Ty and I have hit the road for SpikeCon in Layton, Utah, driving from the Kansas City area. Our route took us north through Iowa, to connect with Interstate 80. I’m writing this post from a Tru by Hilton (small, cute, very new hotel) in North Platte, NE.

This photo shows late-afternoon sunlight across two beds in a hotel room of the Tru by HIlton in North Platte, Nebraska, a brand-new, minimalistic but extremely well-designed and comfortable hotel.
Minimal but well-designed and comfortable: Tru by Hilton in North Platte, NE.

I fully intend to tweet and post to Facebook from the convention, as I have from previous cons in recent years. I also have plans to write posts about it afterwardsas I have for other conventions.

But, as someone (unclear who) once said, “half the journey is getting there.” And it’s been an interesting journey so far. Mostly it was because we traveled through a beautiful, verdant countryside that’s been in the news for historic flooding recently. The floodwaters have receded since last March, but they’re not gone yet.

The western Iowa farmland in this photo has been flooded since March, and the waters haven't completely receded yet. A dead-algae-draped fence in the foreground is backed by standing water in fields and half flooded farm buildings in the background.
Recent historic floodwaters outside Council Bluffs, IA, haven’t yet receded completely. The algae-entangled fence gives mute testimony to how high the waters got here, and the still-flooded (since March!) fields explain why all too many local farmers are facing a dire financial future.

Before we utterly crashed and burned in our room, we did fire up the Google and the Siri to discover a local institution of sorts, where we could go for dinner. Penny’s Diner is not only cute and vintage-looking (actually, it has been there 14 years as of 2019), but the food is absolutely delicious.

Penny's Diner in North Platte, Nebraska, looks like a vintage 1950s diner.
Who knew North Platte, Nebraska held so many cool gems? Penny’s Diner mixes 50s nostalgia with really good food!

IMAGE CREDITS: All of the photos were taken by me, Jan S. Gephardt, on July 2, 2019, on the first leg of my journey, with son and cohort Tyrell Gephardt, to SpikeCon, the NASFiC, Westercon 72, and several other conventions, all rolled into one. If you wish to use any of these photos, please feel free-as long as you include an attribution to the source, and a link back to this page. Thanks!