Browsing "Nebraska"
Feb 24, 2013 -

A Perfect Route Materializes

Reader Debbie emailed me regarding my two possible routes north and inadvertently helped me come up with the perfect compromise!

Check out this beauty:

route 3

It’s route 1, but instead of continuing diagonally through the Dakotas to Montana I veer straight west in South Dakota through the Black Hills and hit Wyoming exactly where I need to visit the Devil’s Tower.

I get to see L in Wichita, P.J. in near Omaha, cross the Black Hills and Devil’s Tower off my bucket list, and avoid the mess around Denver while not having to spend more than a night at a rest area in Wyoming. This route is perfect!

Wow, I’m almost excited about the fact that I have to go north very soon. Ain’t that something? 🙂

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Colorado, Countries, Kansas, Nebraska, Nice Folks, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Social, South Dakota, Travel, USA, Wyoming    15 Comments
Feb 22, 2013 -

Wyoming Disappoints Me

I’m working on my route north from Austin. The most direct route takes me through Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Montana. A slightly less direct route would add only a couple hundred kilometres and would take me into Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. This very slightly longer route would take me into three states (OK, NM, WY) I haven’t yet set foot into, while the more direct route would only add one (OK).

I was having a grand old time planning the secondary route, having no trouble finding good overnighting locations every 400KM or so until I hit Wyoming.

As it turns out, Wyoming is anti-RVs! I’ve struck out with all my overnight parking finders. The only options besides expensive campgrounds (most of which are still closed at the end of April and beginning of May) are rest areas where overnighting is technically forbidden, but tolerated if you don’t stay long and don’t look like you’re camping.

I really do not feel comfortable going through such an area with so few options during iffy weather. So I am now going to have to repeat the exercise with the more direct route and see if it is any better.

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Colorado, Countries, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Travel, USA, Wyoming    15 Comments
Apr 24, 2012 -

In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark

I’m parked at the Walmart in Council Bluffs, IA, which is just across the river from Omaha, NE, if you have your map out. Today’s drive was long but uneventful except for one tiny detail. When I left North Dakota, I felt seriously under dressed in relation to the weather while it is hotter than sin in Council Bluffs!

Dakota Magic Casino sits right on the North and South Dakota border. I got back on the highway and was able to take this picture before merging onto the interstate:

I pulled over shortly thereafter at the rest area in Wilmot:

It boasted a scenic overview of the Whetstone Valley, but it was really tough to get a clear shot of it:

I learned that all South Dakota rest areas have a no camping rule:

I stopped a few more times before having to make unexpected repairs at the last rest area before Iowa:

Believe it or not, all of the Eternabond tape I’d applied to the loft came loose!!! I was just driving along minding my own business and suddenly noticed flapping out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t an emergency, so I drove almost 200KM like that before hitting the rest area. And not a moment too soon because I went to the shower to get my step-stool and, bam, the shower door toppled onto me. I don’t know who designed it, but it is not made for RV use. There is a pin that holds the door in place and when I am on a rough and bouncy road (which describes all of I29 in South Dakota) the door bounces up and down until the pin gets loose. I haven’t come up with a way to secure it and am growing increasingly annoyed with it. Once, the door even bounced right out of the frame, denting both itself and the floor!

After I rolled out of that rest … oh, wait. Eternabond! Yes, after I wrestled the shower door back in place, I applied some new Eternabond over part of the old stuff to stick it back in place. I am definitely going to be trying my hand at fiberglass this summer, so I just wanted this to hold till I get to Quebec.

By this point, the weather had gone from ‘getting warm’ to ‘infernal’, so I put on the AC and headed out of South Dakota to enter the state where two favourite fictional characters were born:

I stopped at the rest area to see if there was anything interesting there. Yup:

information about the only man who died on the Lewis and Clark expedition

The names of the men on the Lewis and Clark expedition were written around the building. Lots and lots and lots and lots of French Canadians, including:

I thought these benches were cute:

A good day of fishing on the expedition:

Driving along, I noticed smoke and, HOLY RANDOM FIRE, BATMAN:

you can't really see the flames in the pic but they were THIS BIG

And then, the Omaha skyline:

I decided to overnight in Council Bluff since there were a number of casinos, a camping world, a Bass Pro Shop, and the Walmart as options. I was hoping Walmart would work since I had some shopping to do. I phoned the manager and he didn’t seem to like the idea, but when I said that I had shopping to do he grudgingly gave his okay for one night.

I was excited to see an Applebee’s just a couple of blocks (walking distance) from the Walmart, making this the second best Walmart I’ve ever stayed at. 🙂 I had dinner then came home to find a note on the windshield from reader P.J.! I have no idea how she found me, but she’ll be over shortly and we’re going out for dessert. I don’t care where as long as it has air conditioning. 🙂

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Travel, USA    12 Comments