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Jun 26, 2001: Really Long Road Trip, Day #2

WARNING: narcissism ahead

An eerie, creepy Kaopectate-pink light awoke me a few minutes ago. Turns out it's just dawn in Omaha, rising over the cement factory that dominates the view from the Comfort Inn here. Despite the local Cracker Barrel's best efforts to countrify the area, this end of Omaha has succumbed to industrial disease, pure and simple. But never having been to Nebraska before, I'm certain that driving west will unveil its true beauty. That's what happened yesterday in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa: for whatever reason the view from the interstate gets better and better as you head west. Horace Greeley had it right.

Aside from a couple of gas stops, I drove the 700 miles straight through yesterday, I-94 and I-80 all the way. At a more leisurely pace, I could have pulled off at any of the birthplaces of four famous Americans that merited their own signs on the interstates: Bob Feller, John Wayne, Herbert Hoover, and Ronald Reagan. A baseball player, an actor, a president, and an actor-president. No poets to honor? Scientists? Composers? Comedians? I know that can't be right. Did I just miss the signs?

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