I feel like there is so much to say about the last couple of days. We effectively made it across the great state of Nebraska. Driving on the highways we went through so many small towns we missed several photo opportunities. Motels, grocery stores, auto repair shops all stuck in a time long passed. We even saw a couple of ghost towns. It is hard to imagine how people make a living in these towns without any major corporations, or hospitals around.I assume they are all much more enterprising than i am. I’ll admit that I slept through most of the drive due to the motion sickness pill I took but what I did see was pretty incredible.
On the way we did stop in North Platte for lunch at the Pink Poodle (a Nebraska Passport stop). It was a darling 50’s themed diner with several burger options. Edith kept yelling at the ceramic pink poodle that was protecting the entrance. We also stopped at the Golden Spike tower and checked out the view of some railroads…Brent wanted to go.
Lake McConaughy is a bigger than I imagined. It’s bizarre to see such a large body of water in Nebraska and in the middle of what seems to be a desert. We ventured to the lake and almost got stuck in the sand. Thank god Chuck was there to help push the car. The beaches were beyond scarcely populated, which we assumed was due to it being late August and a weekday. The water was frigid, but the waves were fun. Edith enjoyed playing in the sand and eating a great deal of it. We left the lake and decided to go the long way back. We ended up driving all the way around the lake that day and in total it took about an hour- not counting a pit stop at the winery in Lewellen and grocery store in Oshkosh. According to Brent and Chuck, everyone in Oshkosh says hello to everyone. Gotta love that small town Nebraska charm.
Before heading to the beach that day, we spent a couple of hours in Ogallala and got our Nebraska Passport stamped twice. We went to the Front Street museum and tried to throw coins into a metal urn. We all missed. After that we crossed the street to the Petrified Wood Gallery. There we met a very nice man who told us a lot about the different exhibits on display. I will admit that the prospect of this place didn’t excite me, but it was all really beautiful and amazing to think that it came from a piece of wood. Both places were free so that was a bonus too!
We stayed at Eagle Canyon in a little cabin. There we swam in a very shallow pool, grilled out, played horseshoes, and sat around a campfire. Chuck even climbed one of the Sandhills. Based on our drive around the lake, Eagle Canyon looked like one of the nicest places to stay and the staff was very nice.
Before heading to Carhenge, we went to Paxton, NE and at lunch at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse. I think the photos will tell the story of one of the most famous restaurants in Nebraska. The founder started Ole’s the day after prohibition ended in 1933. An avid hunter, he decided to mount one of his bucks in the bar. He then traveled every continent in the world hunting and mounting his “trophies” in the bar. It was a bit disturbing to know this man hunted giraffes, elephants, and even a baboon. I tried to put it in perspective by remembering that it was a different time back then.
Big Mac, we hope to see you again next summer! Readers, stay tuned for Carhenge, Chimney Rock, Fort Robinson, Toadstool National Park, and more!