This morning the breakfast room at the hotel was full, so we walked next door to Arby’s for one of their breakfasts. I was craving something other than what is typically offered at the hotels we have been staying at. I had the egg and bacon on sourdough and Karen had a pecan cinnamon roll.
We loaded up the car and drove to Shelton NE where we wanted to visit the The Lincoln Highway Visitors Center. 10 AM on a Saturday morning and this place is locked up tight. There was a notice in the door with a phone number to call and someone would come over. We peaked in the door and the windows and there wasn’t anything in there that we felt was worth disturbing someone. I am sure they had something important to do or they would be here greeting Lincoln Highway travellers. There were no t-shirts to purchase, no postcards, basically it appeared to be an empty room, with a few things hung on the wall. We took several photos of the town and then moved on along down the road to Kearney Nebraska.
In Kearney, we stopped at The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. This is a spectacular display of how the early pioneers opened up the West. Well worth a visit if you are in this area.
The Archway Monument spans over I-80 as shown in these photos.
The building that you enter through is a large log cabin style building.
There were numerous displays inside depicting the struggles of those pioneers as they moved Westward to California through this area of the country.
There was a display about building the railroad and pounding in the last spike to join the East to the West.
Then came the invention of the automobile and that set in motion the need for roads across the country. That is how The Lincoln Highway came into being. It was not a highway like you think of a highway today, but rather it was a connection of dirt roads and old trails that never followed a straight line, but were all connected together into something that could get you across the country if you were brave enough to try. Gradually the roads were improved with concrete and pavement, but those first dozen years were not easy for anyone travelling by car.
The 1950’s and early 1960’s brought the Interstates, modeled after the German Autobahns. Soldiers returning from war had seen the highways in Germany and the Military wanted that same style of road here in the USA, primarily for moving troops and supplies quickly when and where needed, but secondarily to allow the general public easier access to travelling throughout the country.
We bought some souvenirs and headed back out to the parking lot to get in our car. There was a motor bike with trailer parked right next to our car.. The two vehicles looked great together. Matching Yellow.
West of Kearney NE is the halfway point between the East Coast starting point and the West Coast finishing point for the Lincoln Highway. Originally this was a large ranch and was known as The 1733 Ranch. 1733 is the distance either way that you would travel to get to either coast. Recently the land has been developed into a pricey subdivision, but they retained the name 1733 as shown in this photo.
Further West from Kearney NE we found what remains of the concrete oxen and old prairie schooner. It is in very deteriorated condition.
We found the Red Top Cabin Camp in Elm Creek NE.
East of Overton Nebraska, we found an old Lincoln Highway concrete bridge that has been restored and painted. We learnt in town that the local Boy Scouts painted the bridge.
Onwards into the town of Cozad NE. The claim to fame for Cozad is that the 100th Meridian passes through the center of town. This is marked by a large overhead sign that you drive under as you pass over the meridian line.
Our day ended in Gothenburg Nebraska. Before heading to the hotel, we stopped to visit at the Pony Express Station.
We are settled into our hotel for the evening and in the morning we will see a few more things in Gothenburg before heading Westward on the Lincoln Highway to North Platte Nebraska.
To see all of our photos from today, please click on this link to my FLICKR site.