Posted by: Angela | April 30, 2007

Notes for travelers between Montana and Nebraska

I have returned from Nebraska. Actually I have been back for a week but I have felt very tired for some reason. It is not unusual that I be emotionally exhausted by a trip to the familial hometown, but I have just been sleepy.

We have really got to stop moving to large states. First Texas, then Florida (which is bigger than one tends to think), and now Montana. My new criteria for a state is that I need to be able to get to another state in an hour or two. Ironically, I can get to Canada that quickly, just nowhere in the continental US.

Here is what I learned driving to and from a certain small town in west central Nebraska.

1) I can still drive eleven hours by myself.

2) Amazingly, there are more boring drives in my opinion than Wyoming. They are I-35 between the Texas border and Wichita, KS especially when you get past OK City (however, excellent truck stops and you can go very fast on the Kansas Turnpike in the middle of the night); I-20 merging into 1-10 from Midland TX to Van Horn, TX (a oil bust wasteland); and I-10 between Jacksonville FL and Live Oak, FL (a solid corridor of pine trees, no good truck stops).

3) It is possible to get stopped by the state patrol going 20 mph over the stated speed limit and get a warning. I don’t know how it happened, my only guess is he thought I was crazy to be driving 80 mph to get my hometown and felt pity on me.

4) If you ever drive Hwy 212 between Hardin MT and South Dakota, bring snacks and make sure your gas tank is full. There is nowhere to stop. You will just have to pee on the side of the road.

5) It was amazing how much more gas I used coming home versus going. Going to Nebraska, pretty much all down hill once I crossed the Continental Divide.

6) Wyoming looks better in green.

7) Scottsbluff, NE is bigger than I thought.

8) Driving highways is totally different in the Plains States and Rocky Mountain States than it is in the South. It is very irritating experience in the South. Try the highway along the coast of South Caroline, especially in the summer. Not fun, road rage inducing.

9) Between Sturgis, SD and where I turned south to head into Nebraska, bring your own snacks and that is truly flat plains.

10) I believe when most people say that a place is flat what they really mean is that it is open country, which oddly I tend to like.

Well, there are my tips for driving to and from Northwest Montana to Nebraska. Obviously, this is well traveled path that thousands are looking for information on.



  1. Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ Just found your site. I’ve lived in Montana for years and just made the drive from Dallas to Montana this summer for the first time after visiting family. I hear ya on some of those stretches about bringing snacks and peeing on the side of the road. I wish I could remember where it was that ALL we could find was a closed down gas station and an outhouse for miles. I held it…. I was not using an old outhouse – who knows what might come up that hole…… eeeeeew ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Welcome back… to MT and blogging… been missing your blogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. #2….I 65 from Chicago to Indianpolis is snore-worthy as well…although they JUST put in a drive through Starbucks about an hour before you hit Indy…hee hee…

  4. been on that road coming north out of TX…but the largest expanse of nothing is trying to get to Kingsville once you’ve left the valley. We lived at the southern tip and most of our driving to visit my parents in KS was just trying to get out of TX.

    But now we live in NE…and that is why I had to comment.

  5. I just moved to TX from Wyoming and I miss Wyoming terribly. I used to complain about not having a Target within 75 miles of my house and now I wish to go back. TX is hot and crowded. However, driving through eastern WY has got to be one of the most BORING drives of my life! Oh and did I mention we made the drive with our 8 month old baby?!?! What an adventure!

    btw- Love the picture on your header. Seeing that reminds me of WY. We lived about 30 miles south of Yellowstone.

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