Wednesday, February 4, 2015

From Nebraska to Minnesota

Yesterday I did the drive back from Nebraska to Minnesota. I waited to leave my friends' home until almost 11:30 am for I thought that would let the snow in Iowa to move far enough east that it would not be any kind of problem.

I thought I would again try the 100 mile pictures. The pictures at the start of the drive are from the grounds of the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Lincoln.

Shortly after turning back on 70th Street I came to a stop light. The process of slowing down to the stop caused all the snow yet on the top of my car to slide down the windshield. Thankfully that happened while I was stopped safely. The windshield wipers easily moved the snow off the windshield, but left a huge pile where the hood meets the windshield. I thought the heat from the engine would melt the snow, but that didn't
happen. It was many miles later while actually having crossed to Iowa that I found a rest stop. I pulled in and used the brush which all Minnesotans carry in the car to remove the snow from that area.

My 100 mile mark occurred at another rest stop in Iowa. This one is called a parking only rest stop. One could stop there for a bit of break from driving but there is no toilet facility, and the major Iowa rest stops have history exhibits as well as wi-fi.

This particular rest stop is in the middle of a wind farm area.

 From the Nebraska border to the interchange I mention below, I saw many cars in the snow in the median of the highway awaiting a tow truck to pull them out. Each carried a ribbon which I think must signal to the highway patrol that the car has been noted and the people inside safely removed to shelter. The snowy Sunday night must have been bad out there on the freeway. It is not uncommon for semi-trucks to jack-knife during weather we had, but I saw one semi-truck totally overturned in the median. That is uncommon.

Eventually I came to the interchange of I-80 and I-35 and began the trek to the north. The 200 mile mark became the "lunch" stop. This stop was actually a few minutes after 3 in the afternoon, so I don't know if I should call it lunch. I found an exit that had many restaurants listed on the sign, so followed the directions given and stopped at Culver's, which is one of my favorites.

I was surprised to see the sundae. I always order a hot fudge shake. I don't know if I misspoke or the person at the register made a mistake on keying in the order. Anyway I didn't send it back for a change.

This particular area in which I found the restaurant had many other restaurants and big box stores, but I couldn't see a gas station anywhere. It was getting time to get gas and I thought I shouldn't wait for the major interchange that was yet another good hour north. Well, I knew Boondocks would come up.

Looked up the word Boondocks and found it comes from a Tagalog word. Wikipedia says Boondocks is an American colloquialism that means a remote, rural location. Succeeded in getting gas, but here the temperature was only 15 degrees (-9.5 C) and the wind was blowing, too. Brrr! 

Iowa Public Radio had been saying all the snow in this area had moved on into Wisconsin, and I found that to be true. But while stopped here I picked up a text from my granddaughter saying it was snowing hard in St. Paul.  I didn't like that news, but knew I would arrive in that area after rush hour so that should help a lot.

The 300 mile mark found me in southern Minnesota. Here is another picture from a rest stop.

No one having a picnic here today.

Now in Minnesota I noticed the snow plows were out and again tow trucks needed for some cars that had gone astray. There was just a light coating of snow on the road.

The 400 mile mark was by Buck Hill, a downhill ski area, but there was not a safe place to stop for a photo. The photo shown below comes from Google images.

Buck Hill was busy when I went by about 7 PM. I got home safe, but tired about one-half hour later.

It was fun to get out of town for a few days.

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