Wednesday, August 08, 2012

US Hwy 30: Archway Monument

If you've ever driven I-80 past Kearney, NE, you've probably driven right under the "Great Platte River Road Archway Monument" and continued on your way. Good call on your part. I made a short detour from my route on US Hwy 30 to check it out, and wish I'd skipped it.

The first gimmick about the place -- besides being built across the interstate, of course -- is that you get to meet an authentic frontiersman with whom I just had to have my picture taken. Then you go up the escalator -- armed with a self-guided audio tour headset -- and it's all downhill from there.

The self-guided tour is a superficial journey through the history of the area, briefly mentioning all the usual suspects and events. It's heavy on the sound and light special effects, and the audio track is a somewhat confusing mix of narration, diary readings, historical speeches and news flashes. It took me less than 30 minutes, and I could probably have done it in less.

If you're looking for an air conditioned break from the road, you can get lunch at McDonalds for less than the admission here. If you just love really gimmicky glitz without a lot of substance, then the Archway Monument might just be for you!

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