Road Tripping Across Nebraska


We have officially packed up the pop up for the last time and are heading home to Illinois after eleven weeks on the road. As we leave the mountains, my husband can’t help but take a few last glances in the rear view mirror. He reminds me to say goodbye and take it all in because we won’t be seeing them again for a while.


Am I sad to be leaving this trip behind? Am I happy to be going home? I’m not really sure I know how I’m feeling. I know my body is weary; we’ve been on the go almost continuously since we left. I know I miss my friends and family; it was hard to stay connected the whole summer. BUT I also know we just had the time of our life. We observed nature at its finest and gazed upon some of the best scenery America and Canada has to offer. I don’t think we’ve even had time to fully grasp and comprehend the magnitude of what we’ve seen.


Wait there’s more! We still have a couple of days on the road and we are traversing the state of Nebraska. We took the travelers route across historic Lincoln Highway, stopped at the world’s largest rail yard, took in views at the state capitol building and found a sunken garden.

Nebraska Road Trip

Lincoln Highway Historic Byway

Nebraska’s Lincoln Highway Historic Byway is the only byway that crosses the entire state at 498 miles long. In fact, it is part of U.S. 30 which is the shortest and most direct route between New York and San Francisco. It was one of the first transcontinental highways across the U.S. for automobiles.

Nebraska Road Trip

To be honest, I thought we would find the drive a bit boring compared to what we’ve driven through the last few months. Instead, I realized there’s something beguiling and peaceful crossing the plains. We passed through one stoplight towns where animals may outnumber people and I’m sure everyone knows each others name. We found the sound of the train that ran parallel to the road soothing and the nimble sunflowers welcoming.

Nebraska Road Trip

Golden Spike Tower – The World’s Largest Rail Yard

Nebraska Road Trip

We took a quick break to stretch our legs at the Golden Spike Tower in North Platte, Nebraska. It has panoramic views of Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard. It’s where east meets west on the UP line and is considered the world’s largest rail yard.

Nebraska Road Trip

Here are some fun facts of the yard:

  • Covers 2,850 acres of land, stretching over 8 miles
  • Handles 10,000 railcars each day
  • Employs 2,600 people
  • Has 985 switches

Nebraska Road Trip

The self-guided tour begins with a short video of the history of the yard, then up you go into the elevator for the views and more history of the transportation system and what it was used for in the past.

Nebraska Road Trip

The story of the North Platte Canteen is the display that caught my attention. It was one of the largest volunteer efforts during World War II. The women of North Platte took it upon themselves to greet and serve our soldiers that were either going off or coming home from war. What an enormous morale booster! On an average day the canteen saw between 3,000 to 5,000 servicemen. They provided free coffee, donuts, homemade cookies, sandwiches and magazines to the soldiers, but apparently it was much more than that:

“We know you call us ‘your boys’ but I wonder if you realize whom we saw in you? We saw our mothers, our wives, our sisters and daughters and sweethearts… above all this we saw America…”

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip


Our next stop is Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska. We spent the afternoon wandering around and hope to visit again when we have more time to explore. We enjoyed the beautiful views from the capitol building, ate lunch at Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill and stopped at the Sunken Garden.

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip

Tomorrow we go home, ending our epic 80 day summer road trip. We hope you enjoyed following along. We are already talking about what the next big adventure will be!

If you would like to see our full itinerary, start at the beginning here. And Start at Day One here.

Be Part of the Adventure.

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Next: Road Trip Cost – Expense Break Down

We would like to spend more time in Nebraska. Anyone ever been? Where did you visit?

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19 Responses

  1. Glenda Copeland

    I have so enjoyed traveling vicariously with you guys!!! As you get older and when the future brings troubles or challenges (every one has them at some point), pull up these wonderful memories and take comfort in the good times! They are more precious than gold.

    • Thank you so much Glenda for following along! We hope our travels help and inspire others. You are so right, we will always have these memories to cherish. Can’t wait to create some more 🙂

  2. Have loved following your adventure, it was all so beautiful! Welcome back to Illinois…

  3. i love a good summer road trip! i have never been to nebraska but will keep your itinerary in mind for future reference!


  4. Crisp and concise post. Great collection of pictures. And I loved the fun facts!

  5. Thanks for the fun facts and loved the photos. Great post!

  6. What an amazing journey you have been on! I’m sure there will be plenty to reflect on in the coming months. You might not realise everything until much later down the track!

  7. Great read! I love sunflowers!! Whenever I visit Lincoln, I’ll def be adding these wonders to my list! You have definitely inspired me to take a roadtrip, and I think I will be doing so next fall! Thank you!

  8. This is so awesome! Roadtripping and camping is cool and Nebraska looks interesting!

  9. Wow 80 days on the road? That’s fantastic. I need to get my hubby to tag along for such an epic adventure. I know the mixed feelings at end of an amazing vacation – you are tired and want to go home (Sleep in ur bed, meet ur friends/family) and at the same time you don’t want to leave.

  10. I liked the sky most

  11. This seems like a very lovely road trip! I really love trains and tours that involve trains as well. You take beautiful pictures as well. It would be awesome to do a packing post on this and let us know what you had for 80 days of road trip 🙂

  12. Great post. I have always been really intrigued by Nebraska and your post just makes me want to go and check it out more!

  13. I would also be sad to leave the mountains but your way to Nebraska looks full with interesting and entertaining stuff!

  14. I have loved your entire adventure and I actually started following your blog because I am planning an 18 state road trip with my son next summer. Nebraska had me nervous because I thought it was just going to be a long drive with not much to do but my son is a train NUT so now I have the Bailey Yard on our itinerary! I had also penciled in the Scottsbluff National Monument (you should check it out if you ever return, it looks cool!) so now I feel better about breaking up our trip through NE. Thanks so much!

    • So happy to hear Cathy! Ooh had not heard of Scottsbluff Monument so I’ll add that to our list. Thanks! I would love to get to Omaha at some point and back to Lincoln. I’m so excited for you guys! It sounds like a great trip 😊

  15. Chris Travels

    Every time I’ve driven through Nebraska on the interstate I mentally geared up for the BORING hours of travel, and if I wasn’t the driver always took the opportunity to take a long NAP. But as usual, you have an uncanny way of unearthing little gems
    wherever you go, so shame on me for such ignorance! Beautiful pictures and commentary…and welcome home!

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