Adios Arches… Hello Road Trip

I had originally intended to conclude my series on Arches National Park with photos of several of the more famous arches. But when Peggy and I were driving out, the late afternoon sun created photo-ops I just couldn’t resist. As Peggy drove, I snapped away.

Beneath Scotts Bluff, Nebraska: We are camped at the base of a towering bluff that once stood as a major landmark to pioneers traveling west in wagon trains. My great, great grandmother would have passed this way and stared up at it in awe with the welcome knowledge that she had left the Great Plains behind. And, indeed, we too are breathing a huge sigh of relief, glad to be back in our much loved west. The bluff was named after an employee of a fur trading company who had the misfortune to die not far from where we are camped. He likely would have been glad to live on and leave the bluff with someone else’s name. I, for one, prefer the Native American name, Me-a-pa-te, which translates ‘hill that is hard to go around.’

As I work on this post, Scotts Bluff looms in the near distance. This notable landmark once served to guide wagon trains on their way across America.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks as we have made our way west from Virginia. This past week we kept ahead of a major storm that whipped through the Midwest with winds up to 100 MPH. We also avoided numerous motorcyclists— most with a similar look and without helmets— as they dashed around us on their way to Sturgis, South Dakota and whatever fate awaited them.

One of many groups of motorcyclists that zipped past us on their way to Sturgis and a possible confrontation with Coronavirus. Those unfortunate enough to come in contact with the disease would carry it home.

Yesterday was particularly interesting. We started our day at Buffalo Bill’s historic ranch camped out on the North Platte River and then hopped on one of America’s most historic backroads, US 30, otherwise know as the Lincoln Highway. It was America’s first cross-country road. But that’s only a small part of its history. For thousands of years it served as a major route for Native Americans. In the 1850s it was part of the Oregon Trail. Pony Express riders used it on their two year ride to glory and the nation’s first transcontinental railroad was built beside it. In 1908 it became part of the greatest road trip/road race ever, the New York to Paris Road Race, which will be the subject of my next blog.

A view from our campsite on the North Fork of Platte River. Buffalo Bill’s historic home is less than a mile away.

But today, it’s time to say goodby to Arches National Park.

One of the many late afternoon views we had as we drove out of Arches National Park. I’ll share a few and let the photos speak for themselves.
A final view. Goodby Arches. Hello road trip.

NEXT POST: What better place to start posts from our present journey around the US than what I consider to be one of the greatest road trip/races of all-time: The 1908 race around the world from New York to Paris. I’ve been meaning to do this blog ever since I came across the winner of the race at the National Auto Museum this time last summer. It’s epic!