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Hey Hays! Day 1 on the way home

Lots of miles on the road today. Was foggy when I left Kay and Bill’s at around 6:30AM Mountain time, but fog lifted once I got past Hermosa on Hwy 79 South towards Hot Springs and Chadron, NE. Here are some random bullets of highlights from the day:

· Enjoyed crossing the White River near Chadron – it eventually flows through Badlands National Park. The river begins west of Chadron.

· Liked seeing the Pine Ridge (aptly named) – like the White River, it also rises in Nebraska before making its way to South Dakota.

· AMERICANA EXPERIENCE OF THE DAY: Visited Carhenge in Alliance, NE. Recreation of Stonehenge using old cars. It’s actually kind of cool. The person who conceived of the idea returned home after spending time in England, hence the idea.

· Alliance is a true railroad town – I have not ever seen so many trains before

· Realized that the Sandhills of Nebraska are, of all things, sandy… HA!

· Drove to Chimney Rock near Bayard, NE despite advice not to do so. 😊 I enjoyed seeing the site and also visited the old cemetery nearby. The light was particularly striking.

· Took in the varied landscapes along the North Platte River on US26.

· Continued to admire the subtle beauty of the prairie throughout the day. Truly the only two “boring” sections were south of Ogallala for about 20 miles and the 30 miles along I-70 from WaKeeney to Hays at the end of the day. Most people underestimate the rich variety of the prairie.

· Noticed that the symbol of Hill City, KS is the pheasant…

· Experienced major road construction at Hays exit and also found out my hotel is under renovation… oh, well.

· Poked around downtown Hays and had dinner. All of the streets downtown are made of brick, which adds a lot to the atmosphere.

Have an early start on Friday – anxious to explore some parts of Kansas I have not seen before.

Mileage update:

Miles driven from Rapid City to Hays: 584.6

Total so far: 3,139.3 miles

Photo gallery:

Top row: Carhenge and downtown Alliance

2nd row: Carhenge

3rd row: Chimney Rock

4th row (L to R): Chimney Rock; downtown Hays, KS


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