Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sights across Nebraska

We left Alliance on a cold, foggy morning.Here it’s just a coal train and us on this lonely stretch of road.

In case you should run out of “bull”…..

We had heard that the sandhills were good for cattle grazing but we had yet to see any. Finally we began to see cows grazing on the gently sloping hills.

We made a stop at the Grant County Courthouse, in the little town of Hyannis, because we read that they had a museum with John Wayne memorabilia in it. Turns out that John Wayne’s stunt double, Riley R. Waters, came from Hyannis. Too bad the courthouse was closed; I bet it would have been interesting!

Next stop: Nebraska National Forest. The Bessey Ranger District was established by Charles E. Bessey back in 1902 as an experiement to see if a forest could grow in the treeless area of the Great Plains for use as a national timber reserve. This effort resulted in the largest hand-planted forest in the United States - 20,000 acres!Today, the forest's nursery supplies 2.5 to 3 million seedlings per year. (Information per Wikipedia)

We drove into the National Forest Park and saw a sign pointing to the fire tower. That looked interesting so we followed the road. Remember - we still had the trailer attached to our truck! I was praying that we wouldn't end up in a dead-end situation, because that would mean some serious backing up issues! But luckily there was a loop drive around the tower. Jim parked along the side of the road and we hopped out.

We were all gun-ho to climb the tower and see all the trees. Wow - that's pretty tall.

The sign posted right before the tower.

We couldn't climb the tower! There was a gate across the stairs that was locked! Darn it! We saw another couple getting into their car who told us that the tower had to be shut down because it was too dangerous to climb. So here is the scenery just from the hill looking out.

There wasn't much else to see in the park. We stopped and chatted to a man who was fishing nearby. He lived in the town where we planned to stay for the night. He gave us some good tips about the road we were planning to drive in on. (It had a really big dip in it; he suggested a different road.) We thanked him, wished him good luck with his fishing and went on our way.

This is St. Anselm's Church, better known as the "Cathedral of the Sandhills".

The church is considered quite elaborate for the area; we thought it was nice but not too ornate.

Back of the church

We passed this burned field; farmers do this to put nutrients back in the soil.

We pulled into the small town of Broken Bow, NE to stay in the county park for the night. I couldn't believe when I saw this man walking down the street, holding a radio to his ear.When was the last time you saw that? It was a blast from the past!

I loved this haystack

because it reminded me of Claude Monet's paintings of haystacks:

We passed through the little town of Cairo, who has street names like Nile, Mecca, Syria and Alexandria. How funny, in the middle of the country!

At a stoplight, saw the name of this restaurant. Oh. But what REALLY caught my eye was the "Testicle Tuesday". Now I wonder. Does that mean you have to have testicles to enter, or do you EAT testicles? Mmm?

The sandhill cranes migrate to the Platte River area every year and feed on the farmers corn fields. They put on up to 2 pounds on their 12 pound frame to fatten up for their flight to their summer home. The majority of the birds leave the end of March, first week of April. We were not in the vicinity of a bird watching area, but we did see groups of the birds in the fields. Unfortunately, I didn't get any great pictures as we zoomed by.

I have lots more to share with you from our trip. Stay tuned.


Lynda said...

Beautiful new header photo!
The burned fields - - - we had a neighbor in Georgia who did that to their yard every year. He did have a beautiful lot of grass each summer after that.
I agree about the haystack and how interesting about Cairo. That's something you should put on
And I don't think I want to eat at that restaurant on Tuesdays - - even though those are supposed to be delicacies.


Really enjoyed the photos. How fun to document the trip. You have a book already Pat. Just slap between the covers and use your beautiful photos. A photo journey of your travels.
I take lousy photos. Usually cut off heads etc.
Enjoy the rest of your trip.
Blessings to you both.

Anonymous said...

You really need to publish a travel book...your pics are amazing and your tips are always brilliant...seriously I would buy it :)

Rae said...

Really wide open spaces out there. I've flown over Nebraska and it looks even more so up high. I guess it would be a good place to live if you didn't like neighbors.

Senor Ping said...

Prairie Oysters.... so delicious!!!!!

Eva Gallant said...

I love, love your header photo. I can't believe you didn't stop and sample the testicles!

Brian Miller said...

that is a really cool haystack and yeah it reminded me too even before i saw your pic...i on the other hand am kinda glad you didnt stop as there probably would have been pictures...

Country Gal said...

Love your header photo and all your other photos you seem to have the most amaizing trips and adventures. Have a great weekend

Valerie said...

Thanks for the pics, they really tell us what the area is like. Tuesday is obviously a bad day for eating out....

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

rocky mountain oysters...not my thing but people do say they taste great.

they burn the fields here in Kansas, too.

great pictures (as usual!)!

SquirrelQueen said...

You always find the most interesting places on your drives. The haystack does look like those in the Monet painting. I think I will pass on the Tuesday special.

labbie1 said...

Oh! Mountain Oysters!!!! Yum YUCK!!!! No testicles for me thanks!!!

Love the haystack as I do Monet.