Nebraska Prairie Museum

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.

Many citizen and captives became life long friends
Original guard tower
Interpreter at work
German POW sharing beauty at musical instrument store
POWs shopping for gifts to send home
Supposed to be solitary confinement
At work in the fields of Nebraska
Abundance of food for soldiers and POWs
Manpower moving a barracks
Russian POWs shipped home would meet the firing squad for posing as German soldiers
18 toilets in a row. Same set up for the Army guards latrine.

Crop Duster Doings

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

Celebrating 100 years

Pheasant Ridge Trail

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.
Beautiful trail

No Arrests

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚

Don’t we wish that this was as bad as it gets in all towns?

โค๏ธ Small Towns โค๏ธ

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.

Needed an RV product and the local hardware store had it on hand ๐Ÿ’š
Window shopping….. This may be a small town but it’s big on fashion
Main Street Variety Store carried the hand lotion I like and could ship our Amazon return with a smile
This is a big help when you travel mostly through small communities
Dairy Free products at Hogeland’s Market. Right in the middle of beef country, there are products for us mostly vegetarians

Huge Cicadas

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!

Not Easy Being Green

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!

At the duck weed pond

Golden Spike Tower

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.

Very nice visitor center
The 7th floor is open air so you can hear the horns, bells and squeals. The 8th floor is enclosed for comfort.
Shaped like a railroad spike. It was originally planned to be much taller but funds ran low.
Headed in for a informative tour
A great tour for a few bucks!
Mick and Warren talking trains
Quite a view
Cornfields right up to the tower
Rumbles, horn and squeals of a busy yard


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. 102ยฐ 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.

We guess one of the participants was touring the Tower while we were there
Boys and their Toys
Checking it out
Wishful thinking?
Yellow Jacket
Green Machine ๐Ÿ’š
Raring to Go โค๏ธ
Blue Heaven
Lining up on main street

The “Villagers” of Taylor, Nebraska

What a great morning!ย  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 ๐Ÿ’š 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 ofย  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 โค๏ธ

Cabins at New Helena

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.

6:30 ๐Ÿ’› just crickets and birds and me
Our peaceful setting
This huge Cottonwood has a story? The park is full of these giants
Been standing since 1874
Love these old photos
Storyboards tell the “story”
The rest of the story….
Long gone….
Made of cedar logs and still standing

Sandhills Scenic Byway

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Really different and really wonderful country.

People are few and far between on this road. Friendly farmers wave as we pass.
A long train went by as we waited in road construction. Good timing!
Borrowed this one from a royalty free site. All the many windmills and cows we saw were too far off the road for a clear picture.
The land is mostly used for ranching and making hay
The lakes are a magical blue from the type of rock and soil they spring from.
1987 school house near our campground
The land is blooming with miniature sunflowers against the blue and green of water, trees and sky.
Lonely tree at lakeside along the way
Rail crossing in Anselmo NE just outside our campground
Victoria Springs State Park entrance is very welcoming
Settled in for 6 days ๐Ÿ’š

Cowboy Trail Trestle Bridge โค๏ธ๐Ÿค โค๏ธ

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 โค๏ธ 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.

Camp and Beach Walk

Love getting my steps done on a cool, breezy morning. Yesterday it was 104ยฐ here, today the high will be 75ยฐ. 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.

Miles of sandy roads to stroll
Forest path
Sandy scramble down to the beach
Cedar Grove
But why????
View from a cliff
Swamp Smartweed
Some animal’s caudal vertebrae. Maybe a small deer?
Be Kind โค๏ธ
3 miles of a pleasurable workout
New sticker map for bragging rights ๐Ÿ˜Š

1966 Silver Streak Sabre

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.

Ron Shaw
What a beauty!
Nice large dinette area windows
Another angle