After the previous day’s unfortunate events I was ready for my luck to change and it started as early as breakfast with the discovery of the “make your own” waffle machine. I helped myself liberally and was only slightly perturbed when I noticed the attendant refilling the machine from a giant slop bucket of batter they stored under the counter. No refrigeration necessary apparently.
Wow. Nebraska is a very long, very flat, very corny state. I mean it grows a lot of corn of course. It would be difficult to define an entire state as being corny in the other sense but, if I had to, those cheese-hat wearing folks are making a strong showing.
This has been the most difficult part of the trip in terms of staying awake and focused. With nothing to distract your attention you tend to drift off in a haze only to be jerked back to consciousness by the growling of rumble strips or the blaring of oncoming traffic. Occasionally you happen upon something exciting like this arch:
But mostly it just looks like this:
Interspersed between fields of corn you may encounter alien machinery whose purpose remains unclear.
Then after hours of driving through what seemed liked endless prairie I stopped in the small town of Ogallala, NE and found this beautiful lake McConaughy – no relation to Matthew although he is beautiful too 😉 – nestled amongst the corn fields. Looking at the map it seems to be one of about 5 lakes in the entire state but it is quite large.
This is where the landscape really started to turn prehistoric and I snapped a whole bunch of shots. I think I will wait and put them all in a nice little photo gallery so as not do disturb this riveting narrative. This also happens to be right around where my progress really started to slow down – like when i just left my truck here for an hour and a half.
It was in Ogallala that I stopped at my first truck stop diner for lunch. Its always a fascinating experience at these establishments where pie is considered a main course. The portions are just enormous and the waitresses always treat me like I’m malnourished when I visit them. “Hon, for an extra dollar you can get the all you can eat chicken friend steak-chicken!” Often times they will give me a free piece of pie or giant beverage on my way out the door because they don’t want me to starve before I reach my destination. Really just the sweetest folks and I do love being called honey.
At this point I have to make up for some lost time so I peel out and hit the road. Its about now that I realize that no matter how much gas I apply I can’t seem to go beyond 75 miles per hour. I determine its a safety mechanism built in to the truck. Denied.
A full day of driving and I’m near the end of Nebraska. This is where the wild west really seems to begin.
Shortly after seeing the first majestic rock formations, I enter in to Wyoming and am faced with the following dilemma: The sun is beginning to set. Do I get a cup of coffee, tank up and muscle through for another 200-250 miles like a real trucker or do I stop in Cheyenne once the sun goes down and go out for a nice dinner and a stroll around town? Let’s just say the trucker union revoked my sleeveless button down when they heard of my decision.
Due to a lack of cell phone reception, my travel agent was unavailable to book a motel for me so I was left to my own devices. I chose poorly. The place was a veritable roach motel but I was too tired to be bother arguing with the woman for another room or my money back, especially since she was an older Asian lady who didn’t speak English very well. I had asked for a non-smoking room but there was a definite odor so I went to the front desk to ask her about it. She came with me to the room with a can of Lysol and said “Oh, no smell of smoke. Last person here truck driver. Very bad BO. I fix.” and she proceeded to empty a 1/4 can of Lysol into the air. Sweet dreams!