Thursday, 5 September 2013

Day 6: Lincoln, NE - Rawlins, WY

A transition stage today and without a proper breakfast either.  The advertised "hot breakfast" turned out to be the abomination that the Natives are wont to call "biscuits 'n' gravy".  I have explained these in a previous post and do not wish to consider them further.  Cereal and a hard-boiled ("No Raymond Chandler jokes, you" - Ed.) egg blowout.  And away.  It was almost warm enough to have the top down straight away but I refrained and Lo! it got a fair bit colder before the sun came up properly.

The first 300 miles across Nebraska looked very much like my expectation of Iowa, only slightly drier and with cows.  One could be forgiven for thinking that it is as flat as northern Illinois but in fact it climbs steadily over the distance; about 1000 metres in total.  The only thing of interest noted along here was a flight of Sandhill Cranes, which will likely be heading to New Mexico for the winter fairly soon.

After 300 miles I-76 peels off south-west towards Denver and takes about 99% of the traffic with it.  Nothing to report from here except heat and further height gain.  The Wyoming state line is over 1600 metres above sea level and it just keeps on going without really advertising the fact.  If I hadn't been monitoring Emily's "Elevation" display, I'd probably only have noticed when a roadside sign announced that, at 8,640 feet (2633 m, only they didn't mention this), one had just reached the highest point on I-80.  In the rest area at the summit stands this bloke:

Abraham Lincoln watching trucks on I-80
Then a long descent to Laramie and a further hundred-odd miles of mild lumpiness to Rawlins.  I'm in the same motel as on the post-Battle Mountain Sunday in 2012, but there are no rednecks next door playing a mixture of country and Bon fucking Jovi at skull-wrenching volume.  There is, however, a mirror behind the desk which shows that as a result of driving west since Monday lunchtime, the left side of my face is about four shades darker redder than the right.  I will get to Battle Mountain and people will point and laugh, small children will run screaming to their mummies and any local racists won't know whether to beat me up or not.

On spoons: It is a given that all American motels which actually provide cereal at breakfast time - and I don't think I've encountered one that didn't - expect you to eat your Frosties or Honey Nut Cheerios with something akin to a teaspoon with a slightly deeper bowl.  "Oh Spoons!", as that Mr Scaryduck might say.  This small scale means it takes about ten minutes to consume a small bowl.  I may have to invest in a spork.

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