Home from MESA VERDE!
Sep. 18-22 2013

North on KS 128 near Northbranch, Kan.

KS 128 becomes NE 78 as we enter Nebraska! Also, we cross a state line road here.

NE 128 near Guide Rock. Here we cross a river with a funny name. I mean, it's really funny! It's...the Republican River!

The unpaved road bouncing along the landscape could be off US 136 near Gilead, Neb.

Remember the peanut butter commercial that said, "We're Beatrice"? This is US 136/NE 4 (Court Street) in Beatrice, Neb. Here we're crossing the Big Blue River. That rail crossing sign has seen better days.

US 136 near Tecumseh, Neb. The woman on the billboard resembles West Coast Julie Brown who used to have a show on MTV (not to be confused with Downtown Julie Brown of the same channel).

The Brownville Bridge carries US 136 across the Missouri River into Missouri. It was reportedly built in 1939.

US 136 enters Missouri.

US 136 in Rock Port, Mo. Here's another Roads Scholaring moment: I-29 uses Hamburg, Iowa, as a control city. Why Hamburg? Also, Rock Port claims to be the first American town to have all its electricity generated by wind power.

Whatever road this is, it may be near Pickering, Mo. This looks like one of the same roads we encountered on the way back from our 2011 Nebraska trip in a scene that frustrated county collectors everywhere.

Same area.

I have no idea where this is.

You can tell some of the bridges through here had been recently replaced following the disastrous flooding.

Another somewhat interesting bridge.

A horse-drawn buggy going north on US 69 approaching the Iowa line in Missouri. In true rural fashion, this is also known as...West 240th Avenue.

The road for the rest area along I-35 near Lamoni, Iowa. The road goes over I-35. Indeed it does.

US 63/IA 149 crosses the Des Moines River in Ottumwa, Iowa. The downtown of this city of 25,000 is at right. Back in 1982, the mayor proclaimed the town to be the "Video Game Capital of the World." Also, the character Radar from M*A*S*H was from Ottumwa.

From the US 63 bridge over the Des Moines River, you can see a dam.

US 63/IA 149 becomes this cute little parkway in Ottumwa, and here we go under a footbridge linking Ottumwa Street.

Now we start the final day of the trip, when I started feeling like a toilet. Here we're on the US 34 freeway in Burlington, Iowa. The exit is signed as being for Main Street, but really it goes to Front Street. (Wow, a Front Street that actually still exists!) But the real deal here is the bridge that crosses the Mississippi River to Illinois. That's the Great River Bridge, which opened in 1993.

A view of the hilly city of Burlington from the freeway. Businesses keep leaving this city of 26,000 - proving Iowa's "right-to-work" law is a failure.

A view from the Great River Bridge. The span you see downstream is the Burlington Rail Bridge. This bridge that opened in 2012 replaced an 1893 span, which in turn replaced the original bridge from the 1860s. If you look closely, you'll see it's a vertical lift bridge.

As I-474 bypasses Peoria on the south, we go through Bartonville, Ill. This is a view from I-474 of a pair of old rail bridges over Kickapoo Creek.

Last photo of the trip! It's I-474's Shade-Lohmann Bridge over the Illinois River, opened in 1975. I remember going across this bridge in the other direction during my 1987 Iowa trip and thinking how much better the radio in Peoria was compared to Cincinnati.

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