6 July 2004
Scottsbluff, Nebraska 733.7 miles
First, the nomenclature:
Scottsbluff, the town: one word.
Scotts Bluff, the county or, well, the Bluff: two words.
I'm sure everyone here has already mastered these fine details. (Duh.)
And who the hell was Scott? His first name was Hiram, he worked for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and they found his remains in the vicinity back in 1829.
I was beginning to think someone would have to find my remains today. In an effort to throw some variety into this year's version of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, I took off into Colorado and threaded my way up US 385, a road which for years has jumped out at me from the maps and yelled "Aren't you wondering why there's nothing here?" Well, it's not nothing, but through northeastern Colorado and the Nebraska Panhandle, it's not much either. I can understand why towns like Burlington and Julesburg insisted on the alignments they did, so that unless you're a local and know the tricks you have to take the business route through town; small towns need all the help they can get these days. On the other hand, the perfectly charming little town of Wray didn't pull this stunt, but its toad-in-the-hole topography makes it impossible to miss anyway.
And 385 does go somewhere: Rapid City. But not very rapidly, I'm sure.
I'd have to check the maps to see how many times I crossed back and forth between Central and Mountain time today. Lunch wound up being at 1:30 Mountain; props to Shari's, apparently a popular Northwest chain but one which I've never seen before. It seems that Scottsbluff is their farthest-East outpost. If only there'd been a Shari's when Hiram Scott came through but never mind.
(Time posted is in Central, mostly because I'm really too lazy to keep changing it.)