America 2022 – Day Seven

We are the back roads, dirty water soul banks
From the city to the country doing our thing, our way
Say things that I was gonna say
Freedom of our age, we are born and raised on American Slang
Born and raised on American Slang

– The Cadillac Three

Tuesday 23 August

Beautiful morning in Lincoln! I was up before the sun, and set off on a brisk walk through the University of Nebraska campus and around Memorial Stadium. It was surprising to see how many other people there were around. Interestingly, I saw both the band – many of them carrying their heavy instruments – and cheerleaders heading towards the stadium. I believe they would practice early out there before the football players arrive and take over. The season-opener for the football team, band and cheerleaders is next Saturday.

Breakfast in the hotel at a bourbon-themed restaurant. You’ll be pleased to know that there was no bourbon (at least none that I saw!) on the breakfast buffet that came as part of our room package. A bowl of honey nut Cheerios and a cup of coffee was enough for me.

We hit the road right on 8:00am, driving from one side of Nebraska to the other, across the Great Plains and into Wyoming. Parts of the plains reminded me of the Monaro, basically featureless undulating brown land with very few trees for as far as the eye can see. I can see why so many pioneers might have given up and turned around. It must have been an incredibly arduous journey, bitterly cold in winter or stiflingly hot (as it is today) in summer. Not much in the way of spring or fall/autumn weather.

Almost as soon as we crossed the state line into Wyoming, there were rocky outcrops and mountains. Lunch at Chipotle (Mexican) in Cheyenne and on to our final destination: Laramie, home to the University of Wyoming, is in a huge bowl, ringed by mountains. A huge storm welcomed us in, but it fizzled out pretty quickly as they apparently do around here.

We toured the town by foot in the afternoon, walking mostly around the University of Wyoming campus. Their stadium, War Memorial Stadium, sits at 7220 feet above sea level, the second-highest stadium in America, as far as altitude goes. To put that into some Australian context, the stadium is just a little lower than the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. That really goes to show how puny our mountains are! Playing football at altitude must be hard, especially for visiting teams.

Ate at Perkins, a diner primarily located in the Midwest and mountain states. Shrimp skillet with apple pie for dessert. Can’t go wrong with that!

A quiet night and an early one, as we have another long-ish day tomorrow, five and a half hours through Wyoming and into Utah, ending at Ogden, which is north of Salt Lake City.

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