DAY #1


STOP #447
3.3 miles of Interstate Highway driving!

Day #1 of our Mad Dash included 284-miles of driving east through the Cornhusker State of Nebraska. Avoiding the Interstates took us through the rural areas of central Nebraska and it was soon easy to see how the state got it's nickname.

All we saw were corn fields and grain silos, with an occasional train hauling what I believe to be coal, that is when we could see through the dense fog that seemed to hang around until noon.

I scheduled our departure perfectly this morining so that we would arrive in the town of York, NE just about lunch time.

There are several reasons why I chose York for our lunch stop today. The first is because there is a Runza restaurant in town, we are still in Nebraska after all.

Second reason is right next door to Runza is a self-serve car wash with bays large enough to fit ROVER and THE POD. They were both in need of a quick rinse after traveling on that wet 14-mile gravel road last week.

Lastly, York in the town were my father was born some 100+ years ago. I'm well aware that the town we saw today looks nothing like it did back in the 1920s when my dad was growing up, but I still felt the need to at least pay it a visit.

One other interesting thing that we observed today was that along the first 130+ miles of our route we kept seeing huge yard sales on both sides of the road, on a Thursday none the less? Some had signs displaying the words "A Junk Jaunt" location.

When we finshed our drive we looked it up! Every year since 2004 on the last full weekend in September there is a yard sale along Route 2 in Nebraska. It covers 9 counties, 35+ communities and nearly 500-miles of shopping.

This is very similiar to the "127 Yard Sale", which claims to be the longest yard sale in the county, which is held the first weekend of August and runs down US-127 from Michigan to Alabama, that's 690-miles of shopping fun!

We didn't stop to buy anything because we currently have everything we need and we'd have nowhere to store anything if we did but it.


DAY #2


STOP #448
0 (that's spelled zero) miles of Interstate Highway driving!

Last nights Walmart in Nebraska was less than 3-miles from the Missouri River, which creates the border between Nebraska and Iowa.

We drove the full width (279 miles) of Southern Iowa today and I'm sorry to report we have not one single photo to share of our drive.

There were a lot of smaller towns and a lot of rolling hills along Route 2, but nothing that inspired a photo. Maybe Tricia was just too tired to lift the camera today.

In one of the small towns we drove through we couldn't help but notice that EVERY single house and business along the main street was toilet-papered, just like I used to see growing up when someone didn't hand out an adequate amount of Halloween candy.

It's nowhere near Halloween yet and even City Hall, the Police and Fire Departments were decorated. We of course Googled it when we got settled and found out it's a midwest tradition to TP the town on the night before your High School Homecoming football game. Who knew? That didn't happen where I grew up in South Florida, how about any of you?


DAY #3


STOP #449
0 (that's spelled zero) miles of Interstate Highway driving!

This morning we again crossed a river shortly after getting on the road, only this time it was the Mighty Mississippi River separating Iowa from Illinois.

A little over 2-hours later and we were driving around the big city of Peoria when we crossed another rather large river, this time it was the Illinois River.

Just downriver from the current bridge they are busy constructing a brand new bridge, which is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2024. Construction began in the spring of 2019, so it's anybody's guess when it will actually be completed.

Today we drove completely across the state of Illinois and halfway across Indiana. We did see a few more houses with TP in the trees, but nothing to compare to what we saw in Iowa.

Here's a thought? Maybe the losing football team should be required to not only clean up their own town, but also the winning teams town! Now that would be an incentive to play your best.


DAY #4


STOP #450
0 (that's spelled zero) miles of Interstate Highway driving!

We started our 4th and final travel day with breakfast at the Bob Evans Restaurant across the street from Walmart.

I made sure our last day of travel would be an easy one of just 147-miles and that almost what we got.

In a little town in Indiana we saw signs mentioning a detour, but we've seen those all over the place in the last few days. Then we saw the sign that read "Bridge Out". That is not something we can ignore, so while still 5-miles outside of town we made a u-turn in the roadway and headed back out of town to take a very short 5-mile detour to get back to the route we had planned.

We arrived at the Airsteam Factory Service Center campground just 30-minutes after our Colorado friends and tomorrow morning we'll both be in the office with our list of repairs in hand. Wish us both luck!

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TUESDAY - Today we had a slightly longer than average travel day with 126-miles under our tires.

We are taking another two day rest break before we begin our four looooong travels days heading east across the midwestern United States.

Occasionally we'd come across some interesting Nebraska county scenery like this...

...but to be honest, most of the time we were looking at a whole-lot-of-nothin' like this.

We passed through several small towns, one with a population of 20, and even found gasoline for $3.59, a full twenty cents cheaper than anywhere we've seen in a while.

For the last two days we had temperatures in the low 90°Fs and no electricity, which means no A/C! With two more days forecast to reach 90°F we made sure our next stop had electricity.

The Bessey Recreation Complex Campground in Halsey, NE fit our needs perfectly. It's also a United States Forest Service campground so those prices I quoted you are both half priced.

We just spent $7.50 a night to camp without electric/water/dump station or showers. Here at this campground we have "all of that" and it's just $10.00 a night, what a bargain!

Here we are all tucked in on our new spacious corner lot (a.k.a. Campsite #6).

No nearby noisy neighbors, just the way we like it.

WEDNESDAY - Tricia was up at a more reasonable hour to do her morning walk, now that we've officially crossed into Central Time Zone.

She's now only 1 hour earlier than her girlfriend she talks to while walking who lives in Jacksonville, FL in the Eastern Time Zone.

It's still dark out when the walk begins, but she's usually back after sunrise.

Early morning photos of the Middle Loup River that runs along the front of the campground.

Later in the morning, after it warmed up from the predawn temperature of 51°F, WE took a walk around the campground.

I was mostly checking out where and how to access the dump station and fresh water fill when we leave with the trailer tomorrow morning. WE also walked the same path Tricia did earlier to get some daytime photos to share.

There's direct river access from the campground, maybe for kayaks or innertubes to float on.

There is a pretty swift current here so swimming might not be a good idea.

A nice little shaded spot to watch the water roll on by.

This is the low bridge you use to access the campground.

Upstream from the campground.

That's a pedestrian bridge that also allows access to 2 additional tent sites on the other side.

Our friends Katherine and John from Denver, CO have hit the road with their Airstream and are taking a different route than us to meet up and camp together for a 6th time in 6 different states. That list presently contains Texas, Kansas, Alaska, Utah and Wyoming.

To find out what the 6th state will be you'll have to stay tuned until Sunday, when we once again will be sharing the same campground. Any guesses what that state will be?

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SUNDAY - By 8:30AM we were traveling east on US-20 headed for a First-Come-First-Serve campsite in the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest.

Steer Creek Campground is the only developed campground in the entire forest and oddly enough no one from the Campendium community has ever reviewed this place. That could turn out good or bad! Good that we discover another gem of a camping opportunity or bad that this place is a dump and somewhere everyone else knows to avoid.

I suspect it will fall somewhere in between those two descriptions, but either way we're going to find out and be the first to review it on Campendium.

After being on the road for about an hour and a half we saw another Airstream traveling this lonely road heading in the opposite direction.

Like we always do when seeing another Airstream, we began flashing our high beams and waving at them and they were kind enough to return the gesture towards us.

Fifteen minutes later we were all prepared and took a video of a memorable moment related to our travels. All this happened at 60MPH on a less than perfect central Nebraska country road, so please forgive the less than perfect quality of the video.

That's right, ROVER is now a member of the 100,000-mile club. I can also confidently inform you that 51.6% (i.e. 51,605) of those miles were while towing THE POD to 48 of our 50 states. We're not done with him yet! We're going to see if he can do another 100,000 miles.

A short while later we were selecting our campsite from the 20 vacant sites still available.

There were three occupied campsites and they all had tents, no other RVs were to be found?

Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest


Steer Creek is the only campground option in this entire National Forest.

23 campsites on one loop with two vault toilets and one dumpster.

The well worn road through the campground loop.

Sites #3 & #4 would make good "buddy sites" as they are close together.

The first of two vault toilets in the campground.

This is the second one a little further from the campsites.

They appear to be fairly new and well maintained, unlike the roadways.

Most of the campsites pads are just about worn out.

Some of the sites are well shaded, but we wanted one with full sun for our solar panels.

And that's just what we got...

...plus a view of the northern sky for our Starlink dish.

The centrally located hand pump was nonpotable water, so it's only good for cleaning.

The only trash dumpster could use an emptying!

The entrance to the Bluejay Trail looked inviting...

...but the exit was blocked with a large pile of downed wood.

MONDAY - This stop was meant to be another layover visit before we start to put some serious miles under our wheels.

We've got one more of these two day layovers before the longer travel days begin. So stay tuned!

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