Go West! (Part V: Nebraska)

The Nebraska sign came up really quick after we got off the too narrow bridge, so I missed it for a pic.

We were down to a 2-lane hwy in Nebraska.
First look, Beatrice NE.

Our destination was Beatrice, a small city that Jay & John lived in for a few years before they went to Georgia to work. The plan was to stay overnight at the city campground where Jay had lived while he was there, then drop the camper at his old boss’ house in Fairbury and head to Las Vegas the next day.

The campground where Jay used to live.
Pretty desolate this time of year.
Nobody around.

Only one spot was taken when we arrived so we had our pick. We picked out a pull through and Jay went to hook up the water, electric, and sewer but there was no water. So he called the caretakers Arnie & Emily who were wintering in Vegas and asked if the water was off or what. Turned out someone had run over something somewhere and knocked the water out to the park and it wouldn’t be fixed until Wednesday. So that ruined that idea for us. Instead we decided we’d get a room at a hotel. Jay had promised me after the terrible Super 8 experience that the next place we stayed would be a bit more upscale. But before we found a room we had to dump our sewage & waste. And wouldn’t you know it, our pipe had dry-rotted and chose this moment to break. So then I had to help him dump it, holding the pipe up at an angle while crap was leaking out all over. It was so freaking gross! The things my hun makes me do! Can you even imagine?! UGH!

I recovered, the thing got dumped & we headed through town to the other side where all the hotels were.

Driving through Beatrice downtown.
Old time drug store sign in Beatrice, NE.
The Holly, another old time movie theatre.
Still driving through Beatrice.

Jay stuck to his word and tried to get us a room in a nicer hotel, but there were no vacancies 😦 So we went to the motel where John lived all the years they were in Nebraska. When John lived there it was run down, but a sign said new management and Jay said it looked like it had all been redone and upgraded, so we booked in for the night. And guess what? They gave us John’s old room! No kidding, and Jay swears up and down that he didn’t request it, that was just the one we got. Weird, huh? Well, they may have done some reno work, there was new paint for sure, but it still wasn’t exactly a fabulous experience.

Jay on the computer at a new desk that hadn't been there when this was John's room.
The mattress was so thin and hard that I think it was the same one John slept on, but the table & chairs were brand new.
That adjoining room door doesn't close tight or lock, so I guess that's why they bought a desk to put there.
The clear light bulbs were very grimy over the sink.
The exposed light fixture in the bathroom really grossed me out.

After we settled into our room, we called a taxi to take us to Gibbs Place. It’s the bar & grill that Jay and John hung out at while they lived there. If we had been able to stay at the campground we could have walked to it, but instead we had to pay $12 each way. Jay had called to let Gibbs know we were coming so he’d stick around and wait to see him. He was sitting at the bar having a drink when we walked in, a Hunter S. Thompson type of character or Johnny Depp’s version of him. He told the waitress to give us whatever we wanted for as long as we stayed, but we couldn’t do that, the place was desolate, so we let him buy us one drink each and then bought a couple more on our own. The kitchen was closed unfortunately so we couldn’t get any dinner. Gibbs only stayed for about 20 minutes before he had to go home. Apparently a lot has changed, new bars have opened up, his business is on the decline. But that’s the bar business, up and down as people want to try the new place in a small town. Jay had tried to get in touch with a few other people he knew including the infamous Dirty Ernie, but lucky for me nobody was available, otherwise it might have been one very long night after a very long series of days. The bar kind of reminded me of the Opera House because everywhere you looked there was some sort of memorabilia that Gibbs had collected. It was mostly sports and nascar type stuff, license plates and other things, not movie related like the Opera House used to be but you could see Gibbs part in it all much like you could always see David Morris’.

The next morning we got up and headed to Fairbury to drop the camper at Dane’s place. We got lost and went too far because Jay could remember which road we had to cut off on. The main road we were driving on was paved but all the others were dirt. All the roads intersect at a mile so the area inside them is always one square mile. You can see for miles and miles, but Dane’s is out there, you really have to know what you’re looking for in order to see it from the main road, and it took Jay a few minutes to figure it out.

Our camper at Dane's.
Unhooking the camper from the truck at Dane's.
The truck all unhooked and ready to go the rest of the way on its own.
The street that Dane lives on.
The view from Dane's place looking toward the main hwy ... it's out there somewhere.

Really all of Nebraska until you get closer to Colorado looks like those photos above. I felt very land locked, I didn’t see any rivers, ponds, lakes, not even a creek or brook. But as we got closer to the Colorado border some water started to show up.

They were few & far between in NE but every body of water I saw was absolutely polluted with these crane like birds.
This was some kind of tourist attraction spanning the highway, to do with Wild Bill I think.
When we were stopping for lunch I snapped this. Yes, everywhere in the midwest you see guys on tractors driving on busy streets, it's not a stereotype!

Overall, Nebraska was not my cup of tea at all. The big sky and flat land stretching into forever unnerved me. I didn’t mind Beatrice or some of the other towns we stopped in to refuel and eat, but jeeze, what a freaking desolate place!

(…to be continued…Colorado up next)

2 thoughts on “Go West! (Part V: Nebraska)

Add yours

  1. dirt roads, corn fields, guys on tractors…it really is like that! crazy! I know for sure I could not live there. I like my rivers, my trees and my privacy since I am surrounded by rivers and trees lol.


    1. yep, it’s really like that. i said to jay that their crime rate must be really low because you couldn’t get away with anything without somebody seeing you. anyone with a good set of binoculars or a high powered telescope anywhere in the state could be watching! lol


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