Day 69 - Sleeping In The Shadow Of An ICBM

Trip Start May 19, 2008
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Trip End Nov 08, 2008


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Where I stayed
Gotte Municipal Park

Flag of United States  , Nebraska
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Well what can we say. Nebraska. Land of the two corn husks and very big wind. Two corn husks in that the two predominant crops are wheat and maize and big wind being just that, some of the strongest winds we have experienced on our journey across the states so far, and we have experienced quite a lot of wind, (or was that hot air? Ha, ha, only joking! for the sake of anyone without a sense of humour!!!) Anyway, so much wind and hardly any wind farms. Crazy.

Also so much corn (on the cob in this case), and when we stopped for supplies in the town of Alliance we were told that they didn't have any until Tuesday. What is that all about? We briefly considered doing what someone who shall remain nameless might do and stop by the side of a field and help ourselves but decided against it. Too bad for our Karma.

So basically, today was spent battling wind whilst driving between two types of corn field and a lot of land that didn't seem to be usable in any way, from just south of Chadron, through Alliance (where the shop assistant asked in sheer wonderment "What brings you to Nebraska?"), through Bridgeport and finally into the town of Kimball.

We weren't very, very bored on the journey but we did discuss our "emergency supply parcels from Europe". This is a discussion which started many weeks ago in San Diego when Mel was craving chocolate and was severely disappointed by "Whoppers", America's answer to Maltesers. American chocolate and European chocolate are sooo different. So Mel started a wish list of items she would have sent over from Europe if we happened to be in one place long enough to receive a parcel. When we were in San Diego it was just Cadbury's chocolate (we know you are smiling Claire!) but now it comprises the following:

Cadbury's chocolate (any type, it just can't be beaten)
Tetley tea bags (again, you can't beat them, just ask Mel's tea-bitch!)
Sanex deodorant (can you believe you can't buy it here?)
Nivea sun lotion (American factor 50 just doesn't seem that strong and Nivea is nowhere to be seen)
Spanish olives (the ones from Mercadona in the handy single-serving packs, not jars big enough to feed 50)
Guindillas (despite all the Mexican influence we've encountered, we just haven't seen them)
Sharwoods Mango Chutney (for Neil, a curry just isn't the same without it apparently)
Tandoori Spice seasoning (Wednesdays just aren't Wednesdays without it!)
Mum Fox's marmalade (severe withdrawal symptoms are being encountered)
Weetabix (there are literally over one hundred varieties of radioactively coloured, additive laden breakfast cereals, but nothing as simple and wholesome as Weetabix)

There were a few brief, interesting moments along the way. The first, passing a small-holding with a few bugs and buses outside and then realising that there were hundreds out the back, in the absolute middle of nowhere! Secondly, passing what appeared to be a "trailer cemetery", two lines of old, dumped static caravans in a field in the middle of nowhere. And finally, as we approached the town of Alliance, a stationary train on a track running parallel with the road which made it possible for us to accurately measure how long it was - 1.2 miles! And it was just the first of many, either full of grain or full of coal. That's a lot of grain and a lot of coal.

And so we eventually arrived at our camp-site in Kimball, Gotte Municipal Park which is exactly what the name suggests, a town park. As we weren't plagued with flies or mosquitoes for once, Neil took the opportunity to finish our stereo installation and wire in the speakers. At last! Music!

This park has one unique feature which we have never, ever seen in a park anywhere - an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. An obsolete 100 ft Titan I nuclear warhead to be exact, to represent the 200 ICBM's that were once located in the area.

We met a really nice family, the only other people also staying over in the park, Tim & Lisa and their two girls Bromwyn and Madeline. They weren't really that phased by the fact that there was an ex-warhead in the park. We think they wondered why we were so shocked by it. They told us that we should drive through the north of North Dakota. There you can see live warheads actually on their missile launchers!!!!!!

Still, it's a very weird feeling sleeping in the shadow of an ICBM, obsolete or not!

Miles travelled: 144

Total miles travelled: 5594

Days on road: 49

States visited: 11

National Parks visited: 9
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