So that’s where we are

We rolled across the rolling hills of Iowa and on into Nebraska. We drove alongside the Platte River, catching glimpses of the high and oddly-shaped bluffs that define the edges of the broad river plain. We passed into the Mountain Time Zone. Let’s stop in Sidney, Nebraska, I said to Carol. She said, Why not go a little farther, it’s only 7:30. I said, Because there isn’t much between Sidney and Cheyenne.

We pulled off the highway. The tall huge signs read: Comfort Inn; AmericaInn; WalMart Supercenter; Sapp Bros. Shell; Steakhouse and Bar; Mexican Food. We walked to WalMart to buy fresh fruit and cheese for tomorrow. Wanna go for a longer walk? I said to Carol. She wanted to walk to a building on the other side of the road that looked like a casino, or something. We walked over in the gathering dusk. We both realized what the building was at the same time. Cabela’s, said Carol; I said, I was just thinking that.

There were big statues of horned animals in contorted poses. The store was closed. It was right next to the interstate, and trucks whined by. There are very few trees in this part of the country, and the soil looks dry and sandy. We walked back to our motel and went to sleep.

5 thoughts on “So that’s where we are

  1. Sarah Millspaugh

    Crossing into Western Nebraska you have officially entered The West, and water will be scarce for the rest of your road trip save a few green oases in the mountains! When I moved to Southern California four years ago it was quite dramatic to be driving through the desert so long then to traverse a steep rocky mountain range and suddenly feel the coastal breezes. A little less desert getting into the Bay Area, but just as breathtaking I’m sure. Travel safe, and enjoy!

  2. Jeremiah

    “We walked to WalMart to buy fresh fruit and cheese for tomorrow.”

    That is quite possibly the most interesting sentence I have read in some time.

  3. Dan

    Sarah @ 1 — I always figure you’ve hit the West when you first see sagebrush. Which we saw halfway across Nebraska.

    Jeremiah and Jean — Hey, I hate shopping at WalMart — union-busting WalMart, WalMart that promotes the worst of the consumer economy, etc. But it’s hard to find supermarkets near the interstate. Often the choices are to either eat CAFO-grown beef and over-processed food at MacDonald’s, or buy organic fruits and vegetables at WalMart. Which would you choose?

  4. Jeremiah

    Dan @ 4 – I said “interesting”, not good or bad. The great irony of driving through the Food Belt is the difficulty in finding small-scale, locally-grown food. Your post is more of a reflection of the times in the Midwest. I surely don’t fault you for it (unlike your own family – scandal!)

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