Thursday, July 8, 2010
July 8, 2010
We got an early start this morning leaving Kansas City heading toward Nebraska and our first stop, Fort Kearny. However, things went south when our GPS decided to betray us and lead us to Fort Kearney Road (note the extra “e”?) instead of the actual fort. So we ended up on a nice Nebraskan man’s farm, and we think he enjoyed a chuckle at the expense of “those darn Yankees”. We did manage to find Fort Kearny Historical Site and explored the replica sod house complete with a blacksmith shop inside featuring a pioneer handcart, wagon wheels, oxen harnesses, and old tools. A restored fence marked the outline of where Fort Kearny’s earth walls once stood. Wooden markers represented where old fort buildings lay. We drove for what felt like days, as Nebraska is mostly fields, hay bales, and lots of flat country. We were greeted at Jail Rock and Courthouse Rock by many locusts and small crickets, but there was not doubt in our minds as to why these rocks became trail markers for the pioneers as we could see them from miles away. The tricky part was finding the correct unmarked roads to get us to the rocks. We then spotted Chimney Rock in the distance and managed to take in the site just before sunset. After crossing the Platte River for the zillionth time (not sure why the pioneers made such a fuss! ;) we snapped a shot of the river at sunset. It really is beautiful country out here. After taking in Scottsbluff as well, we were all “rocked out” and found our campsite “conveniently located” behind a zoo. Now we know why the campsite price was such a bargain - $8 to sleep with the chimps and apparently very active railroad tracks. Our backyard view of Scottsbluff made the stay worth it, and we eagerly crawled into the tent to rest up for the next leg of our trek.