After driving several scary miles on a gravel road, we pulled up to the High Plains Homestead where a pretty lady in a blue dress and red lipstick welcomed us. I knew as soon as I saw the lipstick that we were in good hands. We got settled in our room with a bottle of wine then went exploring. The homestead is set up just like an Old West town: there was an old school-house, a functioning saloon, a livery, a jail, a post office, and a little house. They also have a beautiful garden, donkeys, chickens, and two bison who just had a baby (SO CUTE!!). If that wasn’t enough to make you interested…they also have a pool that looks out over the Sandhills. Our room was very comfortable and spacious as well.
In the evening they made us a lovely dinner over the fire. Chuck was thrilled because he got two different types of orange cream soda. In the morning they fed us breakfast. Brent said the pancakes were some of the best he’d ever had, a perfect mix of fluffy, crispy, and buttery. It was a fun little adventure out in the middle of nowhere.
After checking out of High Plains Homestead, we hopped on another gravel road and went to the Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center to check out some 10,000 year old bison fossils. We showed up right at 9 when they were said to be opened and walked in. We quickly realized that we had somehow broken into the Center and set off the alarm. Not knowing what to do we walked around a bit, then the phone rang. I answered it and it was the security company. I reassured her we were not robbers. After that we felt pretty sketchy so we waited outside. Soon after a pretty park staff member showed up and laughed nervously when we told her our story. She gave us a lot of information about the fossils and the Center. There are conflicting hypotheses on what happened to over 600 bison 10,000 years ago. The most believable hypothesis is that it was an area rich with bison due to there being a small pond nearby. It is assumed that American Indians would hunt there year after year and thus the bones were collected in somewhat of a trash dump. Others assume there was a natural disaster type of situation that wiped them out all at once. This was less believable for me though because there were very few skulls found in the area and about 20 arrowheads were found lodged into the bison bones. The bison were much bigger than the bison of today, about 10 feet tall. It amazes me to think that there were people living in our area 10,000 years ago. It makes modern life feel like just a tiny blip on the radar.