Monday, July 29, 2019

Driving The Punjabi Road

Overton, NE
Sitting in the middle of Nebraska in Overton, west of Kearney is quite a gem.  I call it the best 1/2 star truck stop in the world and better yet it is just one of a series of such truck stops.  They are not a chain and not centrally owned, but all have a similar theme.  I call it, "Following the Punjabi Road", The Los Angeles Times wrote an article a month ago, calling I-40 the Punjabi American Highway, where many of the immigrant truckers from the State of Punjabi drive routes to Arkansas and Indiana.

There is more to travel than a bunch of bland extremely overpriced monopolistic truck stops called Flying J, Pilot, Travel Center and Love's (Flying J and Pilot are owned by same company including Warren Buffet), but you need to take a chance.

These hidden gems are scattered out here serving the Indian Truckers, There is the one in Sayre, OK on I-40 near Lawton featured in the LATimes article which we will hit in September that is vegetarian and leans more Sikh, although a Sikh trucker driving for the Singh Lines was a couple of booths away happily eating his lunch in Overton and talking in native tongue to the owner's son, serving him.  These are in Deming NM, Laramie WY, and somewhere just in the border in WY and many other places.

Punjabi-operated truck stops
 from the LATimes
There are Punjabi trucker schools, mechanic shops and these truck stops cater to them more than just the food.  The owners of the place in Overton, the Chaudhery's sent their two sons to business school in Lincoln at Univ Neb to help run the operation.  

These truck stops are also giving them great prices on fuel.

These have the cheapest diesel of any truck stops by far.  Near by to Overton, the Pilot charges $3.02 for diesel but Jay's the Truck stop in Overton, Nebraska.....$2.58

$44 cents a gallon cheaper?  That is no typo.  I saved $30 on a 2/3 fill, for a trucker?  Wow!   Why give your money to Warren Buffet?  I can go on how Love's etc is gouging America's travelers but I won't get into that.  Now this truck stop ain't much to look at and is just out of a 1982 movie, or is it 1975?  The expansive parking area is rough, and filled with pot holes, ruts, and weeds.  It desperately needs gravel and a grader.  The whole place needs a coat of paint, maybe three.  They are unbranded as that costs money.  The bathrooms, well I've had worse in outhouses, but that isn't saying much and the whole place hasn't had a cent of overhead done to it in a decade.  The Chaudhery's run a low overhead operation, and you know, I'd rather buy cheap diesel, but the restaurant was clean, even though the booths had lumpy seats.  

The food, though, IS to die for!  Wow!  Like best meal for 15 bucks a man could eat!
The naan bread is the best I've eaten and the curried chicken good and the coconut milk chicken was even better than that.  It was the highlight of the day!

One happy passenger boarding Big Bird filled with coconut chicken goodness.  

So do the Punjabi Highway, save a few bucks and have some good food and find these gems, just don't worry about the outside.  Come eat until you're stuffed and drive off happy.  Exit 248 on I-80 should be circled on your road atlas.  I'll report from Lawton next month.


PS.  a few wildlife shots...
Some bugs of Nebraska:
Common checkered skipper

Gray Copper

Colorado bugs:
Colorado haistreak (state butterfly of CO)

Mountain checkered skipper 

Dun skipper (cell phone camera)

taxiles skipper (cell phone camera)

Some birds:  I was hand feeding the hummers, and from hanging a feeder on my awning on the RV, but even though I got a good haul of birds, cameras and pictures were scarce where we were camping (banned?) so all I have are these.

Broad-tailed hummingbirds

rufous hummingbirds

Juvenile western bluebird

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