Travel Day 4 — Dammit, Nebraska!

I swear, every time I come here.

We’re below the “K” in Nebraska

We’re in York Nebraska, having traveled only 250 miles. We were trying to outrun the snow storm that is currently overhead but realized that the trailer was not going to remain stable at speeds above 65. Accepting that we would not get past the storm we opted to get a hotel room while one as handy, and get a good night’s sleep in a normal bed.

This also gives the cats a chance to stretch and play, which they’ve happily done after an initial caution around a strange environment.

This Hampton Inn has got it’s Covid game together pretty well, but we are staying in our room as much as possible as there are other RVers here who seem less concerned about getting sick than we are.

But the bigger concern is how long we’ll have to stay here. The area west of us will likely have over a foot of snow by tomorrow morning and it’ll be too cold for there to be any post-storm melting. I have discovered a nice web pagefor monitoring conditions on I-80 (https://driveweatherapp.com/i-80-weather/) and we’re keeping our eyes on the weather cahnnel as well. I think we’ll probably be here through Wednesday.

We’ve also figured out that our halfway point is around Kearny in western Nebraska. Looking forward to crossing that line.

I think we were both more road weary than we’d realized and this is a nice if unexpected break.All we’ve had to do today was bring some stuff in from the trailer, sleep, watch TV and read.

So…Nebraska and I have an unpleasant history together and this event is hardly unexpected. About twenty years ago my car broke down outside Grand Island while I was on my way to Burning Man. This event cost me several weeks time and about $3,000 and I have, unjustly I admit, been merciless in my opinions about the state ever since. So I guess the demi-gods that rules the North Platte and cornfields are having their way with me.

But seriously, when I asked the car rental agent what people do in the winter she said, straight faced “Oh, ya know, there’s a lot of suicide”. Just. Like. That. And I know that mid-Westerners like to avoid awkward conversations so what exactly motivated this remark?

Anyway, really not a fan. At least New Jersey has beaches. Nice beaches, with pizza.

Inspired by her cousin, my wife has suggested that we write a song “Dammit, Nebraska!” which we’ll get started on as soon as we thaw out the guitars. Also I have to get over trying to set it to the tune of “Hello Seattle” by Owl City. My lyrics are not fit to print and coming from me, that’s saying something.

And finally, Irealized yesterday that whenever I drive west like this, I’m looking for signs of what the land looked like before the white men arrived. Where do the forests end? Where does the prairie begin? If people left this place what would it become? Would that eventually be what it once was? I guess it’s right around Nebraska that those questions collapse into the depair of accepting that I’ll never know. As Neil Young said “What a lucky man, to see the earth before it touched his hand.” Not me.

Well, life goes on, and we must go with it. For me, right now, that means getting cat food out of the trailer. I may not have much to post tomorrow but I’ll at least let everyone know what we’re up to.

[sings] Dammit, Nebraska!

I am a bear living among humans, and have gotten so good at it that people rarely notice. I am a husband, step-father, author, musician, and much else.