Friday, July 10, 2015

Panorama Point

Our trip west was pretty simple. Madison to Des Moines. And then Interstate 80 pretty much the whole way to the Bay Bridge. One of the few places we left it was on the west edge of Nebraska, where we took a series of zigzagging gravel farm roads to Panorama Point.

Panorama Point (5424') lies just a short hop from the corner where Nebraska runs up against Wyoming and Colorado. Nebraska, like Kansas, slopes gradually upward so its highest point inevitably lies near its western border.

The monument marking Nebraska's high point is a bit more conventional than the one on top of Mt. Sunflower, but both lie on private land atop broad hills that would be hard to mistake for mountains. This marker was placed by the Kimball Chamber of Commerce, apparently allowing them to refer to their town as the high point of Nebraska! (Although Kimball itself lies in a valley 25 miles away). The thing that looks like a grill is actually an old metal drafting table with the summit register tucked inside.

We could make out the snow-capped front range of Colorado in the distance below the clouds. I hadn't been sure whether we'd actually be able to see the mountains from Nebraska or not, although I recalled that they were visible from Pawnee Buttes just south of here in Colorado (one of which I had climbed back in either 1980 or 1983).

The sign warned of ranging bison, but they were nowhere to be seen. We did pass the old schoolhouse, several miles away, but it didn't look like it had been used in a very long time.

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