While traveling to our next destination along I80 westbound, we happened upon this gorgeous looking Archway Bridge. I grabbed the camera and took a couple shots out our rain soaked windshield and we thought, “What a cool looking bridge.” What we did not know until we passed it, and thankfully saw signs for it, was that this was a museum! They had great signs telling us that we could get off at the next exit and explore this museum and isn’t this what traveling is all about? Exploring things that you may not have known were there?
We had plenty of time before we needed to get to our next stop, so we decided to take the exit and see what this Archway was all about.
And boy are we glad we did!
The Archway is located in Kearney, Nebraska, which is known as the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World. The Sandhill Cranes are known to land here as a resting stop along their migration path, usually around the March timeframe. While it is not March and therefore no Sandhill Cranes, the Archway is one attraction in Kearney that you don’t want to miss any time of the year.
Our Motor Home At The Archway
The Archway spans 310 feet across Interstate 80 and it presents 170 years of American history. It really is interesting learning about the actual road/route that we are on and how treacherous the journey was for the Pioneers. Learning about the Mormon, Oregon and California Trails with the wagon trains, the development of the Transcontinental Railroad and the Lincoln Highway among many others.
Early Campers Traveling West
While traveling west appealed to many, a make it rich quick gold rush, there were no motels or even roads along the way. Once you were west of Chicago it was very difficult. These conditions created some of the early campers and RVers that had no choice but to make camp along the way.
The displays with the more modern highway system and how that came about, the laying of all the fiber optic lines along the highway and the boom of drive-ins and diners was interesting.
And if you forgot that the museum was built over Interstate 80, towards the end of the museum they have a couple windows that you can look out and view the traffic passing below. You can also check if someone is speeding.
This was, by far, one of the best museums we have come across in our travels. Very well done and rich in history.
When we came across Sitting Bull’s quote about the vast open spaces, it kind of rung true to us modern day RVer’s as well. He had it so right, even back then. Make sure you click on his image above and read the quote. I think you’ll agree.
I encourage all of you to stop when you see this Archway. You won’t be disappointed. And if you happen upon this gem late in the day, don’t fret. They do allow over night dry camping in their parking lot and their’s plenty of room for big rigs that are towing to turn around.
Our video ariel video footage made the ABC Local News…NTV ABC Coverage about the Archway.
When we left the Archway we headed further down the road to our next stop, North Platte, Nebraska. While this is just a stop along our route to Denver, CO, we decided to stay and see the Golden Spike Tower that over looks Bailey Yard, the World’s Largest Train Yard. But don’t take my word for it, in 1995 the Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest rail yard.
Bailey Yard, named after the former Union Pacific President Edd H. Bailey, has 10,000 cars pass through there every day. It sits on 2,850 acres of land that stretches out 8 miles!
Put it to you this way…
It’s Really Big!
Going up to the top of the tower you can see the train yard in all its glory. The tower only goes up 8 stories. Nowhere near the height you would need to get a good view of the train yard. These pictures were taken from the highest point we could go. What you don’t see is that the trains stretch out for 8 miles in either direction.
Bailey Yard consists of, not only the train tracks and trains, but a full 24 hour repair facility that encompasses 3 football fields and can repair 750 engines a month.
And what about fuel? Well, Bailey Yard pumps out 14 million gallons of diesel fuel each month. So next time you fill up at the pumps their should be no complaining.
So Interstate 80 is full of surprises. Keep your eyes out next time you find yourself on this road and you could find a new adventure.
What? You want to see flyover videos? Well happy to say David did get out the quadcoptor to fly both areas and he surely did go above 8 stories. Enjoy!