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Next: Day 22: Lincoln, NE to Home, a long drive
10/14/2010: Day 21: Down from the Rockies and Across Nebraska
Mostly read the picture captions. We started in Kimball, NE, stopped at Fort Cody, drove, drove, drove, Lincoln Nebraska for a Capitol building tour.
Here's yesterday's Progress. Note how Kimball Nebraska is just east of Denver, and about as high in the mountains. A topographical map would show how this is a relatively flat area of the Rockies. Well suited to wagon trails, along which a series of evolving roads have followed, culminating in the late 20th century I-80.
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Picture Map10-13-2010
As we prepared to depart the old Motel Kimball in Kimball, Nebraska we asked the innkeeper where to go for espresso. He suggested a place downtown. Downtown Kimball is much like Andy Griffith's Mayberry. But in the center of the downtown block, there is Java Blend. The barista with blond dreadlocks said that it has been hard going to get the mountain country locals to accept strong coffee. But GPS brings in many travelers.
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Given my resemblance, we had to stop at the Fort Cody Trading Post (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10519), and Buffalo Bill Museum shortly after we got on the road.
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After we'd left, I asked Karen what she thought of the two headed calf. Puzzlement. She had been so engrossed in the trading post, she forgot to tour the museum. Note: This is a real "Siamese" bovine that lived only hours after birth.
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One big draw of the museum is a faithful scale replica of the full Wild West Traveling Show town. More about the Buffalo Bill's Miniature Wild West Show (http://www.d1133905.domain.com/bbwws.html) from FortCody.com (http://www.fortcody.com/)
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Cuffs and spurs with the old west Indian luck symbol that instantly lost popularity when it was usurped by the Nazi party in Germany in the 1930's.
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Karen tooting her own horn. This is the loudest souvenir from the trip. At least, when she does it. All I can generate is a plaintive "moo".
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Another view of my shy spouse scaring the buffalo.
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On our way out of Fort Cody, we stopped at the espresso caboose. See Karen stepped up to the Walk-Up window.
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Another, clearer, shot of my double vision. Polarizers to see the road signs, and readers to see the maps. And my handy little snapshot camera, may be closer than it appears.
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Here we are about to pass under the Great Platte River Road Archway (http://www.archway.org/visitor.aspx). We are trying to make miles, so we didn't drive the few miles off the highway to get to it.
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They really don't want people stopping on the interstate to look this over. There is probably a convenient place to pay to stop and see it just off the road. Maybe on our next trip we'll have the time to stop.
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You may have noticed that I'd been noticing wind turbines. Well, today I saw one blade pass going the other way. I didn't get the camera out in time. No? Well, I figured that these things travel in threes! So I had my camera ready for the second. But I was driving, and Karen didn't want to play photographer. So Here is the best shot I got of the second blade. Well, the inner 10% of it, anyway.
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I started shooting early for the 3rd wind turbine blade. But I was keeping my eyes on the road, so I wasn't sure what shots I got till later. Here it is, very foreshortened. That trailer is about as long as a regular 3 trailer truck-train.
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As the turbine blade passes, we see the middle half of it in my wide-angle view.
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The Lincoln, Nebraska State Capitol building
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This naked family was put up in the 1930's across from the capitol (built around the same time). Petitions from offended Victorian types forced the state to have the artist chisel clothes onto them.
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Nebraska has demonstrated such watchfulness
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We were just in tome for the last Capitol tour of the day
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Zodiacal ceiling reflects the boom of woo from the 1920's
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Nebraska threw out the bicameral system on government. These heavy ornate carved wooden doors in neo-Egyptian style with American Indian theme lead to the old Senate chamber, now only used for special ceremonies. Legislators now meet in the House of Representatives chamber.
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The single chamber of the Nebraska Congress meets once a year, for one or two months. legislators get a modest stipend, as approved by voters. They must have outside income to survive.
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The Capitol Building was built at an odd time, architecturally. Art Nouveau was giving way to Art Deco and modernism. So there is an interesting blend in this building. The hallway to the Supreme Court feels medieval.
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The supreme court is open to the public. There is seating for up to 50 spectators, as uncomfortable as church pews of old. The ornate wooden ceiling seems to stop all echos.
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I just liked this portico
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inside the dome, stars hang from the sun
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From the top of the Capitol Dome in Lincoln Nebraska, one can see into Iowa or maybe even Kansas.
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But the observation deck is both claustrophobic and acrophobic. Fun!
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I like the ornate lamps. Milk glass framed in enameled and textured bronze evoking both astronomy and agronomy.
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Still under the dome, some historical panels
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Ornate carved and inset marble guardrails complement the comparatively bare limestone walls.
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The floors are more mosaic than terrazzo. Here are the four elements surrounded by evolving fauna.
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Looking up into a lower dome in one of the wings of the building.
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Why does this make me think of a first-person shooter game? Note the handrails carved into the wall.
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This is the narrowest elevator I'd ever seen
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Real veneer and bronze. Does a heavy elevator inspire more confidence?
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A closer look at some of the megafauna that used to live around here.
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One walks into the State Capitol to be greeted by topless women. I like this state.
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When is the last time you saw a rolling towel rack?
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Note the blend of traditional and modern activities in the mosaics. Note the light fixtures that resemble the building itself. Note the luxurious artwork, and be advised that this huge Capitol was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
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This is Lincoln, after all. Here's the Gettysburg Address.
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Had you wondered about the guy atop the dome? He's called The Sower, and he tosses grain from a basket. Essentially an ode to agriculture. Also obliquely casting bread upon the water.
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We got a great rate at the Victorian Inn, near the airport. Then we found out why. But the rooms are pretty soundproof.
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We went back into town for dinner. I liked the way they are using the above-sidewalk space for the parking ramp. Excellent combination of conserving parking spaces and adding a layer of awning for pedestrians.
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Okay, I can't resist a moon over an sunset-lit building
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Shades of my father. He'd have loved the railroad park.
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Not just a mural celebrating steam-age expansion. A bas-relief
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I like public art that actually has a message
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Here are some of the victims of the iron horse
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Parking downtown does seem to be a problem.
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Light. Late light. The orange sun glow is just about as bright as the street lights. Love it.
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After walking for many blocks, and reading many menus, I was fed up. Karen wanted to read every menu in town. I finally said, "We're eating here!" Here, it turned out, was a sports bar with a dozen TV's playing a dozen games, and a loud radio station blaring another. But I was stubborn. And I survived by anesthetizing with local micro-brews. The I was happy for a while. Karen drove us home.
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Next: Day 22: Lincoln, NE to Home, a long drive

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