2011 NY to California, Cross Country Drive, Drives

NY to California 2011 via Lincoln Highway – Day 6 – Grinnell Iowa to Kearney Nebraska

Total Distance: 657.09 km (408.3 mi)
Total Time: 12:02:36
Moving Time: 10:22:01
Average Speed: 54.56 km/h (33.9 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 63.38 km/h (39.4 mi/h)
Max Speed: 131.26 km/h (81.6 mi/h) – No tickets!
Min Elevation: 192 m (629 ft)
Max Elevation: 627 m (2057 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1923 m (6309 ft)

Corn, thousands of acres of corn.

We knew that the Lincoln Highway in this section of the LHW would be quite dull with very few points of interest noted on our guide books and map. With that in mind, we decided to depart from old road and head south from Grinnell and visit the Dutch town of Pella Iowa. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pella,_Iowa) It was quite a surprise to see the very tall windmill appear among the vast sea of cornfields.  Pella is home to two large manufactures; Pella windows and Vermeer Manufacturing who make farming/construction equipment. Thanks to the these two large companies and the influx of tourists Pella is a fairly prosperous town, and it shows.  Just to the southwest of Pella is the town of Knoxville. The economy in this town seems to on the slide as it’s main street includes several shuttered shops. The nearby racetrack seems to be the sole source of income of this town but fortunately the town includes a decent brewery; Peace Tree Brewing company.  Back through the cornfields toward interstate 80 to make up some miles lost over the last few days.  As we entered Nebraska we passed large areas of flooding. This major flood was big news several months ago but is still a large problem for the locals as the water still has not receded into the river.

Columbus Nebraska included another brewery that was housed in a great historical building that was formally an automobile dealer. The beer was a bit bland but it was a necessary stop. We returned to the LHW for the last few hours of the day and pattern of the vista repeated itself angina and again; Cornfields, a corn processing facility  and the depressed old towns that surround them.   Finally stopping for the night in Kearney NB.  Tomorrow another time zone and we will cross 100th Meridian signifying the half way point of our trip!

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