01.05.2016 - 01.05.2016
Room 324, Hampton Inn, Cheyenne, Wyoming
5.19pm Tuesday 3rd May
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
We've arrived here in Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, having just had one of those stunning and unexpected drives which makes these trips. But more on that later.
Meanwhile, back in Omaha, not the capital of Nebraska, we woke to a rainy and cold Sunday. That weekend, the town had experienced an annual phenomenon which must be unique. Bill Gates, plus 49,999 other souls descended upon the place for the "Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting". This is the company owned by Warren Buffet, the financial guru who holds court in the town he calls home and dispenses his wisdom for the forthcoming year. People pay to hear this in the hope they will emulate his vast fortune. They won't. Except for Bill Gates who has (he happens to be on the board).
We had not realised why, back last September, when we'd started booking our hotels, so many were already fully booked while the others were demanding an exorbitant rate. We did find a room at the airport Best Western that didn't need a mortgage. By the Sunday, the hopefulls had gone and room rates were back to normal so we moved downtown to the Doubletree.
This part of the trip was based upon a route in True West magazine which covered the historic forts of the Northwest. We pruned the route down but the first was just outside Omaha, the start of the route. So that answers the question "why Nebraska, for ****-sake." Or "WHAT! Omaha?"
We drove out to Fort Atkinson and parked in the car park. But the rain was blowing into streams down the windscreen so we took a rain-check (haha) on the very first of our forts.
We then drove about 20 miles to find a mobile phone shop in Fremont. In the past we'd try to get the Internet on our phones but coverage was terrible. European phones are not compatible with the biggest US network (Verizon) so we bought a mobile router which would create our own WiFi network wherever we are, including in the car! BUT the young man in the shop had problems (not personal ones, though I think he may have on reflection) with authorising the SIM.
Long story short, we went off to Walmart to buy some essentials (new underwear for John, no photos!) etc. And back to find young Wesley had come up trumps and had our router working. We are very pleased with it and, apart from on the high Wyoming plains this afternoon, have had Internet wherever we've gone. And we can use the gizmo on future trips.
Gosh that was boring. Back to the travel stuff. We then explored the motorways that envelop Omaha. We expected a smallish city but it is a small city trying to be a big one, hence all the motorways. To be fair, it is a major junction for East-West and North-South routes.
We then drove down to the waterfront. We're on the Missouri here which, generally, forms the boundary between Nebraska and Iowa. Generally because the river has rerouted itself (or been rerouted). In many places the boundary zizags but the river goes straight past. For example, the airport is in Iowa even though the river is to the east of it. I knew all that I learned about Oxbow lakes would come in handy one day!
Down at the riverside we were frozen, so we beat a hasty retreat to the hotel and licked our wounds.
The hotel thoughtfully closes its restaurant on a Sunday. Just the day you need it as everywhere else is closed on a Sunday! Scream! Anyway, an excuse to extricate the car from the multi-storey next to the hotel, and drive into Iowa to find a Village Inn diner.
Bob had Citrus Chilli Chicken and John treated himself to the one and only burger of this trip. Not bad. We were joined by the local youth enjoying a Sunday night out.
Back at the hotel, which, I'm afraid has seen better days, we discovered a slight problem in the bathroom. Gentle reader, have you ever stayed anywhere where you need to lift the toilet seat before you can close the bathroom door? Well we have.... now!
Doubletree is a Hilton brand that seems to suit us: getting on a bit and frayed round the edges. To be fair, though it needs quite a bit of TLC, it was still a nice Downtown hotel with a bit of style.
We really don't want to push the attention span of our fellow Bloggers, nor your humble author, too far. What's more, Arthur says he's hungry (how odd!), so we're going to call it an evening here. We have a "rest day" tomorrow in Cheyenne so we'll no doubt find a little time to continue our journey with you.
Thanks for listening but, most of all, thanks for all those comments. Thank you!