© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Just like this guy was useful.  And he's real!

238/365 – The Trip-Part 4: Across Nebraska

Time to take that hulking Penske truck on it’s next leg — DENVER!  Woke up and said goodbye to Mom and Larry and headed further down I-80.  We pop in some more World War Z and let the wind take us where it wants . . . literally.  This leg of the trip should have been called “The Wind Is A Relentless Bitch.”  I was white knuckling the steering wheel, keeping it in fill tilt left as the wind pushed us here and there.  Tip: driving a 16 foot truck across the prarie lands of Nebraska is like having the hand of God slap the side of the truck willy nilly. About half-way through Nebraska we decide to stop in Kearney and visit a little place called the Grand Platte Archway Museum.  “What’s that,” you ask.  Oh, it’s just the museum featured in About Schmidt. ” What’s About Schmidt,” you ask  Oh, it;s just a great film made by the great visionary director Alexander Payne.  “Who’s Alexander Payne?” you ask.  SHUT UP AND STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!  For crying out loud . . . here:

I’m an Alexander Payne fan.  Maybe not the biggest, but his movies do move me.  Seeing the Archway, we had to stop.  However, as soon as we entered, I didn’t think of About Schmidt.  It really never entered my mind.  The monologue that Jack Nicholson gives while walking through the museum — that was pretty much what went through my mind.  As Megan and I idly drive our belongings smoothly down I-80 towards the “promised land” we take it for granted just how many iterations of Americans have traveled this path.  The barley visible tracks past Buffalo, through harsh weather and infectious deceases — these are what made our journey possible.  From wagon train to rail road line, from route 66 to the interstate highway system, our Journey is a snap . . . Plus there was some great characters there:

Megan, a GM Truck and an Archway . . . the name of my next film.

Buffalo!

 

Just like the pioneers, we head west . . . on an escalator.

Supposedly there’s lots of ghosts on the Oregon Trail.

America! Fuck yeah! And stormy skies! Fuck yeah again!

Dysentery sucks.

Megan!  Leave the well dressed gentleman alone!

United States Tires are GOOD tires?  With that attitude, it’s a wonder we reached the west.

Hmmmm.  Boston or Frisco?  Boston.  Honey, load up the wagon, we’re going back East.

I’m with the kid in the back.  Put down the top for Christ’s sake.

A SWELL singer? With that attitude it’s no wonder we conquered the silver screen.

Ol’ Interstate 80. Or as I like to call it, Old I-80.

In those days, buying a milkshake with a five was like buying bubble gum with a hundred.

 

I’m a 50’s pimp!

The museum was well worth the 12 dollar admission.  It was also a nice rest stop on the way to Denver.  We ended up buying a fridge magnet — that’s our souvenir of choice when it comes to travel.  We’ve got quite a lot of them now but it makes it easy when lookong for a souvenir.  they’re cheap and small enough not to be a burden — and they’re useful!

Just like this guy was useful. And he’s real!

Next we stopped in North Platte, Nebraska — home to a McDonalds, a plumber (I think) and my Aunt Rosemary, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve.  They made us an awesome lunch; grilled chicken, salas, toasted bread . . . perfect refueling food.  Then Aunt Rosemary brought out something called “fruit pizza.”  I can only describe it as something the gods give you to slow your movements to a sugar induced slow motion movie.  Unbelievable.

Before we left North Platte we HAD to stop at Fort Cody . . . what is Fort Cody.  Is it the location where Cody from Step By Step went into hiding after beating his wife . . . nope.  This is Fort Cody!

CODY! The giant pinoeer! Protector of the I-80 exit to North Platte. He eats so much!  Like the helpless buffalo!  And that Scion!

Yes, Buffalo Bill Cody and his Trader Outpost . . . an out post with a bunch of dead Cowboys littered on the roof:

Man, for a family destination this place is grim.

Megan and I bought another fridge magnet as well as just looked around.  It has a pretty cool vibe to it — lots of nmick knacks and souvineers.  And HATS:

Sassy, sexy hats!

Also, some more disturbing souvenirs.

Is this legal? Are Native Americans aware that there’s a slave trade going on in Fort Cody?

After we left Fort Cody we drove straight to Denver . . . and if anyone ever tells me the Nebraska drive is boring I will make them walk the distance between Denver and the Nebraska border.  Boring!?  At least in Nebraska has rolling hills, corn, towns!  Hell, corn is more fun to look at then DESOLATION.  There’s nothing before Denver but . . . well, nothing.

This is like watching a Michael Bay film compared to driving into Colorado.

Add the brutal, BRUTAL wind and this leg was the worst.  I was shaking by the time we got into denver.  When we went to eat, I was still shaking.  Damn.  In any case, we made it into Denver about 7:15.  Same time as our Omaha leg.  Not bad for a few cool stops.  We stayed with my cousin Josh and his son Ian.  We took them for some Thai where Josh tries the “Thai Spicy” dish.  Never seen a man sweat like that.  Then we went back to his place and watched Dumb and Dummer because Ian had never seen it.  A nice cap off to a long drive.

 

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