Day 38 – (October 12) – Moving On

The morning was overcast and chilly, but we packed the car and said our grateful “good byes” before hitting the road for Omaha. The fog was so thick in places we thought we might be home in Seattle on a winter day. The corn fields were barely visible, but we could make out the fields that had been harvested and those that had not.

When we made it to Nebraska City, (“The City the State was Named After,” so they say) we stopped at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. It is a beautiful place, along the Missouri River and hosts interactive displays and equipment that Lewis and Clark may have carried with them on their exploration. We wanted to go down and explore along the river, but the wind was whipping so fiercely – and was COLD – so, we traveled on.

The day started to brighten up and get warmer as we stopped for a quick bite of lunch at Arby’s along Highway 75 North. We had an appointment to keep and I was very intent on getting there on time. Before we left home, I had been in contact with a Public Affairs representative from the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base.  He invited me to contact him again when we were closer to Omaha, which we did. He kindly offered to meet us at the Offutt gate and accompany us on base so we could see and photograph their B-17, “Homesick Angel.”

Tim kindly drove us through the check point and took us directly to the plane. Amazingly, the day had turned into a beautiful Fall day and the sun warmed us and everything else in sight. The plane stood regally on her hardstand in an impressive display.  She had been recently refurbished and looked smart amid the wide expanse of field she was given as a home. I took several photographs and thanked Tim profusely. We got back in his car and he took us on an informative tour of the entire base. It was like old home week for me! Offutt started out as Fort Crook Army Post in the 1890’s and was converted to Air Force after 1947. It was named Offutt after the first airman to be killed in action in WWI. He was from this area. While there was much of that familiar Army Post look, there was also a good deal of current state of the art building and equipment that makes Offutt one of the largest Air Force installations in the world.

Thrilled to have been able to see my 24th B-17, we went on to Omaha where we met with another cousin of my driver.  We had a good, if short, visit and promised to return tomorrow. We were beginning to drag and needed some “down time” for ourselves.

Finding our motel, it was difficult to think about going out again. So, we ordered Chinese to be delivered and ate “in house.” It was not only the perfect arrangement, it was delicious food – the first Chinese of this trip. Usually we are a little wary of Chinese while on the road. One never knows! But, this was excellent in every way.

A quiet evening was in order and I caught up on the reports I had failed to enter while we were staying with family.