Nebraska home to halfway point on historic U.S. Route 6
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The exact spot has not been marked, but Marcia Kuiper of the Historic Route 6 Tourist Association revealed Sunday that the halfway point on America's longest transcontinental highway is somewhere in Nebraska.
What is known is that U.S. Route 6 is 3,652 miles long, stretching all the way from Provincetown, Massachusetts to Long Beach, California. That would mean that the halfway point is 1,826 miles west of Provincetown, near where the Pilgrims first landed in America, and 1,826 miles east of Long Beach, which is home to one of the largest shipping ports in the world.
In time to come, Kuiper anticipates that the exact spot of the Route 6 halfway point will be pinpointed.
Kuiper, who is from Gretna, is the executive director of the Nebraska U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association. On a weekend swing through western Nebraska, she spoke to groups of supporters in Indianola, McCook and Wauneta.
During a PowerPoint presentation Sunday afternoon at the Horse Creek Inn in McCook, Kuiper said efforts are under way in many of the 14 states along the route to promote Historic Route 6, which is described as the "Roadway to Adventure."
Encouraged by Dave Darby, the executive director for Iowa, Kuiper became Nebraska's Route 6 director in November of 2013, Working closely with Roger Bratt, a historian from Gretna, Kuiper is striving to drum up support all along the 374 miles that Route 6 covers in Nebraska.
Sharing the words of those dedicated to spreading the word about Route 6, Marcia painted a word picture for those attending the Sunday session, "Through lush green grasses and clear blue skies, over each hill and curve a new surprise ... this ribbon of highway that connects our lives. Route 6 is your road to adventure."
In the western half of the state, U.S. Route 6 passes through or close by Hastings, Juniata, Heartwell, Minden, Axtell, Funk, Holdrege, Arapahoe, Holbrook, Cambridge, Bartley, Indianola, Red Willow, McCook, Culbertson, Palisade, Hamlet, Wauneta, Enders, Imperial, and Lamar.
U.S. Route 6 started taking shape in 1911 when regional representatives, including several from this area, gathered to form a Good Roads Association. What were dirt roads at that time became paved in the years to come and by 1931 what is now Route 6 began becoming a coast-to-coast connection.
To promote the U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association, Kuiper is selling memberships to individuals, families, car clubs and historical societies for $35, and to businesses, depending on the number of employees, from $50 to $1,000.
For information about the Nebraska U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association, those interested are encouraged to call 402-332-5442; e-mail Nebraska@Route6tour.com; or write: Route 6 Association, 405 Devonshire Drive, Gretna, NE 68028.
Sunday's presentation was hosted by Carol Schlegel, the tourism director for Red Willow County.