Run My Roadtrip: Crossing The Great Western States

Jul 21, 2014

Summer is the time of family reunions, vacations, and roadtrips. We asked you for your travel tips to help UPR guest reporter Brian Champagne run a roadtrip from Kenosha, Wisconsin and back. Brian sent us this report, after crossing Wyoming and Nebraska.
Like many family roadtrips, Brian’s isn’t going quite as smoothly as expected. He reports:
 

road and wilderness out front windshield
"The view for most of the road thus far," says guest reporter Brian Champagne. He crossed Wyoming and Nebraska over the weekend.
Credit Brian Champagne

We had a late start Friday, so we didn't have time to see one of the pony express stops, or car-henge. Todd said we should play books on tape by CJ Box in Wyoming. I borrowed one from the library two weeks ago, but the day before the trip, my kids returned it, unbeknownst to me.

Su casa and upr sticker
Su Casa es no mi casa: This restaurant gets a thumbs down from Brian Champagne.
Credit Brian Champagne

A Wyoming resident told us we were crossing Wyoming at the least attractive part - 1-80 - and that we should eat at Su Casa in Sinclair. She was wrong about at least one. The enchiladas used a cinnamon sauce, and the tacos were like Taco Bell, but not cheap. We paid $140 for a room at a room at Days Inn Kimball- just over the Nebraska border. Cheyenne is having Frontier Days, so demand and prices were up.
Saturday was "Cross Nebraska Day."

  • Travel tip one from Kimball, Nebraska: there's a cute city park there with vintage, metal spinning playground equipment.
  • Tip two: The Sinclair sign says gas is $3.56- three cents cheaper than the gas across the street. But unless you have their card, your price discreetly changes to $3.76- 20 cents a gallon more.

We stopped in Gothenburg, Nebraska to see a Pony Express stop, then on to Omaha. We stopped there just in time to... get a hotel. Sunday was spent with fellow Utahns at LDS church history sites.

Merry-go-round in Nebraska
Brian Champagne's kids spin round on a vintage, metal merry-go-round in Nebraska.
Credit Brian Champagne

Brian Champagne is a professor of Journalism and Communication at Utah State University. He's driving to Kenosha, Wisconsin to visit a family reunion of the four-wheeled variety- The American Motors Reunion. American Motors was bought out years ago, so now their cars are considered orphans.

Next up, Brian and his family spend a night in a Route 66 hotel, and are currently headed to Lincoln’s home. Do you have a place Brian should visit? A place he should avoid? Click on Become A Source to help.