Getting back into the swing of things post-Covid, we headed off on our second solo road trip. Ironically, we were both still recovering from Covid at the time of this trip. Nonetheless, we were troopers, and soldiered on. We knew going into it that this was going to be rather uneventful trip overall. So it worked out well, not having a ton of things to see.
We set out on Friday night. Our destination was the Hampton Inn in Marshalltown, Iowa. We got into Iowa, worked our way around Cedar Rapids, and headed west on HWY 30. We entered Tama and Marshall Counties. The latter is where we spent the night.
On Saturday morning we set out for western Nebraska. We headed mostly west for the entire day. We continued west on HWY 30, picking up Story, Boone and Greene Counties. At the city of Scranton, we went south on HWY 25 until we crossed into Guthrie County, near the city of Bayard. We then went west on HWY 141, up into Carroll County. A few miles later we turned left, went about 1 mile down a dirt road, and crossed into Audubon County. We turned around, got back heading west on HWY 141, then entered Crawford County. When we reached HWY 59, we turned south and went about 4 miles until we crossed into Shelby County. With Shelby County picked up, we had completely finished the state of Iowa. Next up was Nebraska!
We crossed the Missouri River at Decatur and went west on HWY 51. After crossing through Burt County (a wonderful county that we had previously visited) we entered Stanton County. The next three counties (Wayne, Pierce and Madison) all came quickly, as they all came together at a point (including Stanton County) just northeast of the city of Norfolk. So we worked our way around the city to pick up all three.
We then went west on HWY 275 and reached Antelope County at the city of Tilden. When we reached the city of Elgin, we went south and entered Boone County. We then went back to Elgin and went west on HWY 70, crossing into Wheeler County. We then went south on HWY 281 and reached Greeley County. We then turned around to go back and head west on HWY 91, all the way to Garfield County. A few minutes later we took a side road for a few miles to Valley County. We then continued west on HWY 91 and HWY 2 for a couple of hours. When we got to Loup County, we drove through the small town of Taylor - which featured vintage figurines of people standing up all over the entire town. It was charming, and a little odd. Continuing west on HWY 91, we drove through Blaine, Thomas, Hooker and Grant Counties. After Grant County we entered Sheridan County (where we’d previously been) in order to pick up Garden County. We took a dirt road to the south, passed a small lake, and crossed the border into Garden County. The county sign had tipped over. So we picked it up for a quick photo. I’m sure the wind knocked it over a minute later. But it stood long enough for the picture.
At this point we finally had our first major stop of the day. Just north of the city of Alliance, we pulled over to visit Carhenge – a recreation of England’s Stonehenge – but made out of old cars. It’s definitely a sight to behold.
After Carhenge, we headed straight to our hotel – the Hampton Inn & Suites Scottsbluff. On our way we picked up two new counties – Morrill and Scotts Bluff.
On Sunday morning we set out to visit Scotts Bluff National Monument. We spent a little time touring the grounds, then drove to the summit for some nice views.
After Scotts Bluff National Monument, we went south on HWY 71 all the way to Kimball. We picked up Banner and Kimball Counties on the way. At Kimball we hopped on I-80 and started our long trip back. After heading east for 12 miles or so, we crossed into Cheyenne County. We continued east for about an hour, before getting off and heading north on HWY 61 towards the city of Arthur, and thus, Arthur County. Once we got to Arthur we went east on HWY 92 for quite awhile, picking up McPherson, Logan, Custer, Sherman, Howard and Merrick Counties. When we finally reached HWY 30, we headed northeast toward the city of Silver Creek. Once we reached the city, we took a few dirt roads to the west and entered Nance County. From there, we basically hugged the Platte River to pick up our last six counties of the trip. We drove on both the north and south sides of the river for several miles, weaving back and forth, picking up Polk, Platte, Butler, Colfax, Dodge and Saunders Counties. Saunders County was our last county in the state of Nebraska, and the last new county of our trip. With Iowa and Nebraska, we have now completed 23 states.