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Nebraska-way better than we thought it was!

A- From our first trips with the Rockwood MiniLite to the recent ones in the Arctic Fox we seem to traverse Nebraska often. Years ago during military moves hurrying down the interstate I had always thought of Nebraska as the ugly state. Turns out it’s not! You just have to get off on smaller roads and spend some time. The first time we realized this was when we stayed at a Harvest Host near Lincoln- Windcrest Winery. The hosts were friendly and relaxed and encouraged us to let our dogs take an unleashed ramble through the rows (and when one found the barnyard to roll in lent us a hose!). As dusk rolled in it got even prettier as we sipped our wine.

Scott’s Bluff is another dramatic, history filled area I enjoyed. You can walk along a portion of

the Oregon Trail and take your photo with some rather cheesy fake oxen as I enjoyed doing. We visited on our way to the which I’ll let Jim tell about. I was struck by the multitude of wildflowers. This is a site I have already started a pencil sketch for a larger studio painting trying to capture the echos of the wagons and of those who were before them and treasured the area. The sweep of the clouds in the sky will certainly be a large part of that painting.

RH - I really wanted to check out Agate Fossil Beds National Monument thinking there would be a lot of agate to check out. It didn’t pan out like I thought though. We arrived early and stopped at the first roadside display on River Road off Route 29. We took the dogs for a walk and I realized it was more of a fossilized tour. Interesting but not what I expected. We were too early for the visitors center so we hopped back in and pressed to the next stop.

A- I found much of it quite scenic in a sweeping western landscape way. The walk past layers of fossils, especially the fossilized animal tunnels was pretty interesting. We had the opportunity to go through Nebraska again later on. This time we planned to see our younger son’s summer baseball team from Casper WY play in Hastings. The stadium there was built during the depression by the WPA and is where Yogi Berra got his start. The Hastings Sodbusters plays

there in the summer as part of collegiate summer leagues. The museum in Hastings is a

Harvest Host-very accommodating and the museum itself is fantastic for a small town. Lots of historical collections, really good commentary re the history back through Native Americans and a really good rock an mineral collection. It also has an exhibit about KoolAid, Hastings being the birthplace of KoolAid. jackson and Chloe want to mention there is an excellent dog park up the road in Grand Island. Dog Island- surrounded by water if you have swimmers and alligator imitators like we do! Found it through the BringFido app-truly a lifesaver for those traveling with pets. There is

also a decent dog park in Hastings itself. Don‘t miss the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney either- a small but excellentoy curated collection that includes numerous well known artists with connections to Nebraska-don’t miss the stories about Walt Disney and Robert Henri and their Nebraska past. It turns out the key to Nebraska, like so many places, is to explore the lesser traveled roads and get off the beaten path(interstate)!

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