Nothing gets us on the road faster in the morning than looking out the window and seeing snowflakes. We were up, packed, and in the car in 20 minutes flat. We've been rolling across Nebraska today ahead of the snow, so fingers crossed our weather luck holds through Missouri.
Before we jump into today's sights, we forgot to remind everyone that when we ship orders from the road we like to tuck in a little road trip memento when possible. In an order shipped to California today we slipped a copy of a useful little brochure we picked up, "Tour Nebraska's Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway." If you place an order while we're traveling, we'll tuck a road trip memento into yours as well!
For fans of our road trip mascot, we also have a sneak peek at our post-Nashville road trip blog, "Steppin' Out With Stinky." Yes, the people at the Fort Cody Trading Post think we're nuts, but a good time was had by all.
Now, onto today's tour of Nebraska, from Kimball to Kearney.
Although we were tempted to jump onto the Interstate in case the snow worsened (we're from Portland, snow scares us), we decided to stick to our plan and drive Hwy 30 / Lincoln Highway across the state.
First stop: Sidney. A Main Street community with a great historic downtown district, we were also happy to find some interesting signage.
In Lodgepole, we found more remnants of old Lincoln Highway tourist lodging along with a few of our favorite playground rides.
Ogallala has a beautifully restored 1922 Standard Oil Red Crown filling station, now being used as a summer visitor's center. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Spruce Street Station is a just a few blocks off the highway so be sure to take the short drive into downtown.
If you'd like to read more about the Spruce Street Station or other Main Street programs around Nebraska, we found a blog you might enjoy that highlights noteworthy projects from Nebraska's Main Street communities: Main Street Points of Pride.
In Sutherland, we spotted two stations in slightly worse condition, but still a great testament to the early days of car service.
We love crazy, over-the-top gift shops, so we knew we would be spending some time in North Platte at the Fort Cody Trading Post. With gifts ranging from miniature faux buffalo hearth rugs to John Wayne toilet paper they lived up to their claim to be "Nebraska's Largest Souvenir and Western Gift Store."
We also had fun browsing the Old West Museum and the 20,000 hand carved figures in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. But for us, the crowning glory of the Trading Post is their Muffler Man standing tall in the stockade behind the gift shop. His service station uniform is a bit obscured, but there's no mistaking that chin.
Before leaving North Platte, we stopped by to see the Fox Theatre, a National Register site. According to Cinema Treasures, a non-profit dedicated to movie theater preservation and awareness, the Fox was restored in the 1980s through public donations and volunteer labor and is currently being used as a community playhouse.
We started losing light after North Platte, but caught these final images of the day in Maxwell, Brady, and Kearny.
All in all, a good day. Our take on the sights to be seen and the ease of travel along Nebraska's Lincoln Highway? Highly recommended.
For much more information than we can include in this blog, you'll find great road trip planning help from Main Street Across Nebraska, The Lincoln Highway in Nebraska, and Brian Butko's Lincoln Highway News.
Thanks to everyone for their emails, Facebook comments, and Tweets as we work our way across the country to the National Preservation Conference in Nashville. We'll see you tomorrow in Missouri!
Now, a sneak peek at our road trip mascot's adventures at the Fort Cody Trading Post. Stay tuned for more photos following our return from Nashville.
Jeff & Kelly