The other reason I have always had a fondness for Lincoln is what brought me to town this summer: it's home to one of the best - if most overlooked - paleontology museums in the US. As I noted in my last post, Nebraska is probably the best part of the world in which to find Miocene mammals, and the University of Nebraska State Museum reflects this rich fossil record spectacularly. It has case upon case of horse, rhino, and camel skeletons, but somewhat counterintuitively, the real reason paleontologists should take the time to visit Lincoln is their collection of fossil elephants and elephant relatives, which is the largest in the world and includes the largest mammoth I've ever seen (which is, not coincidentally, the state fossil of Nebraska).
Of course, nowhere is perfect, and I happened to arrive in Lincoln at the same time as a fairly formidable storm front with some equally formidable tornadoes in tow. As noted before, I'm not a big fan of thunderstorms, and that goes double when those storms blot out the sun between the Missouri and the Wabash. Still, there are only so many ways of getting to Cincinnati from Lincoln, and the end of the first stage of my trip was destined to be made in the company of lightning, thunder, and blindingly heavy rain.