Day 4: June 11, 2014
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Today was to be a moving day. It started at the western end of the Omaha Loop and would finish at the eastern end of the Colorado Loop. I planned to simply get between those points quickly. That meant staying on US-30 until it got within reasonable range of I-80 then switching. Eventually I realized that I was the middle vehicle in a pack that had been traveling together for quite some time. Not only was this a little annoying, but every time I tried to take a picture of a grain elevator that little blue truck was in the way. Sometimes there was more.

I didn't really want to speed up to pass the truck and getting someone to pass you is awkward at best. I decided to simply drive around a few blocks in the next town to allow the car and truck to move ahead by some amount. I got lucky. It turned out to be a town with several blocks of intact brick paving and the Lincoln Highway had originally passed through it on one of those brick streets. Plus it had a couple of nice murals and a really cool pull-through gas station. That first picture contains a very cool stop sign post. The name Clarks didn't mean anything special to me when I ducked off of US-30. It does now.

I finally got a picture of a grain elevator without a blue truck in it.

Even though I'm targeting previously unseen stretches of highway on this trip, it's nice to see something familiar now and then. Kensinger's in Grand Island, Nebraska, is one of my two favorite Lincoln Highway gas stations (Dunkel's in Bedford, PA is the other.) and Dick Grudzinski is one of my favorite people. Behind the station, grass on the last remaining bit of unmolested seeding pavement could use some attention. At about the same time last year it was looking pretty clean. Maybe that was because of the centennial but it deserves to be remembered now, too.

At Grand Island I moved onto I-80 then, after a few miles, did what I often do on expressways and checked to see what the Roadside America GPS app could find nearby. Harold Warp's Pioneer Village was just a few miles to the south and was something I had heard of and wanted to visit. So, after only thirty or so miles of expressway, I made a temporary exit.

Documenting this place in photos is pretty much impossible. I took a bunch and initially thought of posting some of the unique items in the village. Of course, every item is unique in some regard but there are many collections of similar items and that's what I've decided to post. There are plenty of cars and tractors plus a bunch of pianos and outboard motors. Much of a collection of marbles has been formed into letters and other items. Note that these are only a few of the collections and that the pictures show only a fraction of the items in a particular collection. Reading the entry sign and an early version of an FAQ might help but you really gotta see it.

I do have to include one unique item. The Roadside America entry mentioned "a piece of the tin foil used on Edison's first phonograph" and I sought it out. It wasn't actually used, of course, but it was prepared for just that purpose. Here is the foil and the description.

Construction delays on NE-10 made my detour a little longer than expected but it was definitely worth it. This panel contains three more familiar places but there's a twist to each. I had seen the Great Platte River Road Archway on two other occasions but this was my first time passing under it. The second picture is of the Kearney, Nebraska, intersection where the east and west centennial tours met last year from the west tour's point of view. Today I easily got a seat at the Thunderhead Brewing Company's bar. I was here last year but it was so crowded I never got a seat.

Because Brian Butko had listed it in a recent USA Today interview and, more importantly, because it was right off of the expressway, I made a stop at the Fort Cody Trading Post near North Platte, Nebraska. I wasn't overly impressed initially. Sure, it was pretty big and it had lots of kitschy stuff for sale but so do many other places. Then I started to spot some rather unusual items like the two headed calf. I was softened by the working coin-operated stereoscope (dimeodeon?) but it was the Wild West Show that won me over. At first I thought it was another collection of plastic figures then I read about all the pieces being hand carved from wood by a fellow named Ernie Palmquist over a twelve year period. Then I realized it was mechanized and I watched one of its every-half-hour performances. I did verify that the show included home town girl Annie Oakley before giving it my full approval. Yep, the place is pretty cool but I still only spent a dime.

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