Monday, May 30, 2011

Driving North

Hi all, Dianne here.  The pretty photo above was taken in far western Nebraska.  Who knew Nebraska could be so pretty?    There are advantages to getting off the beaten track and discovering new places.  More on Nebraska later....

Since we'd been evacuated from Palo Duro State Park in Texas, we ended up in Amarillo for a few days and took care of some mundane chores there.  Once that was accomplished, we found ourselves with three extra days before our next reservation.  With the forecast for Amarillo being in the 100s and high winds, we decided to pack it in and head on north.

Taking Route 287 through the Texas Panhandle and through eastern Colorado, we made a leisurely trip by stopping twice.  Our second night we stopped in Brush, Colorado at a city-run RV park.  What a bargain!  Roger discovered it by checking out  If you've never taken advantage of that web site, I urge you to check it out.  There's a link on the left-hand side of our blog.  

We were a little nervous, with it being Memorial Day Weekend and all, but we arrived early enough to snag one of the last spots.  Free overnight parking with 30-amp electricity, no less!  The parking area is adjacent to a pretty city park, with a huge swimming pool, playground, fishing pond, and picnic shelters.

There is also a small museum in the park, and the lush-est green grass we've ever seen.  (Chaplin especially enjoyed his walks there).

One display especially caught my eye.  I photographed these vintage Red Cross uniforms in honor of my grandmother, Clara Robison, who served as a nurse to soldiers from World War I who had returned home stricken with the pandemic flu virus.  She, herself, caught the flu and almost died from it from working in the hospital with the returning soldiers. (Lucky for me she made it!)  But the main reason I photographed these uniforms is that she received a pin for volunteering with the Red Cross for 50 years.  She died in 2002 at 105 years old, but lived long enough to hold my grandaughter, Kaia.  Five generations....

Our next stop was in Sidney, Nebraska at the Cabela's campground.  Cabela's outfitters' world headquarters is in Sidney, Nebraska, and they have a very nice RV park adjacent to their retail store there (no, it's not free).

We got parked and set up, then walked over to the store.  Roger was really in his element!  We spent some quality time shopping.  We both purchased some new wicking-type duds to wear hiking in the heat.  We've discovered that we really enjoy traveling this way, driving a couple of hours and stopping.  What a change from traveling in vacation mode, hour after hour and arriving exhausted.

We lounged around a few hours the next morning, then headed north into Nebraska.  After crossing the Nebraska plains on I-80 in the past, we were not expecting the beautiful hills and buttes that we saw when driving north on Nebraska Route 71.

Here's just a sample:

We are now in Gering, Nebraska for two nights.

We found a gem of a campground, Gering's Robidoux RV Park, named after an historic trading post that was located nearby.  The campground is run by the city of Gering, and for $23 a night is a real bargain!  Here's the view from our front windshield:

Here's another view of the RV park:

  As soon as we got set up, I asked Roger to drop me off at the nearby North Platte Valley Museum in Gering, which I'd learned about from Nick Russell's book, Meandering Down the Highway.  

My husband and children will tell you that I'm no fun to accompany to museums, especially those that involve the western emigration and pioneer history.  Roger readily agreed to drop me off at the nearby museum, then head home to be with the dogs to ride out the rain and storms that were predicted.  (Our luck held out, and once again we were west of the tornado activity.)

I knew I was in a good place when I spotted the sod house display outside:

What a great little museum!  Lots of old photographs and displays of the area history.  One display I found unique and very interesting was a wall of photos of local residents of the early years of the area. 

Each photo gave a brief synopsis of the person's life; whether they emigrated to the area (if so, when and where from), their occupation and interests.  
Now that's what I call an arrowhead collection!

Here's an old stage coach:

Turns out, the Pony Express also traveled through this area.  There were displays about it, as well as my favorite, a painstakingly reconstructed chuck wagon:

This particularly interested me, because I'm currently reading the "Log of a Cowboy" book that I mentioned back in my Fort Davis blog.  The book is excellent, by the way, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  The authentic detail in the book is fascinating (to me, at least).

 This chuckwagon display really brought the book I'm reading to life.  Here's a close-up of one of the placards at the chuckwagon display:

The pet photo of the day shows a tender moment with Chaplin.  Check back soon as we plan some good hiking here and a visit to Chimney Rock National Historic Site before we move on north.  


Gin and Syl said...

That is some nice green grass. I can just imagine how much your dogs enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I enjoy your blog. Appreciated the detail of the places you visit. Especially about the RV parks that you stay in.

Rich & Diane