Friday, August 31, 2018

Scene on the Road CO, NE and IA

We're currently on a cross country road trip from New Hampshire to Oregon and posting about sites along the way. This post is about road scenes in CO, NE and IA.

Interstate Highway 76 (I-76) runs from I-70 in Arvada, Colorado (near Denver) to an intersection with Interstate 80 near Big Springs, Nebraska
The interstate was fairly scenic through parts of CO. The Colorado portion was planned and built first. We traveled from Denver CO to Lincoln, NE.
Interstate 80 (I-80) in Nebraska runs east from the Wyoming state border across the state to Omaha. In October 1974, when it completed construction of the stretch of I-80 spanning the state,
Nebraska was the first state in the nation to complete its mainline Interstate Highway System. Nebraska has over 80 exits along Interstate 80.

I-80 through NE is considered by many as the most boring stretch of interstate in the country. (And, having driven it, we can agree with that consensus.) According to a couple of internet sites, there was debate over putting I-80 through scenic parts of the state vs. the cheapest way to build it which would place it in a totally flat location in the Platte River flood plain. Apparently, the bargain plan won because it is a very flat drive.

In Iowa, construction of I-80 took over 14 years. The first section opened in September 1958, in the western suburbs of Des Moines. The final piece of I-80 in Iowa, the Missouri River bridge to Omaha, Nebraska, opened in late 1972. 

Interstate 80 is the longest Interstate Highway in Iowa. It extends from west to east across the central portion of the state through the population centers of Council Bluffs, Des Moines and the Quad Cities (Davenport, Moline, Rock Island, Bettendorf, East Moline). 

The majority of the highway runs through farmland, and roughly one-third of Iowa's population live along the I-80 corridor. We saw a lot of cornfields along this route.

We also saw some of these windmills along the route. These windmills may not appear very large when seen along the interstate. However, but at a couple of rest stops, we saw separate tractor trailers carrying the components. Each windmill blade was being loaded on a separate trailer; the upright post or stanchion was usually loaded onto several tractor trailers.


Valerie said...

The top picture made me look twice... alligator or similar seemed to be sprawled across the rock.

William Kendall said...

Imagine crossing those plains two hundred years ago on a horse and realizing after the first day that this was a whole lot bigger of a plain than you'd expected.

Emma Springfield said...

I-80 through Iowa and Nebraska can seem interminable. I would have to stop to reacquaint myself with humans at least once in order to save my sanity. This is my part of the country but the interstate is boring. I like the backroads.

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

You traveled a long way today for sure and saw some different scenery. Happy Labor Day weekend.

L. D. said...

You were so close as you traveled through Des Moines on I-80. We are about 7 miles north of the interstate in Ankeny. I am so sure you did see all our windmills and lots of corn and beans. Ww travel to Chicago area where the grandson’s live and it is a long journey to Illinois.

possum said...

Bravo for the wind turbines!!!!!
Nobody dying in the coal mines or from black lung, no earth being dug up, land being destroyed, mountains being raped, and no air pollution!
At last, someone with some vision! Nice shot. Helps me to ignore the miles and miles of GMOs planted along the road.

Karen Lakis said...

I've been a frequent traveler of many parts of I80 through the years - but never that stretch in Nebraska. I take it that I'm not missing too much. You've had quite a journey, so far - and even the most boring section of highway will be an experience worth remembering.