Day 62 -- More back roads and arrival at first courtesy parking in Nebraska


  From: Lovewell SP, KS
  To: Murdock, NE
  Distance: 180 mi (289 km)
  Travel time w/brks: 3 hr 39

  Distance since start: 13,293 mi (21,375 km)
Lovewell Reservoir KS to Murdock NE

Monday 8/21/2006

We took it easy and did not hit the road until after 10:40 in the morning. The plan was for Isabella to drive us from Kansas to our stop in Nebraska. Since this was mainly back roads it seemed like a good practice place. It did not take long until we crossed over the Nebraska state line. The environment looked fairly similar to northern Kansas: rolling hills and plenty of crop farms. The goal for today was multi-fold: (1) let Isabella get some tow practice, (2) camp in Nebraska and (3) try out a WBCCI courtesy parking spot. After some research I had selected a place slightly south of Lincoln and Omaha. To select a spot takes a bit of work. This is because the information in the WBCCI membership directory is tedious to use since most of us are clueless about where exactly each parking location is. Here is what I did to select a place:

  1. Key in each town listed under the state of Nebraska from the listing in the WBCCI Membership directory into Street Atlas USA. This allowed me to get a "flag" showing the approximate location of the courtesy hosts.
  2. With our tentative route in mind, zoom in on the courtesy parking host(s) that do not appear to be too great of a detour from our preferred endpoint of the day. Consider this the tentative subset.
  3. Key in detailed address information from the Membership directory for each tentative courtesy parking host into Google Maps and then use a satellite map to ferret out those that appear to be less "appealing" from a location point of view. My personal preference is to be a bit away from the city. CAUTION: the address listed under courtesy parking is likely the member's primary mailing address for the Blue Beret, not necessarily where the courtesy parking location is.. be sure to ask the hosts about this.
  4. Sort the list of remaining hosts by preference and start calling them using the phone number listed in the directory. When I'd get a positive confirmation, nail it right there.

What is so ironic is that we now have detailed maps of each state in the WBCCI membership directory for *campgrounds* that give us discount. Quite frankly, I have that information elsewhere and I would not make a detour to a campground listed in the directory just because I can get 10% discount or so. I would much rather focus state maps on courtesy parking instead of campgrounds. Most of us already carry phone-book sized campground directories anyway. It is probably fair to say that there are good reasons why so few people use courtesy parking. One of them is clearly that it is too much work to nail one compared to just looking in a KOA or similar campground directory.

Heading into Murdock Nebraska

Heading into Murdock, Nebraska

Grain elevators at the edge of town -- a very common sight

Grain elevators at the edge of town -- a very common sight in towns in this part of the country

Approaching our courtesy host just north of Murdock

Approaching our courtesy host just north of Murdock. This place is surrounded by Soy Bean and Corn.

We had done a fair amount of zig zagging on back roads to get here. The GPS and Street Atlas USA was very helpful. Isabella handled the truck and trailer very well. We arrived in the mid afternoon at our host: Gene Munch of the Nebraska Unit. We were given a warm welcome. Gene had plenty of space for us to park. We got 30amp. He offered up water but I was all set with what we had in the tank. We talked with Gene a little bit and then headed up to Omaha to fill up with diesel and to buy some groceries. I had thought we'd do some sight-seeing, but by the time we arrived at the edges of town the traffic was heavy and we were a bit tired. So when we were done shopping food we headed back to Gene's place. We made sure to use the public bathroom at the truck stop since our toilet is still not usable. I had a drink and talked with Gene about some of his travel adventures. He was, like me, passionate about traveling with his Airstreams.

Tucked into the backyard of Gene Munch in Murdock, Nebraska

Our first courtesy parking experience away from home. Tucked into the backyard of Gene Munch in Murdock, Nebraska

We're parked next to Gene's barn. Gene has a 1964 26ft Tradewind.

We're parked next to Gene's barn. Gene has a 1964 26ft Tradewind, very similar to the one we have at home (23ft).

Next to our trailer we can see horses in field

Next to our trailer we can see horses in a field. They seemed pretty happy to be there.

Gene also has a 1979 motorhome 'proto' built by Argosy before they were bought by Airstream...

Gene also has a 1979 classic motor home 'proto' built by Argosy before they were bought by Airstream...

When it started to get dark we ate over in the trailer. We had enough juice to run with the AC over night. That was nice. So far, we can definitely say that courtesy parking is a very nice privilege. As it turns out, Gene's place is not that far from I-80 as it runs through Omaha and Lincoln.


  Name: WBCCI Courtesy Parking with Gene Munch in Murdock, NE
  Our hookups: 30amp + water (which I did not use)
  WiFi: No
  GSM service: No

  TV Channels: Don't know
  Cost: FREE!!
  Reservation mode: Phone call
Savage River campground

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All Pictures (c) 2006 Hamnqvist, Background features the Yukon Sky.