Hey all, thanks for stopping by...below is a quick trip I took this last weekend covering about 500 miles on my 2007 LX150. Just over 300 miles on Friday and about 200 on Saturday put me in the saddle more time than I was actually at my destination. Plenty of clichés fit the situation: not the destination but the journey...you don't sing a song to get to the end...
I am not a photographer (as you will see), but I tried to snap a few images to share with you all. I can't do beautiful the way Wangsta or Clay Enos can, so I will stick with amusing.
I am not a historian, but I do appreciate some of the things that I came across on the trip and have a healthy respect for our heritage. Of particular interest was my tracing of part of the Lewis and Clark trail, and the Outlaw trail. There is also a lot of influence and tribute to Native Americans in the area (specifically the Ponca Indians).
I am not too much of a tree hugging hippy, but I found great signs of progress in our search for energy (all while burning a few dinosaur bones myself (ok I am a hypocrite too)).
On Friday I packed my daughter in the car with my mother-in-law strapped my bag to the seat and headed out from Lincoln NE at about 9:30. The first half of my trip included some train spotting, wind energy, road construction, small town Nebraska, Czech, prime rib (served by family), cool mist from center pivots, and nasty stink from feed lots! Here goes:
The very first train track crossing.
Traveling with the wind on Friday.
[img]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_5B1kRbOU34A/Sn7_mGfuthI/AAAAAAAAERQ/J9LhOhaeE4k/s720/IMG_6928.JPG[img] Fuel stop, Valpariso, NE. They had a caboose in the middle of the city park. I think that the caboose is an underrated train car.
My grandpa always said that a barn will build a house, but a house will not build a barn. It means don't build a fancy damn building when simple will do the trick. I guess they have that figured out in Prague, NE.
This flag guy was a crack up. While I sat baking in my black jacket and 90 degrees he did a little dance with his sign. He walked like an Egyptian, and then a really disturbing pole dance rendition (he kept it all on, but I that is an image that I wish was on the camera and not in my head).
Mural in Snyder, NE.
It says "Moved on". It has extra meaning today with our shrinking rural communities.
I believe this was Beemer, NE. Parking in the middle of main street. Why not?
This church is in a town with a population of 68. Side note, I went 5 miles out of the way to stop here because there was supposed to be some Lewis and Clark significance...I didn't find anything...and then instead of backtracking I took a short cut...that ended up being about 12 miles of gravel. Live and learn.
After my gravel adventure my right mirror got shaken loose, time for more thred-lock . I did end up on highway 81 about half a mile south of the river, and South Dakota!! A milestone. My first Vespa border crossing!!!
I stopped again for fuel because I knew the next stretch was even more desolate. And I fed one of my addictions.
Highway 50 along the southern edge of South Dakota:
A warning to scooter taggers... you will see this one someday...the scoot, a tractor, snowmobile, 3-wheeler (!!!!), truck, and car.
Approaching Ft. Randall Dam.
I took this picture on the fly because I thought it was an odd place for a gorilla. Later I see that it was advertising "Photography by Danelle" - that just makes it more funny.
Snapped this while filling up (using the oldest working gas pump in North America . I think it is a chunk of a big wind turbine, later I counted up the wheels...at least 42 of them, for comparison a normal big rig = 18 wheels. Seriously big.
End of the dam with a Teepee.
Under that building and the road I was riding, they were creating electricity. Makes me happy.
Someday I will come back and explore just this lake. But the grandparents were waiting, so I was due for another border crossing.
From Fort Randall Dam it was back south into Nebraska. This is one of the best driving roads in Nebraska, Highway 20. It follows the Ponca creek valley for about 60 miles. Few photos, L and C stuff, self portrait, and a city limit sign for the smallest city in Nebraska.
I rolled into the park and chatted with the gate attendant, she told me that the population sign back in Monowi was actually out of date...the husband died, so it should read "1" .
Dodged a couple of young doe deer in the park and found the cabin without much problem. Caught up with the grandparents and aunts and then headed out to special surprise. An Indian Powwow! The Northern Ponca tribes have an annual get together in the area and we got to see their opening ceremony.
The family, Grandma is the second from the right.
On the way back to the cabin I noticed an obelisk standing in a field. Later we learned that it commemorated a group of Mormon settlers that were stranded here over a very tough and unplanned winter on their way west.
A sign in the cabin that I found funny:
It must have been a real problem if they needed to make a sign:) .
Saturday morning treated me to a great sunrise over the Missouri river while out on a challenging trail run. It was hot and muggy but I love to run new trails. The trail itself had historical significance, went through one of Lewis and Clark's campsites and an old railroad stretch that paralleled the MO river.
Sorry that is a lousy picture, not much light in the woods.
Railroad bridge turned hiking trail.
Niobrara park in north eastern Nebraska really is a special place with interesting history (L and C, pioneers, and Native Americans). If you are in the area, it is worth spending a day checking it out. (btw if you want more of the history stuff I clicked a few pics, but they are not very scooter related)
The Return Trip:
I have no photos of my ride back south on Saturday. I was on a pretty tight timeline and was riding into strong (20-30) mph winds the whole time. The old 150 kept humming but even on the flat was working hard to keep me at 50 mph. I left Niobrara at about 9:30 and made it to Branched Oak Lake at about 1:30.
Highlight of the return ride: A full size fiberglass horse on the roof of a vet supply company (sorry I didn't get a picture of that one, busy highway and tight schedule).
Lowlight: Gambling on a fuel stop in a little village (Verdigre) and having the next town be 25 miles ahead.
Highlight: Making it about 30 miles with the low fuel light on solid but not running out. Although I did have my extra fuel bottle if it would have gone differently.
Lowlight: The Garmin taking me on 10 miles of gravel at the end of the ride instead of 15 of pavement.
Highlight: Popping a cold one on a boat with friends after few hours of great alone time.
The wife's self portrait while at the lake:
Me at the lake (I don't think I am making the 'Men of Scootering Calendar'):
Thanks for checking out my thread. It ended up a lot longer than I envisioned, but hell it is only bandwidth, right?