Day 1- July 10, 2008
This year we were SO looking forward to hiking another highpoint on our quest to see as many highpoints in the country. Little did we know that we would hit some snags along the way. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with having an Atypical Carcinoid lung tumor in my lower right lung. I had to have surgery and have part of my lung removed in order to get rid of the risk of it metastasizing and spreading to other parts of the body. I was in the hospital for about 8 days, and it was not a fun experience. Even now, 4 months later, I am still sore from where they cut a 9” hole into my chest. Also when I came home from the hospital, my wife Eileen told me that she was pregnant! Imagine, a little Scott running around the house. We ALSO bought another house to “fix and flip”. With all this going on, it really makes it difficult to get away and go hike a tall mountain.
We were dead set on climbing Nevada’s Highpoint, Boundary Peak. Our father in law was going to go with us, and we had maps and everything. After all this stuff happened, it really made it difficult, and pretty much not a reality to climb a tall mountain, specifically because 1- I am lungless, and 2- my wife is 5 months pregnant. I have been itching to go finish a highpoint this year, and our anniversary was coming up quickly, so I planned quite an outing to celebrate. We were going to drive out to Western Nebraska and climb “Panorama Point”, Nebraska’s highpoint, elevation 5,424 ft!
We left our little town of Pocatello, Idaho early in the morning. We drove all day to get to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I rented a hotel for the night there from Priceline.com (which I highly recommend, since you can get a pretty nice hotel for a lot cheaper). I had never been to Cheyenne, so we went and toured for the rest of the evening. It was like a 10 hour drive from our house to the hotel room, so we were pretty beat.
Day 2- July 11th 2008
We got up early in the morning in anticipation of the highpoint we were about to go visit. We drove out of Cheyenne, Wyoming about 9 in the morning, and drove to the little town of Pine Bluffs, Wy, which is located right on the border of Nebraska and Wyoming. Then we punched in the Coordinates of Panorama Point into my Car GPS and followed the directions directly south of the town about 10 miles. We drove in the middle of all these fields of corn, wheat, weeds, and many other types of plants. After about 20 minutes of driving, we came to the sign that welcomed us to Nebraska’s Highpoint.
They actually call it “High Point Bison” on the big information sign. We took a few pictures, and then drove up the short dirt road up and around to the top of a little hill.
At the top, there is a monument that shows where the highpoint of Nebraska is and the elevation.
It is crazy that this little bump in the scenery is Nebraska’s Highpoint. But we were very excited to be there. We took many pictures, and videos, and signed the climber’s log that is next to the highpoint monument.
Supposedly there are a lot of Bison roaming freely around this area, so you are supposed to be careful, but we didn’t see any. We took a picture or two of “Bison Pies”, but other than that, no sign of Bison.
After about 20 minutes of standing in the Hot Humid Nebraska Wind, we said goodbye, and drove over to the Tri-State marker only like a mile away from this highpoint. This is the point where Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska state lines all come to a corner. It is just in some guy’s field, so we just drove over this crappy dirt road to it. By the way, our little 03 Pontiac Grand Prix made it on these dirt roads fine.
The ruts are pretty deep, but they are passable in a car. After snapping some more photos and taking in the Nebraska air for the last time this trip, we drove back to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, and then back to Cheyenne. This picture below is a picture of a Buffalo Pie. Supposedly there are ALOT of buffalo around, but we didn't see any!
Then we drove straight south about 100 miles to Denver, Colorado. We got a hotel room for a couple of nights in Downtown Denver at the Sheraton. It was right on the Denver 16th Street Mall. We played around Denver for a couple of days. We tried to go to the US Mint, but it wasn’t open. So we went to the Capital, and the Planetarium, the IMAX theatre, some shops and restaurants, the Denver Convention Center (where the Democratic National Convention is going to be held in a couple of weeks), the train Depot, and other places.
Day 3-4- July 12th and July 13th
Today is Sunday and we got up and left our Hotel room at 7:30 am and drove all day. We got back to Pocatello about 5:30pm. We are exhausted from all the driving in such a short period of time, but it was well worth it to see the incredible Nebraska Highpoint. So I guess this trip took us 3+ days just to see one highpoint, but we were also celebrating our Anniversary, so we took our time. We were very happy to conquer yet one more picture on our United States Map we have hanging on our wall with all of our Successful Highpoints! This was number 3 for us, and can’t wait until next year when we can do #4!