Somewhere in the twenty minutes between our missed Illinois exit and first opportunity to turn around we passed an rest-stop called "the Oasis." I'm pretty sure we ignored the significance of that name the first time we saw it, but on the back side of our u-turn its meaning became abundantly clear. Yet even that rest-stop was just an oasis for a 20-mile stretch of uninterrupted interstate. If you're in the heart of a 9000-mile journey you're going to need an oasis on a completely different order of magnitude. We found that sanctuary last night in Gresham, Nebraska.
It is convenient that just past the midpoint of our trip we would find ourselves in Nebraska, a state whose conventional reputation is that of the classic flyover state. We know it better, however, as Philip's home. Having met Philip's family a number of times before, I was completely expecting our visit to be greeted with not just open arms but an abundance of com-
fort food and a peaceful, relaxing place to spend the evening. It helps that this was the first night where any of us got more than four hours of sleep, but I think it's fair to say that we're all both rejuvenated and extremely grateful to the Romohr family for taking us in.
Now it is on to the northern great plains.
P.S. Updates may be fewer and farther between, because out here the cell towers are definitely fewer and farther between.