Day 5: Kearney, Nebraska

Farms seen along the long drive west.

Farms seen along the long drive west.

Over endless miles, we drove, eventually passing Grand Island, Nebraska, and locating the Archway Monument before entering Kearney Nebraska, the neatest and most interesting town you have never heard of outside of Nebraska. We found the Best Western we were staying at in a state of repairs – workers were outside fixing the parking lot and stairs, causing the premises to reek of the stink of asphalt, and limiting our hotel room choices to the second floor in a building without elevators, and with external steel grid stairs. Pops had to carry Trixie up to our room, as the workers lazed around, one smoking, the other doing the work with a limp.

Mum complained bitterly about this open secret – you can never trust a hotel operator to tell the truth you know – and went up to the room, leaving Pops to haul our luggage in.

During the second run, Pops paused to help a lady in worse shape – She was trying to bring a walker and her two terriers up the stairs all at once, while her grandmother hobbled up the stairs, grasping at one railing with both hands as if in a tug-of-war with the grim reaper himself as she shakily ascended the twisting stairway. Pops took the walker from the first lady, and brought it up, putting it into its open position, then assisted the bent old woman up the stairs, feeling the grating in her joints with every move. One step, two steps, slow and steady – at least she was light, almost light enough to be blown away by the stiff breeze that made the otherwise hot day bearable. She made it, and once he was sure she was safe and would not topple down the stairs in a spazm of giddiness at her feat, he returned to the car, for the last load of luggage.

By the time Pops returned, she had just barely inched across the open balcony to her awaiting room.

Total miles between two refueling stops: 476 Miles

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