As boring as many people said the I-80 route is, I absolutely loved it. It’s flat, the roads are in good condition, and it’s not super crowded. There are also a surprising amount of things to see along the way on the Roadside America app, which kept us busy throughout our driving day. The first couple of attractions were in Wyoming.
Our first stop was a slight detour from I-80 on 80 service road. A farmer, Mel Gould, has spent several years building metal sculptures in his yard and the detail and whimsy was very impressive. Added bonus it was dog friendly and although Jack wasn’t crazy about all statues he did enjoy getting out and walking awhile. There is a nice, wide turnaround spot for the RV so it was easy to get in and out of, as you can see.
Next up and right on the border of Nebraska was a large statue of the Virgin Mary. This was not really around anything else, but was obviously well cared for, Every time we get an opportunity to see something like this, I think of Lee’s Grandma Anna, who was extremely devout and went to mass frequently. If she was alive she would have loved these pictures. (This one is right off the interstate exit, but at the time we visited that exit was closed for construction. And again, as you can see, plenty of room for a big rig to get in and out. The giant letters are the border of Nebraska and Wyoming. – Lee)
(Also, right at the entrance there is an old closed gas station that sits on the border, and half the fuel pumps are in Nebraska, and half are in Wyoming, which is kind of fun. You can see the line in the picture. Plenty of room to getin and out to snap a quick picture. – Lee)
Along the outside edge was a series of smaller statues showing the journey of Christ with the cross. What I liked about these is you could drive to each of them, which is nice for people in wheelchairs.
Our next stop was a small thing that normally we wouldn’t have stopped for, but since it was at a Flying J we got fuel and saw it really quick. The caterpillar made out of tires (ie: Alice in Wonderland) was actually well done and as a bonus the truck stop had a nice 50’s diner attached. We had their buffet bar for $12.50 and I thought it was pretty good. As an FYI we prefer to stop at Pilots and Flying J’s. We have the Lifetime Good Sam membership and Flying J gas card and that give us 8 cents off the cash price of every gallon of fuel we buy. Even with the discount their prices aren’t always the cheapest, but they are almost everywhere we travel and their services are pretty consistent. We only fuel at trucks tops on travel days where we don’t unhitch though because smaller gas stations are waaaay cheaper than truck stops as a general rule.
Our last stop of the day prior to stopping for the night was at the Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, NE. This was super kitschy and not very well done. although the stuffed two headed calf was a nice specimen. They did have a nice miniature collection of Buffalo Bills Wild West show and an excellent bookstore with lots of historical western books which Lee loves.
After checking out the trading post, we stayed overnight at the I-80 Lakeside Campground. There were no Passport America parks in the area and the $5 municipal park had no hookups. Since it was hot and muggy, Lee wanted electric so we paid $30 to stay. It was surprisingly nice and the people who ran it were great. Jack loved walking along the lake and my only complaint was the dog park was super tiny. Fine for an overnight although I would have loved to have tried the municipal park.
Next up we finally get that Nebraska State Sticker!!!
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