I started planning this trip over the winter, hoping I would be able to find about ten days that I could make the drive. Then I saw a Superbowl commercial, and had to add the geographic center of the US.
But first, I had to get there. My first stop early that morning was at the Holy Family Shrine, which can be seen from I80. I was there so early that the parking lot was open but the Shrine itself was not, so I took my picture needed for the geocache from the parking lot.
There was another geocache nearby at the Linoma Lighthouse. I could spot the lighthouse itself from the parking lot at the Shrine.
My next location proved to be one of those I wished I had the time to explore more. The Strategic Air Command Museum in Ashland, NE was absolutely something I wanted to explore. I had to be satisfied with exploring the parking lot and finding the four geocaches located there. There are a lot of exhibits in the building as well.
As I had my GPS pointed to “the middle” and was driving along, there was a sign for a historical marker. I’d been driving a while and decided to stop and see what it was about. In general, a geocache can usually be found nearby. This one was not an exception. It was the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie. Seeing the prairie for the first time after all these years of reading about it was pretty incredible for me. I find it to be humbling and inspiring with the vastness of all that you can see. There’s an effect psychologically out here that’s different from other places I’ve been. Growing up in New York, I could always see other people and houses. The ocean was to the east, and if I went to the beach I could watch the sun rise on the horizon. Most of the time, though, the sunrise and sunset was behind buildings. Where I am now, I have a view of the mountains to the west and the sun setting behind them. When it rises, I don’t see the actual sun to mid-morning as the mountain we live on blocks it to the east. Living somewhere that the horizon allows you to see the sun from sunrise to sunset definitely has an effect.
I arrived at the Geographic Center of the United States just after noon. I had a Zoom meeting there in my car since the weather was kind of iffy and ate a sandwich before exploring the area. There’s also a pretty clever geocache here.
After this is was a dash to Colby, KS which is where I was staying for the night, and also where the goal of this trip was. Along the way I found geocaches in a few cemeteries as well as a Dutch Mill.
Arriving in Colby, I tried one of the gadget caches in town. I couldn’t figure it out, and decided that I’d done enough for the day and deserved an early night of it, so I left everything else in town until the next day.