August 15th, 2016

Beware of Trains

2016 Worldcon Road Trip Day 5: North Platte to York NE

In one sense, Lisa and I have been taking a two week vacation in two phases, interrupted by a Worldcon in the middle of it. Today was the last day of the first phase of that vacation. As with the other posts in this series, there are many more photos on Flickr than what I'm posting here: click through to see the others.

We started in North Platte, where after loading out from the hotel, our first stop (after a brief visit to a convenient Walgreen's to pick up some necessary supplies) was the Golden Spike Observation Tower at Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, the largest railroad yard in the world.

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After the Golden Spike Tower, we went to Cody Park, where there is a small but impressive train display.

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We left a $5 donation with the volunteer staffing the small station within the park. I wish we could have stayed longer, but while we had deliberately cut back our trip legs to do things like this, we still had a couple hundred miles to travel today. Had we realized how interesting the rail-related things here in North Platte would be, we might have considered trying to stay two nights, spending an entire day doing local tourism, and pushing all the way to Kansas City tomorrow.

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Just after 7 PM, we pulled in to the Holiday Inn Express at York. While unpacking the car, Lisa discovered that the charger cable that recharges the batteries on her radio had broken. This is not good. Lisa uses her radios to generate static to mask the severe tinnitus in her left ear. (This is why she usually is seen with an earplug in one ear.) She carries multiple batteries, and one of them had already broken. Fortunately, Lisa had come prepared.

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After dealing with the repairs, it was time for the mundane: we needed to do laundry now so that we don't have to do so during Worldcon. Although apparently there is a guest laundry facility at the Holiday Inn Aladdin in Kansas City, we really do not want to spend any part of Worldcon hanging around a coin laundry. There are much better ways of spending our time there.

Tomorrow we put aside the tourism and head to Kansas City. Many of our friends are already there working on the set-up. We hope to get into KC in the mid-afternoon, not too early to check in to our hotel and not too late to pick up our credentials and possibly help with set-up in some way.