Nebraska State Highpoint (Panoramic Point, 5424′) October 29th, 2005

The road less traveled and where I came from

 Looking for the next adventure to stoke the fires I suggested to Ron, a fellow motorcycling friend that we should ride to “somewhere” for a purpose. That purpose would be to get to the Nebraska Highpoint; somewhere would turn out to be in the middle of “nowhere.”  With a cold front predicted to sweep through Colorado that day our bet was we could stay on the right side of the front and avoid most of the rain and colder temps.  It turned out we were right and the temps were a warm 51 degrees when we departed Colorado Springs at 7:00am.

It was dark when we started

But as we escaped the cloud cover close to Pikes Peak and headed east to Limon, the temperatures dropped to 43 degrees, a bit chilly at 75 mph.  That would be the lowest of the day and most of the time temps would hover near 55 degrees and a crisp wind from the NW.  We followed State Road 71 due north passing through Last Chance and finally to Brush, CO where we stopped for gas.  Continuing north we passed through Pawnee National Grasslands until we reached I-80, now in Nebraska.  Heading west to Pine Bluffs Wyoming now, we backtracked south on a country road until reaching the dirt road cutoff where we would have to travel for about 6 miles.

The signs at the last cut off….

The signs at the last cut off….

Ron and his Goldwing near the tri-state marker

I’ll admit right now that I am no off road rider and on a Honda ST1100, I took it easy.  Ron, on his new Goldwing, also took it slow, but the roads were good until we reached the last turnoff the highpoint proper where the path turned into a two rut trail. Ron was not comfortable taking his Goldwing up the trail and I agreed, so I took a breath and headed up alone on the ST, vowing to return in 5-10 mins.  Interesting ride is how I will term it.  Upon reaching the highpoint, a bluff overlooking some cattle and a ranch, I took some hurried photos, signed the register, and sought to keep from freezing.  It seemed like it was 20 degrees up there.  Calling Ron on the radio, I told him I was headed back and he gave me some words of encouragement.  Reaching him at the turn off was a relief.


Highpoint marker

The log book

The ST made it!

And I made it!

After some picture taking, we headed back to paved road, which upon reaching it; we explored the 3 corners area of CO, NE, and WY.

Beating feet back to Pine Bluffs now; we gassed up and sought the warmth of a SUBWAY where we had our first bite to eat since breakfast.  Deciding the quickest way home now was through Cheyenne, WY, we hopped on I-80 to I-25 down through Denver.  Just before entering Denver we encounter a 3 car crash on I-25 that had just happened.  While the cars were totaled, the people were alright it seemed.  Dashing through Denver was uneventful and Ron led the last stretch down to Colorado Springs where we encountered brief heavy rain on Monument Hill and the Palmer Divide – no surprise there!  As we parted ways in N Colorado Springs, we had encountered a couple of firsts.  The first BIG ride for Ron on his bike at about 495 miles in about 8 hours, some dirt road riding for him and track riding for me.  Nebraska becomes my 34 highpoint of our nation.  There are a couple of other highpoints I will head to next on the ST, combining two hobbies for the price of one!

The route!