Just bunking down after a beautiful drive through Nebraska and much of Wyoming. From the great plains into the foot hills and then in the evening through some incredible rock formations. The rocks and mountains are a sign of things to come. We'll pass though Utah tomorrow with the goal of getting to Las Vegas by supper time.
Yesterday we pulled up to the bookstore on the University of Nebraska campus. Just so happened the book signing was scheduled on game day. The U of N Corn Huskers' football team, ranked 15th in the country going into the game, took on the 6th ranked team from Missouri. I can not begin to explain to Canadians what a big deal college football is in the US. And Nebraska is a perennial powerhouse. They've won 5 national championships.
With kick-off scheduled for 2:30pm, by 9:30am the streets were packed with Huskers fans dressed in red & white. Parking lots in the downtown core of Lincoln were turned into little villages of haywire tailgaters. Picture a scene from Mad Max, but everyone is wearing red and white and they're all in a good mood. Definitely no big deal to see someone hollering at passing cars, chowing down on a smokie, and enjoying a wobbly-pop at 10 in the morning. All part of getting ready for the game.
Our massive tour truck, the Red Giant, is...well...red. Which made it an accessory to the fan madness in Lincoln. We were also parked on one of the main walkways leading to the Memorial Field, which some say is a "cathedral of college football." If I didn't know better I would have thought that there were 80,o00 people lined up to get their copy of "King of the Road" signed. No such luck, but the excitement of the day was definitely part of our stop there. And there was no shortage of people in face and body paint who lined up to say hi to Alex before heading into the game.
Jay and I were wheeling and hustling through traffic and managed to get in place to see the Husker team arrive out front of the stadium. Thousands of people were absolutely rocking, including the marching band. The whole production was out of this world. A nice little slice of culture from this part of the world. And an absolutely contagious energy level to get into our veins as we filmed the street level action.
The Huskers put a whooping on Missouri: 31 - 17. Add the big victory to Halloween festivities and I think Lincoln was the most exciting place in the country yesterday. Eventually we had to split, but I'd bet there are a few people in Lincoln who are still celebrating. Jay and I are now big time Huskers fans. We've got the hat and shirt to prove it.
ps - Coming soon: thanks to a request from a reader, our next post will be a video tour of the Red Giant with owner/driver Bryan Dax. I'll post it tomorrow.