Monday, May 27, 2013

Scottsbluff, Nebraska


Happy Memorial Day!


 


from the heartland of this great country. 
 
Yet another fulfilling day on the road.  All of it on isolated Nebraska state highways like this.
 

You travel 10 – 20 minutes without seeing another vehicle.  The land here is open, clean, and peaceful.  Stop your engine and all you'll hear is birdsong.  
 First stop




Western Nebraska's Ft. Robinson State Park covers an extensive piece of real estate.  Activities abound from horseback riding to living history exhibits.  I passed an enjoyable morning here.
 

 

More blue highways on the way to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.
 
 

A small but unique museum awaited.  Cook, a rancher who owned this land in the 1880s, noticed some odd rock-like objects in these hills that turned out to be fossilized bones dating back 19 million years.  The find was significant because it contained so many entire skeletons of extinct mammals.  
But first you need a paleontologist to put them together.
 




You can walk up to the excavation site but sadly, due to vandalism, the in-situ specimens have been moved. 




I walked half-way up and did some rattlesnake reconnaissance.  And admired the few wildflowers.
 
 
Moving on to Scotts Bluff National Monument.  





 
These jaw-dropping formations rise straight up from the North Platte River Valley.  Not surprisingly, the bluffs were a can’t-miss-it landmark on the Oregon Trail.  Estimates are that 250,000 people passed by here chasing the dreams of a better life in the late-1800s.  Some of them even made it. 
 
These geological formations are drool-inducing and you just want to get closer.  I arrived rather late and the park was about to close.  Too bad ...  I wanted to hike this trail seen in the foreground.
 
And may return tomorrow to do just that.   I can see the bluffs from Camp Wal-Mart.

I cannot wrap my brain around the undeniable fact that I am 130 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.  I have so enjoyed the Plains but am eager to be back in Colorado and be in the mountains again. 

Who wouldn’t be?   I get chills thinking about it. 

 

 

 

 

5 comments:

  1. Don't rush to the mountains too fast. Enjoy where you are at. :)

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  2. I am so intrigued by the bluffs. Will have to do a search and find out how they were formed.

    Also, I thought Nebraska was flat. I don't get out much, apparently! :D

    Your photos are a treat for the senses. I love seeing those places through your eyes!

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  3. Dang, knew I shoudl have mentioned to you about the High Plains Homestead, Crawford, as a unique place to eat and the Flying Bee Ranch, McGrew as a place to camp on a working cattle ranch. Is another pretty area of Nebraska.

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  4. What a great adventure. Vandals why is it that some people can't see the greatness in these finds and just leave them as they found them.
    Your pictures speak volumes.

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  5. This is good stuff. I honestly had no idea there were things like this in Nebraska.

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