Let’s review. At the beginning of June, 8601 and TC traveled down to meet me in McCook. We then took a route around Western Nebraska that would finish off all the counties and Delorme pages we still had left to complete. Check out posts Scottsbluff and Ending the Weekend to read about that trip. To provide you with a visual, here is what our route looked like:
The original planned route is in blue. However, we made some changes. Originally, we were going to go down to Benkelman to grab Dundy and Hitchcock counties the night they got down there. That didn’t happen due to some last minute work TC had to do before they left Lincoln. So instead, at the end of the trip, we made the detour marked in black at the bottom of the map to pick up those counties. Another detour we made is up near Crawford. Originally, we were going to head West from Crawford to Harrison, then head South to the Agate Fossil Beds, and around the park to HWY 71. But that is only three caches. Instead, we went South from Crawford and then West on HWY 2 to HWY 71. This gained some additional caches for less mileage. A low tire in Crawford (the tire that later was changed in Scottsbluff) might have made the mileage equal in the end. The last detour was in Scottsbluff. Originally, we were going to go South to Harrisburg, then West to Courthouse and Jail Rock, then up to Bridgeport to camp. Due to storms and the issue of the tire, 8601 and I made the decision to head back to Scottsbluff while we looked for a cache in Harrisburg. So we got a hotel room, then took HWY 92 to Bridgeport, then down to Courthouse and Jail Rock to grabs those caches and visit the site for pictures.
By the time we made it back to McCook, we had discussed July 4th weekend as the time to finish the challenges. Time is on our side as we prepare for that trip. I often map out and download the GPX files for our trips. I just finished mapping out the Eastern half. Here is what our proposed route looks like:
The only thing left to decide is what to do when we reach David City. If you need a refresher of where that is, find Seward just West of Lincoln, marked with a red dot. Then go North to the marker straight above Seward. Do we go South to Seward then back to Lincoln on HWY 34 or I-80? Or do we go East from David City to Wahoo, marked with a green dot North of Lincoln, and South on HWY 77 to Lincoln? I’m leaning towards the latter option only because there are more caches to grab that aren’t currently disabled.
Both the route from our Western Nebraska trip and the route planned for July 4th weekend seem very back and forth at times. But this is necessary to hit every county and Delorme page. Both trips hit right around 1000 miles, +/- 100 miles. But the good thing will be when we can add those two massive challenges to our completed list.