Next we went through Kansas City, which is actually two cities apparently, one in Kansas, one in Missouri, which brought us to the next state of the day.
It was not nice. It was the first place we went that we honestly didn’t like at all. Many of the small places we have been probably won’t be candidates for where we will live, but we enjoyed visiting. Kansas City was very hot though and full of road construction. We met a man from Liberia who told us he lived in the Kansas side because the Missouri side had too many murders. He didn’t really recommend the city generally even though he’d lived there quite a while.
Here’s the video:
We drove on through Missouri. So far, it is the only state that had no welcome sign on either end. We were aiming for Omaha, so we needed to go through a bit of Missouri and then cross into Iowa. Both Missouri ends were just a typical green highway sign that said ‘Missouri Border’. Not a lot of state pride, perhaps?
Iowa, on the other hand, has quite a nice sign:
We drove through about an hour of Iowa before we realized we were almost out of fuel. We had made a few calls through the car phone feature arranging things and managed to not notice till it was fairly dire, so we crossed into Nebraska early to find fuel. We had to cross a toll bridge to get across, but it wasn’t especially expensive. 1.25 USD seemed reasonable considering it was a well maintained bridge in the middle of nowhere.
The first fuel station we went to seemed shut indefinitely, as did the second and third. In desperation, we pulled into a supermarket. Not only did we get advice, but a woman who was checking out offered to drive us to the next fuel station so we would definitely find it and in case we ran out on the way. Many thanks to that woman!
This entire small town in Nebraska was actually quite a deafening place to be. It was covered in cicadas (see a previous post for more on them). We were happy for the help, but also happy to be able to get out of it with fuel and away from its roar of tiny insects. Our final stop for the day was Bellevue, NE, where we stayed in a surprisingly nice motel, the Royal Inn Motel. They weren’t on TripAdvisor, but I am glad we found them. It turns out there was some big baseball thing on in town so everywhere else had jacked up the prices. A Best Western listed as having prices around 70-80 USD was asking 170. The lovely man who owns the Royal Inn Motel said he charges the same rate no matter what and just relies on regulars for business. More than that, it was fully redone. Everything was clean and new. He had even installed USB ports in place of some of the plug in points, but still had a variety of places to plug in everything else. I really recommend this place if you are in the Omaha area. This man clearly took great pride in making his hotel nice and it really went a long way to make our experience positive (especially compared to the utter dump that is American’s Best Value Inn in Topeka).
Cicada madness aside, we are feeling positive about Nebraska so far.