|This roadside sign needs no explanation|
The rain and wind became relentless through the undulating farmlands, the breadbasket, of our great nation. I'm sounding a little patriotic because this day, Memorial Day, the towns will be filled with trappings of honor to those who gave their lives so our nation can remain free. This is a mixed emotion for me...I am saddened by the tens of thousands of families who lost a loved one in the prime of their lives yet I harbor a flame of disgust for the individuals who profited from such hideous wars. The world wars seemed to have a much purer intent and need but our contemporary conflicts are questionable.
It almost seemed like the storm contained itself along the state lines. Crossing the border from Iowa to Nebraska I drove through Omaha in search of a breakfast stop. Even Minnie, the GPS, couldn't come up with anything open so I ventured a few miles further west to Council Bluffs and though they had an impressive display of bronze sculptures portraying the early settlers in search for a new life, my search for the land of breakfast wasn't fulfilled. Like the pioneers who pulled away from Council Bluffs 150 years ago, I too went west for my quest. Within minutes a mirage like tower with a campfire style coffee pot perched on top appeared on the flat horizon. I slowed as approached my morning mecca yet I was so enthralled by the coffee pot two hundred feet above the ground I missed the exit. The next exit I wiggled my way back using the side roads to the Sapp Brothers Cafe.
With CNN (I requested they change the channel on the screen at the counter) and Fox News on the flat screens competing on who can be more patriotic, I reviewed my map and was happy with my progress. Since the weather was clearing, this allowed me to drift from the ribbon of the most direct route and explore the back roads of Nebraska.
|Cheeky running with the Big Dogs|
|I dedicate this Nebraska barn shot to Maralyce|
I drove down the highway until I spotted church steeple in the distance off to the right. The next rural exit had me driving the dirt roads delineating the farm fields with short arteries leading to homes and barns. I was fascinated with the style of vintage barns in Nebraska unlike any other design I've encountered. After photographing the barns I doubled back towards the sharp steeple. Driving up to the church, an adjacent cemetery with display of the United States flags all unfurled at attention thanks to the constant wind, made a moment for me to contemplate and be thankful. Three to four generation families pulled up into the cemetery, piled out of their suburbans and surrounded grave markers of their loved one. This sincere rare display of respectful recognition reinforced the hope our society isn't unraveling.
|It doesn't get any more Midwest than this|
|Tunnels cut through the mountains save alot of time|
|Not much daylight left|
. I dropped my bag in my room, made an about face, stepped into the restaurant and within minutes was being entertained by the artistry of two Japanese sushi masters. The saki, beer, and miso soup was a great beginning to a fine sushi dinner. Once the sushi was finished...I felt finished and soon was in deep recovery mode for the next day.