stuff i don't have to worry about in the Metroplex, but c'mon people, they close the highway. Scary.
My Nebraska journey can best be described by a quote from one of my favorite cartoon shows, Codename: Kids Next Door when at the end of a mission Numbah Five muses I should have seen it all along: Nebraska is the color of lima beans and tears.
Soon after cell phone reception indicated that we were near the end of Nebraska i noticed that clouds were gathering and commented that it looked like we were driving up into heaven.

I was right.

And what a state.
I'm sure Wyoming would be amazing anywhere, but in comparison to Nebraska it was the most interesting, beautiful place on the earth.

Here i am taking the new state picture and immediately afterwards i took these comparison shots standing in the same location and just turning around.

Look back and forth: Nebraska, Wyoming, Nebraska, Wyoming
There is that much of a difference even at the state line.
When we stopped at the Wyoming Welcome center i continued to be delighted by the interesting signage and the nature walk and even the little boots and cowboy hats on the man/woman figures on the restroom doors. Everything about Wyoming said We're awesome and we're so glad you are here to share in our awesomeness. I was glad for us, too.
This corner of the state is super close to Colorado
 so we dipped down for me to get a NEW STATE!

We could see the Rockies for the first time way off in the distance, but a storm was rolling in over us so we didn't linger.
We only went about 20 miles into Colorado and then turned around to get back on track and randomly saw another giant silhouette on the side of the highway.
This time at least it was an animal that actually made sense.
In fact, we passed a bison farm on the way out of Colorado.
I noticed 3 furry animals back away from the fence and said Look, bison! but then noticed they were kinda long and not dark brown and proclaimed Ostriches! cause that seemed more likely but as the word left my lips we were actually close enough for me to call out Camels!
Yes, random camels on the side of the highway.
 Oh Colorado; you were more interesting in 30 minutes than Nebraska was all day.
The skies really opened up at that point and we stopped a little early as there was a convenient Motel 6 with outside doors right off the highway in Cheyenne.
Day Three: Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Wyoming; 494 miles

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

UG! NEBRASKA! on a long ago trip Rea & I would wake up, say "where are we" and the inevitible reply would be "Nebraska"....all we ever saw was road & corn!!! snooooze
I totally agree...Wyoming & Colorado...WAYYYYY cooler than Nebraska!!!