Day 3: Cedar Rapids to Ogallala, Nebraska

This post is dated July 5, the third day of our road trip adventure, but was published privately at first, so as not to tip off the criminals about our house being empty for a month. Now that we’ve returned home from the trip, I’ve added photos and switched the status to Public.

Bob’s first home. He was born in Cedar Rapids, but moved away with his parents when he was still a baby.

The third day of our Great American Epic Road Trip Adventure, July 5, began in hotel room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after eating dinner last night at a rather noisy downtown outdoor cafe where we could hear the crowds and the fireworks but couldn’t actually see them.

My husband, Bob, was born in Cedar Rapids. He moved away when he was too young to remember it, but he wanted to drive by the house his parents had lived in at the time. So we checked out of the hotel and set about finding it. It was a cute little house, and he was happy to see that it’s been well maintained over the years. We continued across Iowa and into Nebraska, until we reached the town of Ogallala (chosen for our overnight stop because it’s the closest town to halfway between Cedar Rapids and tomorrow’s destination that had available hotel rooms).

I have friends in Nebraska, and I’d hate to offend anyone, but Nebraska has not been my favorite state to drive through. We saw whole lot of cornfields, and not a lot else — though the clouds were quite dramatic. And on one of our rest stops, we saw a Mexican restaurant with a large elephant outside, and how do you top that? But the landscape itself was not inspiring.

Admittedly, we stayed on Interstate 80 pretty much the whole day. I know there are more scenic parts of the state. I’ve seen them. But our goal for the first five days of this trip has been to drive to California as quickly as we can, so we mostly stuck to the quickest routes. We’ll take more time for sightseeing on the way back.

By the way, Nebraska did mark a milestone for my son. I have been to all 50 states, and he’s working on achieving that goal, as well. As we left home, he’d been to 39 states. Nebraska is the first new state he picked up on this trip, the first of many.

I’ve mentioned gas prices along the way because they shot up all over the country not long before we left on this trip. Iowa is still the cheapest place for gas so far; we paid $4.499 a gallon when we filled up in Nebraska. Distance traveled this day: 579 miles.

Below: Two shots of some of those dramatic Nebraska clouds. Also, we though elephants were African or Indian, but in Nebraska, we spotted this Mexican elephant.

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