I made it to the top of Panorama Point, the Highpoint of Nebraska at 5424 feet, on Thursday morning August 28th, 2003. It was my 6th total state highpoint and my 2nd since actually becoming a member of the Highpointers Club earlier this year.
I left my home in Algonquin, IL on Wednesday morning, August 27th, at 9:45AM. I drove west and arrived at the I-80 rest area in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming at 1:15AM. I slept, not so well, in my car until 8:00AM. As I helped the elderly lady at the visitor center move and set up her display I met a guy named Dave (I can’t remember his last name but it sounded something like pancake), from Delaware, who had completed 42 state highpoints, including Panorama Point, but was not yet a member of the Highpointers Club. I told him about the convention in Washington next year and he said he might show up.
I followed the excellent directions provided by Charlie and Diane Winger in their book Highpoint Adventures and reached the summit of Panorama Point without any trouble after stopping to place my $2.00 donation in the envelope provided at the entrance. It was a clear and comfortable day. I signed the register and enjoyed the view. I was the first to sign in that day and had the “mountain” all to myself.
I then continued south on RD 5 to the first crossroad I could take west. I turned right and drove to the first crossroad I could take north. I turned right and with the help from the directions provided by Don Holmes in his book Highpoints of the United States I found the Tri-State Corner Marker, which marks the intersection of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The flyer “Highest Point in Nebraska and Three-State Corner Marker --- You can see them both”, which I picked up at the Pine Bluffs visitor center, also provided excellent directions to the Tri State Marker. This flyer, and the Don Holmes’ book, also provides alternate directions to Panorama Point from the Bushnell Interchange on I-80. Since I was heading west I would have used this alternate route if I hadn’t planned on sleeping at the rest area at Pine Bluffs.
After enjoying my visit to Panorama Point and the Tri-State Marker I drove south on the Colorado back roads through the Pawnee National Grasslands. I met an old friend from my high school days in New Jersey in Vail, Colorado at 1:30PM and we drove south to Ruidoso, NM where I spent a week hiking in the Lincoln National Forest.