Sunday, August 10, 2014


We left Poudre River Canyon and headed out onto the plains. If you recall from your history and geography lessons in school, the plains start where the Rockies end. My reason for visiting the plains is because they are flat and I like flat when it comes to riding my bike. Sill alongside the Cashe La Poudre, between Winsor and Greeley, Colorado is one of Colorado’s many bike paths. The paved trail meanders beside the river, through farm land and the suburbs for 21 miles. So starting out in the cool of the morning I rode from the Greeley end for 19 miles and returned. Along the way I saw white pelicans, beaver, wild turkey, prairie dogs, a snake and the ever present rabbit. At an elevation of just under 5000 feet, I knew I had ridden 38 miles. The next morning I opted for a shorter segment with a stop for coffee at the halfway point.


We pulled up stakes and continued our way east into Nebraska. The plan is to drive from North Platte, Nebraska to Chicago on US Highway 30, the Lincoln Highway. America’s first coast to coast highway, from New York to San Francisco, was first envisioned by Indianapolis businessman Carl Fisher, the man also responsible for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Miami Beach. With help from fellow industrialists Frank Seiberling and Henry Joy, an improved, hard-surfaced road was envisioned that would stretch almost 3400 miles from coast to coast over the shortest practical route. The Lincoln Highway Association was created in 1913 to promote the road using private and corporate donations. The idea was embraced by an enthusiastic public, and many other named roads across the country followed.  So we will be driving slow, exploring small town America and looking for remnants of the old highway.

Our first stop along the highway is Gothenburg, the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska. Founded in 1882 by Swedish immigrant Olof Bergstrom while working for the Union Pacific got the idea that a town was needed where Gothenburg now stands. Bergstrom traveled back to Sweden to convince his fellow countrymen to migrate to the United States, to build a new town in the west. He was very persuasive and by July of 1885 the town had a population of 300 and was incorporated.

As is common with small towns in the mid-west, many have camping facilities in their city park. Gothenburg was no different with 15 campsites with electrical, for $15 a night. A very nice shaded park with grass all around. Some towns offer the campsites for free.


After setting up in camp, we checked out the pony express station in it's original building. The building was originally used as a trading post and a ranch house, but in 1931 it was dismantled and reassembled in it's current location in the city park.

Heres another little tidbit of information about the town. Nebraska is corn country and the area surrounding Gothenburg is no different. There is a hugh rail shipping facility in Gothenburg owned by Frito Lay. Most of the corn in a 100 mile radius is trucked to Gothenburg and then shipped by rail to Frito Lay factories throughout the western US. So if your are eating a Frito in San Diego, the corn used to make your chip came from Gothenburg.

In the evening there was a knock on the RV door as the camp host was providing us with the location of the storm shelter, in the women's restroom. She informed us that there was a storm warning for severe thunderstorms. She said if we heard a siren we should head post haste to the shelter. She suggest that we bring a blanket with us. Later in the evening we could see the storms approaching with the clouds lit up with the lightening. Not like a thunderstorm that we experience in California, but a good mid-western thunderstorm with lightening that never stops flashing and hail that comes in 50 cent sizes.  The rain on the roof was so loud it was doubtful that the siren would be heard.

We survived with no damage and if the siren sounded, we slept through it.

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