Day Two – Lincoln IL to Scottsbluff NE
Miles: 900
Elapsed Time: 16:42

Even though we had the 300+ miles under our belt we still had a pretty big day ahead of us. We knew once we got off of the interstate in NE the riding would be more enjoyable so we focused on riding as hard as we could so that we might still have some enjoyable riding in the early evening. We made a couple of gas stops, and then a rest stop just before Lincoln. As we got through Lincoln it was approaching 2:00 local and we began the climb up the Western Plateau. Lincoln sits at around 1,200 feet above sea level, and we would continue to climb essentially all the way to Scottsbluff at nearly 4,000 feet. The road from Ogallala up to Scottsbluff is known as The Western Trails Scenic and Historic Byway. The name is an indicator that there are many trails in this general area including The Mormon and Oregon Trails, The Pony Express, and countless rail and stagecoach lines. Once off the interstate we basically followed the Platte River from up on the plateau roughly 400 feet above the river and man-made McConaughy Lake . Once west of the Lake US26 turns north and descends down to the River in a really nice stretch of road that is roughly 10 miles. We stopped at the Windlass Hill Pioneer Homestead historical area and viewed the remains of the homestead dwelling of Dennis B. Clary. Just short of the River crossing is Ash Hollow State Historic Park. On the other side of the river we went through the towns of Lewellen, Oshkosh, Lisco, and Broadwater before crossing back over to the South side. As we raced toward our destination we stopped and travelled down a small two-lane road to view Chimney Rock a little closer. This is a fairly famous rock formation that was a well recognized beacon along the Oregon trail that signaled not only were you on the right trail but you were almost at the beginning of the Rocky Mountain section.

It was already 9:30 local by the time we reached Chimney Rock and we would have been in and out but a local rancher stopped to talk, and before we knew it the sun was mostly gone and we had to ride the last 20 miles in the dark. We arrived to our hotel at 10:19 after a very full day, and quickly headed across the street to a gas station and scored a 12 pack just before they closed the doors.