Tidbits: Highest point in Nebraska
Summitted, September 26, 2006
Time Zone: GMT -7 hours
When to go:
There is no route...just a long, long, long drive from anywhere, to the middle of nowhere.
Hotel and Climb Reservation:
No guide, permit, or trail reservations are required. The summit is on private property, but the owners allow visitors.
From Interstate 80 heading west, take exit 8. At the end of the exit ramp is a north-south road, make a left to the south. You will immediately be on a gravel road (County Road 17, but there were no signs). Go 10 miles until the end and make a right (west) on County Road 8. Go a little over 4 miles and make a left (south) onto County Road 9. Go 1 mile and make a right (west) on County Road 6. Make a left (south) onto County Road 5. Go 1.4 miles to a dirt road on the right (west). There is a sign here and also you will be required to self-pay a $3 entrance fee. Proceed down this dirt road for about a mile (the road is uneven but it appeared at the time that most cars would be able to make it) and there will be an obvious turn to the right (north). Go a few hundred yards and you are there. PS- Don't make a wrong turn or you'll wind up in the middle of Wyoming...seriously.
After summiting the high point in Kansas earlier in the day, I spent the next 4 or 5 hours driving through the flat mid-western grasslands and high plains. No traffic, no people, no radio or cellular reception. After coming to civilization (Interstate 80), I then began my odyssey.
After carefully making the designated turns I arrived at a "fee collection station" in the middle of nowhere (it reminded me of that scene from Blazing Saddles when Clevon Little and Gene Wilder built the toll booth in the middle of nowhere to slow down the posse from attacking Rock-Ridge and the Taggert character yells out "Damn it, ride back to town and bring back a sh*t-load of dimes". None-the-less it is private property and I felt lucky that they were kind enough to allow visitors in for a small fee. The final mile or so of the road was a bit rough.
When I arrived at the summit it was a bit surreal...there was a high-pint marker, a drafting desk (housing the summit log) and...a herd of Buffalo. Seriously...Buffalo. Now this WAS the middle of nowhere. Anyway, I enjoyed the solitude and then headed back. I thought I would try a different route...it must run in a grid, right? Anyway, many miles and one state later (Wyoming), I back-tracked and called it a day.
"Road" to the highpoint...these rutts were formed by covered wagons using this route 150 years earlier
Buffalo wandering around the highpoint looking suspciously at me