If some railroad official hadn’t driven a spike into a railroad tie 140 years ago about 600 miles west of here, we might have gotten more sleep last night. Our motel seems to be right across the road from the Transcontinental Railroad. We had seen lots of trains yesterday, bu we heard even more during the night. The final straw came at 5:00 AM, when a train parked at a siding across the road. The entire process took about 30 minutes, with wheels squeaking the entire time. We were tired of Wyoming, so had a big breakfast (with a side of pancakes) and headed east to the next state.
They say that Eskimos have over 200 words for snow. I can’t help but wonder if Nebraskans have just as many words for “flat.” Flat and treeless, to be exact. There was a continuum from gray to green as we moved east, and as range lands gave way to corn fields. The Platte River kept the interstate company for most of the way, although it was little more than a meandering stream.
Nebraska is a long state, and it took us a long time to get across it. It’s been interesting to not the changes from state to state. Sometimes it’s obvious that you are somewhere else. Sometimes, the only clue is a sign, such as between North Carolina and South Carolina. In the case of Nebraska and Iowa, it’s a distinct change in topography. We are now in an area with hills and trees, in additon to cornfields. We headed south on I-29 and crossed into Missouri – a more subtle change. When we got past St. Joseph, we were on roads we had driven before. We were truly on our way back home.
I’m guessing that not too many South Carolinians make it out this way. We’ve had more people gawk at our license plate, pull forward to see if we have a front plate, then drop back to look at the rear plate again. I’d like to think they are gawking at our cool car, or that they think Laura and I look exceptionally wonderful. But, I’m afraid it’s just the license plate.
The AAA book indicated an interesting restaurant on the town square in Liberty, Missouri. It was five miles off the interstate, but we were up for a side trip. Liberty turned out to be a picturesque little town, with a square similar to the one in Laurens, SC. The Hardware Cafe was in an old hardware store, and had door and cabinet handles adorning the walls. The food was the most reasonable that we had encountered so far, and was delicious. Laura had pork roast,and I had grilled chicken with mango salsa.
We made it through construction traffic, past a Kansas City Royals game in progress at their stadium, and with some trouble, found our motel on the east side of Kansas City. Over 700 miles today, and tomorrow will be another long day.