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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to pick a short motorcycle ride just for me this spring. I was poking around the internet yesterday looking at byways and spent quite a bit of time looking at the Sand Hills, looks interesting. I'm from central Iowa and my brother lives in Grand Island, so that's where the trip would start, hard to pass up a couple of free night's lodging! I was thinking about doing a big circle, first going north west out of GI up to Valentine and then maybe back to North Platte to see the Union Pacific rail yards before returning to GI and Iowa.

Any suggestions would be appreciated -- history stops, museums, motels, restaurants, photo ops, etc.

Thanks!
 

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Hwy 2 but all the towns are a little off to the right or left. Pull off occasionally and ride through a couple of them. Watch out for the trains.;)
 

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John, we're in G.I. and always looking for an excuse to ride. If you are interested, le't me know when you will be in the area and we will be happy to show you some great local rides...
 

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I'm trying to pick a short motorcycle ride just for me this spring. I was poking around the internet yesterday looking at byways and spent quite a bit of time looking at the Sand Hills, looks interesting. I'm from central Iowa and my brother lives in Grand Island, so that's where the trip would start, hard to pass up a couple of free night's lodging! I was thinking about doing a big circle, first going north west out of GI up to Valentine and then maybe back to North Platte to see the Union Pacific rail yards before returning to GI and Iowa.

Any suggestions would be appreciated -- history stops, museums, motels, restaurants, photo ops, etc.

Thanks!
We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Valentine and liked the place and rates. If you have the time, I'd go west out of Valentine to Chadron then south on 385 to Sidney then follow highway 30 (Lincoln Highway) east past Lake McConaughy, all the way back to Grand Island. Nice easy ride with nice rural sights.
 

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We go thru that area at least twice each year..... from St Louis.

Hwy 2 from Grand Island is decent but is recent years we have looked for some even smaller, less-traveled roads.

Yes, the lodging in Valentine is good but can be very scarce during the summer months, especially on the weekends. Lot's of folks on the Niobrara river.

Hwy 2 NW to hwy 83, then N to Valentine.
20 E toward O'Neil and 183 S at Basset then down to where 96 cuts off and sorta goes on the N side of the Calamus Reservoir.
Then pick up 11 at Burwell and run that down to 58 and back to Grand Island.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info everyone!! Often times the midwest takes a bad rap for boring roads and topography but the truth is there are great amounts of very interesting areas in our own back yards. In Iowa I have enjoyed the Loess Hills in western IA and I can't tell you how much I enjoy riding to the Great River Road in eastern IA and going north to MN/WI, north eastern IA is simply gorgeous as is SW MN and all of WI.

My plan is to leave here Ap. 15 and be back home Ap. 20. We live about 20 miles south of HY. 30 (old Lincoln HY) and I've thought about riding it all the way to GI. My brother doesn't ride but it's always fun be with him and his family, just hangin' out!

Revrunt -- I may give you a shout when I make the final decision so you can show me around. My only concern at that time of year is the weather, temps are a non issue but rain and big winds are not so much fun, at least for me!

Thanks again everyone :thumbup:
 

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I'm trying to pick a short motorcycle ride just for me this spring. I was poking around the internet yesterday looking at byways and spent quite a bit of time looking at the Sand Hills, looks interesting. I'm from central Iowa and my brother lives in Grand Island, so that's where the trip would start, hard to pass up a couple of free night's lodging! I was thinking about doing a big circle, first going north west out of GI up to Valentine and then maybe back to North Platte to see the Union Pacific rail yards before returning to GI and Iowa.

Any suggestions would be appreciated -- history stops, museums, motels, restaurants, photo ops, etc.

Thanks!
If you head up the 71 from Kimball to Scottsbluff, don't exceed the speed limit. Don't ask...:eek:4:

We rode that way and headed through the forest on the way to Rapid City a couple of years ago, and had some nice two lane roads. A fun trip. My mother is from Valentine, but I've never been.

I hear North Platte train yard is the largest in the nation/world. Might be interesting, but your brother has probably BTDT.
 

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You can't hardly go through the sandhills without being on hiway 2 for at least part of the trip. If you find yourself in Thedford at mealtime, be sure to stop in the restaurant by the Rodeway Inn. I can't remember the name of the the place. I think it used to be Staabs. Anyway, we were in there for lunch last month. I had the mountain oysters. A big plate full and cooked to perfection. If testicles aren't your cup of tea, the couple at the next table had an awesome looking chicken fried steak.

On our way home, we took highway 61 South out of Hyannis. This will take you to Arthur NE. Arthur has a church built of strawbales and the worlds smallest courthouse. Higwhay 61 will then take you to Kingsley Dam and Lake McConaughy. If you to go to Lake Ogallala Recreation area which is on the outlet side of the dam, there is a quiet campground. While you are in the area, be sure to go to Keystone (about 6 miles east of the lake). They have a church there that has a Protestant altar on one end and a Catholic altar on the other end. The pews flip to accomadate which ever group is having their services.

If you are interested in seeing the plight of the Sioux Indians of the Pine Ridge reservation, you can go North out of Rushville to the town of Whiteclay. A town of less than 25 people, they have 4 beer stores that sell in excess of of 4.5 million cans of beer per year.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have not made the trip ........ yet :) The days I wanted to go the weather here (and there) were not in my comfort range, this week looks better and finally I have no commitments. It's either the GRR or Nebraska this week, great forecasts!
 
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