I'm staying another night! They finally opened east bound I 80 after 4pm and I took a quick drive to test the roads. However, they still were quite slick and as I was driving I started hearing a list of accidents being reported on the newly opened I 80. So, I'm in Kearney for another night. I have to say, the folks in Kearney are all being very kind and patient with their stranded travelers. The staff at the Fairfield Inn extended our checkout time so we could listen to road conditions and see if and when I 80 would open. After this trip, the Fairfield will be my number one choice when staying here. I used to stay in a different hotel, but they lost points when two years in a row either I didn't get a wake up call or participants in my tour group didn't get them and that's not good when you have to be at a prairie chicken blind at 4:30am. All the restaurants I've been to have graciously given me extra vegetables for Cinnamon--she's like a celebrity. The girls at Red Lobster pictured above really spoiled her by sending me back to my hotel room with a healthy serving of parsley, carrots and spinach. They really wanted to meet her but I didn't want the restaurant to get in trouble for having an animal running about so I brought her over and met them in the door way. In the photo the girls look so cute and Cinnamon looks so focused on the parsley.
While I was out testing the roads I managed to see a couple of cranes. This flock pictured above had a few snow geese and greater white fronted geese mixed in. It just seems to stretch for miles. In the distance, the dark lines are more cranes.
Horned larks and western meadowlarks were all over the sides of the road (pictured above). The snow really made the horned larks easy to pick out in the fields. All sorts of birds were hanging out right on the roads. At first I thought they may have been after the salt, but I saw more than one meadowlark flying away with some kind of worm hanging from their bills. Other highlights included seeing a kestrel fly off with a horned lark and a female bobwhite sitting on top of a snow bank.
So, cranes, trumpet away. Tomorrow morning, Cinnamon and I head bravely back to the Twin Cities. I just realized that I have been blogging about snow for the last week: first in Minnesota, then in Wisconsin and now in Nebraska. Hopefully, this will be the end of it.
Oh, one quick word of warning: avoid the Lobster Bites at Long John Silvers. I love the LJS, their chicken and fish makes me salivate. However, the Lobster Bites are the worst thing I've tasted since that one time in college I tried to make tuna helper (yeah, I know, but it's okay, I didn't inhale).