Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day Three: North Platte to Des Moines

We awoke late again ... the Holiday Inn Express at North Platte, Nebraska was so clean-smelling, so quiet, so very, very comfortable, that if I was rich, I'd have just stayed there another day for the sleep. Also they served a delightful free breakfast.

But off we had to go, and I snapped this picture off old Lincoln Highway 30 just to have something to snap. All the little streams and rivers we saw were very full.

My guess is that this creek is lousy with sunfish and bass, and I hope that Nebraska waterways are not as polluted with dairy farm runoff and fertilizer from fields as our rivers in California. I live near a river, and I can't eat fish from it. That is WRONG.

Bernie decided he wanted to explore the old Lincoln Highway, and so we did. That creek was at the beginning of it, but most of it was empty, as the next picture shows.

I found the side trip a little depressing, as so very many buildings were vacant and crumbling into piles of rotted boards and broken glass; so many, many intact buildings had their business signs plastered over with "Available" placards.

The road was in ill-repair, making me think again about the Interstate System being irritating. At least the Interstate has rest stops periodically, where a weary traveler can take a pizz in a clean bathroom.

As lumpy as the road was, I would prefer to use trails like the Lincoln Highway. The towns and the businesses and the eateries aren't mass-produced; they're real, and real people live there and love their place. Those tiny motels are probably cheaper to stay in than the ones on the Interstate, but the irony is, that I can't afford to take the time to travel on back roads like that.

What a gas! I have no job, and Bernie is unemployed, but we literally cannot afford to take too much time on this trip. He has to be in PA, and I do, too, to deal with family stuff, and then we HAVE to get back to CA so that he doesn't lose unemployment benefits.

Well, the detour off the Interstate road only cost us about 2 hours of travel time, and we very nearly ran out of gas (.4 gallon left), but we arrived in beautiful Des Moines to stay with Cheryl and Terry for a night.

Our friends had scouted a wonderful restaurant, Palmer's Delicatessen, to treat us to fabulous food and a delightful outdoor venue that allowed us to include Howie in the party! OMG, as they say, the lasagna special was so good that I ate twice as much as I should have and had less than half the guilt that I should have. Cheryl needs to do an in-depth review of that place for the Piker Press.

Do you hear me, Cheryl?

One of the draws, aside from the glorious friendship, is the firefly display in Cheryl and Terry's yard in June. We've seen and appreciated it before. This time they upped the ante, however,
and while Bernie and I played with fireflies/lightning bugs, Terry set up his telescope.

We got to see Saturn and its rings, and a moon of Saturn, and Mars, and the Ring Nebula, and my favorite, globular cluster of stars M-13. (I think that's which one, if not, Terry, forgive me.) My heart fills, thinking of that sight. I've seen Hubble pics, but clear though they are, they are not the same as seeing them through a friend's telescope while sitting companionably sipping wine.

We slept that night in Terry and Cheryl's camper, listening to crickets singing, and the strange sounds of a city, and woke before dawn to want to throw rocks at robins who were eager to be early birds getting the proverbial worm. When the robins took off to forage, we slept again, and felt no need to hurry away. Indeed, we were reluctant to leave.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Lillian was so madly jealous she almost didn't want to read any further.

Me too, rather.