We found an abandoned road leading down to the lake while touring on our scooters. It was all broken up from the 2019 floods that destroyed so much in Nebraska. Of course, Warren had to head down it to explore. Look at him acting like a kid even standing up on his wheels 😉
This very large museum holds more than I could share on this blog. If you are ever in south central Nebraska, you must put it on your list of places to visit. It appears to hold an entire town within its walls and grounds depicting the lives of people in Nebraska. I can’t imagine the amount of work involved in collecting the items on display and setting up each room. There is something for everyone. Warren enjoyed the early cars, farm machinery etc. I could have stayed all day seeing the homemaking and daily life scenarios. Of great interest to both of us was the story of the German POW camp nearby. More than 100,000 German soldiers were processed through this camp. Only 8% of captives professed allegiance to Nazi ideals. They were well treated and were even paid a daily wage as they worked voluntarily to replace the thousands of American men who were serving overseas in WWII. Thomas F. Naegele, a German born escapee from Nazi Germany, who served as an interpreter for the US Army during WWII, is also a fine artist. He painted many scenes from life at camp during that time. I have posted a very small sample. They include humorous scenes as well as serious ones. Linked below is a fascinating PBS story about Camp Atlanta in Nebraska.
While we were visiting the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, the director and crew were trying to get an agriculture plane fuselage into the building. They had already let most of the air out of the tires to allow it to clear the door but it wasn’t quite enough. Warren puzzled over it a minute then suggested they stand on the sides and even lended his weight to the idea. Success! Then on the way home we saw a crop duster off in the distance over a corn field. We pulled over on a farm road and got a neat airshow! Nebraska is celebrating 100 years of Agriculture Pilots and Planes contributions to feeding the nation. I have included a couple links with more information about this industry.
A day in the life of an ag pilot https://youtu.be/Q1hqHGkfP7U
Celebrating 100 years https://youtu.be/AqR2mAHWBh4
Very few larger towns can boast of a nicer bike trail. We are enjoying getting out on our scooters each day and riding for miles along the lakeshore. Wildlife viewing was great! 13 cotton tail rabbits scrambling across the trail, one Gold Eagle hunting from a tree at lakeside, a herd of 8 white tailed deer feeding, a couple pelicans floating on the water and more redheaded woodpeckers than we could count.
I like to pick up the local paper when I run errands in the small towns we visit. This Sheriff’s Department article on the Society Page caught my eye. They report No Arrests but some recovered stolen coolers, dogs jumping a fence and harassing the neighbor, a person getting sleepy while driving, a stranded boat on the lake, a skunk in a trap, a speeder on 136, a cow out on the highway, those dogs jumping the fence again, loud music at The Pump and Pantry, keys locked in a car, now calves are on the loose, and a boat lost a tire on Corps Road B. I read this article to Warren and we laughed till we cried 😂
Alma, Nebraska. This is why we choose to avoid large cities and route through small towns. They had everything I needed on one pretty block and were happy for my business.
I think we can make a pet of this one!
We arrived at Methodist Cove on Lake Harland near Alma, NE to find another wonderful Army Corp campground. It’s a very cool day with highs in the 60s while lots of the country is still in the midst of a heat wave. Last night we rode the wonderful paved bike trail along the lakeshore into town 3 miles away. Quiet and serene with mostly retired RV folks as neighbors. AND these lovely monster Cicadas!
Covering our scooters to protect from rain with 3 picnic table cloths just wasn’t cool. We ordered a ATV cover from Bad Ass Moto Gear that looks a lot better and will do a better job. We need to protect our rides!
A quiet visit to a nice little state park. Victoria Springs has an interesting history. This was once the village of New Helena, then a mineral springs resort and finally a very lovely state park with a pleasant camping area. The pond has issues with duck weed but it’s still pretty and watching the frogs walk on water was a hoot!
We had the best time viewing the worlds largest rail yard located in North Platte, Nebraska. We drove an hour from our campground but it was worth the trip. This classification yard handles 10,000 cars per day (24/7) in this 8 mile long almost 3,000 acre Union Pacific Railroad facility. Each rail car is “humped” to its proper track to be coupled up with others to go to its final destination. Watch the YouTube link for the story of this fascinating place and what happens in the yard. Mick, a retired railroad man, was a wealth of information about both railroading and the Sandhills which he loves.
I was disappointed on our drives through the Sandhills to not get a good windmill photo. Low and behold! We went on an outing yesterday and passed “Cuz’n Eddy’z” RV Park with many, many windmills in action. Of course we stopped to take a video!
While we were at the Golden Spike Tower, Mick told us about an event going on this weekend. They close a 28 mile section of a very curvy road thru the Sandhills to race cars in a loop. The most challenging open road race in the country. That must be quite an event. He told us it is held in the little western town of Arnold and one of the cars was actually down in the the Tower parking lot. We were passing by Arnold on our way back to camp so we stopped in for the car show on Main Street. 102° in the shade so we made a quick tour thru, took some pictures, and were back on the road to camp. There was every sort of car from regular street cars to racing cars. We can’t imagine taking the curves and hills at the speeds they go! I have included 2 YouTube links about this cool event. The second link was live streaming the race.
What a great morning! I drove over to the ONLY town in Loup County, Nebraska. They found a unique way to promote their lovely little community. I arrived during the annual Loup County World’s Fair which is a celebration of agriculture, ranching and the people of this area. 4-H green was everywhere 💚 I toured the town on foot, following the map provided by the tourist information center to find 67 of the 70 “Villagers” (see the links for more about this project.) They are meant to depict life as it was between 1880 and 1920. Looks like the people stepped out of old photographs. I have included my favorites. Then I went to the 4-H exhibition hall to see the produce, floral, civic and craft entries. Had lunch in the Veterans Dining Room with very friendly local folk and sampled some of the baked goods that the homemakers had provided. Lovin’ me some Nebraska ❤️
These historic cabins are on the grounds of tiny Victoria State Park in Anselmo, NE. This used to be the small village of New Helena over 100 years ago. A new train rail was hoped for but was built 7 miles away so the village never grew beyond 67 folks. I walked over in the cool of the early morning, just after sunrise, to read the storyboard and take some pictures. I always read these posters since someone put a lot of effort in them for visitors. Don’t tell anyone but I was in my PJs since we have the place to ourselves except for the camp hosts.
We drove a couple hundred miles of this road through Nebraska. We have never seen landscapes like this. The Sandhills rolled for hundreds of miles with a desolate beauty of their own. We wouldn’t really call them hills, more like small mountains as the road wove its way past scattered ranches, rivers, cattle herds, trains, windmills, spring fed lakes, silos and small towns. I am good at the neat trick of grabbing screenshots off my video as we drive down the road. Sure can’t ask Warren to stop the RV for every photo op I see 😉 Really different and really wonderful country.
We had a wonderful 3 mile walk along The Cowboy Trail in Valentine, Nebraska. It will be part of The Great American Rail Trail from coast to coast! Over 2,000 miles of that trail are completed with 1,700 more to go. The trail in Nebraska is 180 miles so far and crosses 200 bridges from tiny ones over creeks to tall and long ones like this trestle bridge over the National Scenic Niobrara River. The overcast sky, cool temperatures and pleasant breeze made it a delight. One of us got a little silly ❤️ We took pictures coming and going. Pizza Hut for a salad and Veggie Supreme Pan Pizza afterwards. As usual, see the links below for more information.
We looked up from our camp chairs after supper and saw this beauty 🌈
When he gets it going too fast, we may be planning a memorial service. Just kidding, he is only boosting the speed to assist with hills on his scooter. I’m happy with climbing them slower. Somehow I knew that the first thing he would do is start modifying his ride.
Love getting my steps done on a cool, breezy morning. Yesterday it was 104° here, today the high will be 75°. I enjoyed a long sandy road, a quiet path and a cliff trail. Then a beach stroll and back to our camp. Warren was at camp getting himself deep into a scooter modification.
When I walk camping loops, I love to spy vintage trailers. A friendly retired railroad man has this one. Ron Shaw was happy to tell me about this beauty. He bought it in 1985 and hasn’t done much to it except a few mechanical repairs. The adonized finish is correct for this trailer rather than the shiny surface of an Airstream. Of course, I could see cosmetic improvements that would increase its appeal but Ron is happy with it just as it is. I have included a link if you are interested in vintage trailers too.