Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Pre-Eclipse 2017 Road Trip: SR-26 Nebraska, Wyoming

Western Nebraska
Just to the west of North Platte I-80 leaves the zone of totality. We drove from Wyoming to North Platte on SR-26 which is in the southern part of the totality path. SR-26 follows the Platte River Valley and is part of the Oregon Trail. This is pretty land with many farms and wide open sky.

Not far off of SR-26, in Wyoming, is Fort Laramie, where totality will be over two minutes. Fort Laramie has the distinction of being one of the first forts built in the "old west" as the USA expanded.

For those looking for something different, a quirky tourist site outside of Alliance Nebraska and just north of the central line is Car Henge. Totality at this site will be just under 2 and a half minutes. From SR-26 take SR-385 north to Alliance then pick up SR-87 to Car Henge.

The majority of the SR-26 journey in Nebraska is past massive irrigated farmland. Most of the corn appears to be feeder quality for livestock.

The wide open sky makes finding clear holes easy. The biggest question on eclipse day will be whether to sit tight or move as the clouds fly by. Obviously, if there is a storm or a large front one must move to a new location. With the limited roads in the area, planning and good maps are crucial.

Chimney Rock

Near the town of Scottsbluff Nebraska one finds the interesting geological formation known as Chimney Rock. This natural formation is a symbol of the Oregon Trail and Mormon Migration since it was a clear landmark for people passing that way.

...More random thoughts about TSE2017 to follow...

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