Monday, May 13, 2013

Beatrice, NE warned about the potholes in the RV parking area of the Ameristar Casino.
They weren't kidding.

Pothole between me and a semi.

I know I am firmly in the Heartland now because I see silos out of both sides of the GDB as I write this.  I know some people dread driving through the Plains states like Kansas and Nebraska, but I love it.  There’s something about the sparsely populated, picturesque farm towns, wide-open sky, and clean air.   And you happen upon Main Street USA about every 30 miles.  Plenty of chances to stop and stroll around.    


Content to leave the interstate for a while, I jumped on to US 36 (the Pony Express route) at St. Joseph, MO.   Wish I had some photos of the rolling farmland but there was little chance to pull over.
It’s a 2-lane road and well-surfaced but you do have those speed zones through towns and the inevitable road works where you must stop for 10 minutes and wait for the pilot car.  But during the wait, it’s fun to watch the prairie grass blowing in the wind and the hawk in the distance.  It’s early spring here with the red buds in full bloom. 
Spent most of the day going through Kansas.  This is the land of mile-after-mile of 2-story white frame farmhouses.  If you had a dollar for everyone you passed, you’d have a lot of dollars.

This one's for sale.

Marysville's City Park has free campsites for a 5-day maximum.  This includes electrical hook-ups, water, and a dump station.   I filled my tanks.  I’m pleased with knowing that, if careful, I can go a week between water fill-ups. 

So I’m camped for the night at the Beatrice, NE Wal-Mart.  This is about 5 miles from my next NP site – the Homestead National Monument.  You can’t travel through these parts without thinking about the westward pioneers and what their lives must have been like.  I’ll know more tomorrow! 

Before leaving Independence, I stopped at Harry’s house on Delaware Street.  You almost expect him to walk out on to the porch.   I think that says a lot about his common touch.  Something we are not likely to see again. 

This was his home from the time he married Bess in 1919 until his death in 1972.  (Except for the White House, of course).  Downtown Independence is charming and it’s not hard to imagine the retired President taking his daily stroll down Main Street.  I did the same thing. 

These street signs are everywhere.  How fitting. 


The house was closed, as I expected but so was the visitors’ center, which I didn’t.  Budget cuts.  I won’t go on a political rant but let’s just say I was one pissed-off taxpayer. 

Lincoln is only 40 miles from here so I’ll have any easy driving day tomorrow after visiting the Homestead museum. 


  1. Loving the tour! I agree about driving through the farmlands.

    1. I'm glad someone else appreciates the beauty.

  2. I have never driven that part of the country, so enjoyed seeing the photos and reading your description of it. I really liked the photo of the street sign showing the small, steep yards of the houses in the background.

    Free camping at the city park with electricity, water and a dump station. That's wonderful. Glad you got your tanks filled. I saw your question at CRVL but didn't have an answer.

    1. It doesn't look like Harry's neighborhood has changed much. I'm going to try to be more alert about fresh water sources. I usually don't think about it till really need it.

  3. I enjoy driving down the Main Street areas and stopping to walk the streets, but I do not like driving through the winds on the plains.

    1. The winds are bad - for the past three days they've been gusting in the 20's.

  4. You're a perfect RVer - when you have to stop for roadwork, you look out the windows and find reasons to enjoy being there. Isn't it nice not to be stressed like most people would be?

    Love the ducks in the pothole - that's a pretty major pothole!

    I wouldn't mind living in one of those small towns. In fact, when I lived in Camino, CA (on the western slope of the Sierras) I lived on Pony Express Trail. :)

  5. I enjoyed the ducks in the pothole so much I shared that with Dave. I don't like driving through or around those, though.

    You got me thinking about water sources. You might try old-time gas stations. They all used to have hoses for filing radiators. My rule for town park water is use any faucet that is mounted on a drinking fountain. :)


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