Day 24 July 3
Since we’d spent the night in the Rosebud Casino parking lot, just about 30’ from the state line marker at one end of the parking lot, first thing we did in the morning, was walk over the state line into Nebraska. Yippeee!!! A new state!
The casino and the parking lot, were partially in South Dakota and partially in Nebraska. I’m sure this is a bureaucratic nightmare for at least two people in cubicles.
Anxious to explore Nebraska, we started it off right by having breakfast in Valentine, just over the state line. When I told the waitress that we were looking for fun stuff to do in Valentine, she laughed and said, “There’s not much to do here, so good luck with that!” Not the kind of encouragement we were hoping for.
Despite the waitress’s remarks, we did find something to do. After a walk-a-bout around town, we drove through the Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, and took a hike down to a small waterfall.
And….then back on the road again. On this day, I completely gave in to the junk food lifestyle. I had Fritos, chocolate covered pretzels, and a Dr. Pepper. I was officially having junk with my junk. Great.
Late in the afternoon, we stopped in Broken Bow, a quintessential small Nebraskan town. There were a few vendors set up in the town square, as a kind of pre-July 4th little set-up. We bought fireworks from the local volunteer fire department, and we bought some homemade jams, and a homemade pie from a couple of the local women.
The jam maker’s young son told us all about how he almost blew up his brother and sister last July 4th, with fireworks they’d purchased from the local volunteer fire department. And his mom and I lamented about how fireworks are dangerous. Foreshadowing of what was to come for us the next day!
Our last stop would be Omaha, where we were going to visit Mark’s cousin Rick and his family. On the way, I noticed a very small yet very annoying gnat on the inside of the front windshield. That sucker drove me crazy for almost 30 miles. And then, finally, I obliterated the bastard right on the windshield. A small splat, clean-upable with just a little piece of tissue. Take no prisoners!