Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nebraska and “Hawthorne” (a.k.a Plainview) 2Aug - 8Aug 2014

All five of us were totally exhausted from the heat and the continuous stop&go of following the sights of the Pony Express and Oregon trail. We entered finally the campground at Rock Creek Station Historical Park were we found a decent place to pitch our tent. The sanitary facilities were as good as new, clean and the showers had high pressure with perfect temperature. With the last energy we had we managed to pitch our tent, take care of girls and make some food. Then to bed and seconds later we were all snoring.

The next morning we spent some time at Rock Creek Station before leaving the Pony Express and heading north to Plainview, Nebraska – a city in which most of the movie Nebraska was shot. The days got hotter and Skippy had some trouble to stay focused. She was still riding in her normal gear. She needs to overcome her shopping-phobia and get some protective gear for hot days.
Preparing a building for moving.
Yeah - a different view besides corn and soy!
Rock Creek Station.
Interior of the house.
Rock Creek toll bridge and ruts in the steep hill from all the wagons.
We "upgraded" from 1/2 quart to 1 quart sized ice cream (about 1/2 l to 1l) :D
It was difficult to find a campground in the area of Columbus. We decided to stay one night at the free municipal camping which offers electricity, water, a vault toilet but no showers.
We stayed two nights at the Chilvers park in Plainview where camping is for free (they even offer free electric hook-up and restrooms). We got lucky and could take a shower for free in the municipal swimming pool at the first day. The second day they closed early due to a severe thunderstorm! We got once more wet, cool lightning show and our tent got a free wash. Lucky for us no tornadoes (the following slogan came to my mind: “Roadlife ain't for sissies”).

Pilger – a neighbor city did not get lucky. On the 16th -18th of June it was hit by a rare twin tornado which caused two deaths and many injuries (source: Wikipedia).

We became famous in Plainview after one of the city workers (Candy) “discovered” us and got totally excited about what we do. So she called the newspaper guy which was out of town and then got hold of the city administrator. He came the next morning and gave us a free tour through the city and highlighted some of the movie scenes and their related shooting locations. That was pretty cool! Thanks Michael. Let's see if we made it to the Plainview newspaper :D

Thanks to Neil from Arkansas for helping us out with cooking. By the law of Murphy we run out of camping gas in the middle of our cooking and I could not find a new bottle in Plainview. When we left our campsite on the next morning one of the locals a relative of Michael (sorry we forgot your name) who stopped by "taught" us a Nebraskan tradition – he took off his shirt and gave it to Skippy with the words " we take our shirt off for you" :D
Plainview, Nebraska.
Camping in the municipal park.
Hawthorne city sign.
Main street. Fred Astaire used to visit this hotel in his younger years (story).
Plainview reality.
Hawthorne in the movie Nebraska.
Skippy always finds those little creatures :) This one was in the end of its metamorphosis, really cool looking!
Many colorful butterflies.
"Woody's brother's house" at the corner of Plum St and Pilcher Ave.
Country style truck parking in the center lane to grab breakfast ;)
The Klowndoll museum at Plainview.

Is that so?
It was 13:00 when we were ready to leave the city – a pretty late start and then Skippy's bike stalled! The battery was again low. This Li-Io battery did not like the rainy weather and the stop-and-go in the morning after the rain. Well, we were already well trained in jump starting the Suzi and 5 minutes later we left Plainview towards south back to Pony Express. 
Lyra was bored.
Monsanto - a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate (from Wikipedia).
We saw plenty of those signs along the road.
It was good to have a plan and it was better to let go of it, when we realized that we would not make it to the desired campground. We were both tired and the only accommodation nearby were motels. Bad for budget and good for comfort :)
Great outfit on the sidecar and Ural typical, transport by trailer instead of own power?
Walmart's definition of ripe bananas (and Skippy said: they are still raw!).
Real ripe bananas have plenty of dark spots and no green at all! These are much better for digestion and also taste better!
Like in the movies - American style mail boxes.
Really??? a warning sign for this ENORMOUS downhill - LOL!
Oregon trail marker.
Following Pony Express, Oregon and California trail on the back country roads.
US Meat Animal Research Center - a place of outmost animal cruelty!
If two-headed pigs and 6-legged steers fascinate you, consider an educational visit to the US Meat Animal Research Center. They probably don't have those oddities, but you can get an inside peek at the complicated world of keeping America fed with meat. Tasty, healthy meat.

There are thousands of cows, sheep, and pigs at this government facility, where scientists fret about... Spoilage bacteria! Foodborne illness! Contamination! Carcasses and pathogens! More efficient breeding!
(source here)
These billboards totally pissed of Skippy! There's no need to intimidate females like that! We saw also much worse ones, just didn't get pictures of those yet...
We saw plenty of these irrigation systems with up to 14 elements. "Nearly half of all water used in USA goes to raising animals for food! 70% of grains and cereals grown in USA are fed to farmed animals." Just think about how many humans those grains and cereals could feed and how easily we could save our only planet by going vegan!!!
Here is a really good infographic about the facts how animal agriculture affects our planet:
Veganism by the numbers.
Infographic by

The last picture of the Suzi and Skippy with a black helmet.

And then it made KABUMMMMMM!

Our track
Typical Nebraska road layout - a gravel road (dotted grey) every mile and a bigger asphalt road once in a while (distance HWY92 to HWY34 is 20mi = 32km). Please note the breath-taking S-curve on HWY 69 in the middle of the map north of Gresham!
The same spot via Google Earth.
The patterns created by the circular irrigation systems can be seen easily when zoomed in.

And another travelogue:

 Click here if you have trouble to watch the video in youtube.