Nebraska, Summer 2017

Hot here in July. It has been a long time since we drove across Nebraska in July. And bugs, big green and yellow splats. But there isn't much else to do but plow through them.

International Quilt Study Center and Museum

Well there was , actually. We remembered our visit to Ontonagon Michigan where we visited an amazing quilt shop. The lady there told us about the Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE. Our friend Barb has mentioned it as well. So we found it on the map, parked at a nearby Walmart, disconnected the Cherokee and followed the map (plus many other turns to get around construction) and arrived at the Museum and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Campus.

Windmills State Recreation Area

Halfway across Nebraska there is Windmills State Recreation Area. About every ten miles along I80 there are ponds or sand pits with conveyors and pools of water. We are not sure why they are there but the land along the North Platte river which I80 follows is flat as far as the eye can see. So we surmise that everyone of these ponds are where they dug out sand to build up the roadbed for I80 and every one of the hills needed for an overpass. About every fourth one seems to be a State Recreation Area with camping and fishing, well pond fishing. No boats or canoes. Windmills State Recreation Area is one of these, we have stayed here a couple times before. It is right off the interstate, easy to get into and out of and when it is 90° at five in the afternoon having hookups even though it costs a bit lets you run AC until the coach and the evening cool off. And this one in particular is fairly large and when we have been there pretty thinly populated. So after a day of driving, a place to get out and walk. There are five ponds, none more than an acre in size. I can't imagine what sort of fish there might be in them.

Cabela's, Sidney, NE

We thought about what were going to do. We had about five extra days now since we skipped TRNP and the North Dakota run. We decided to go up into Wyoming to Caspar and across the middle of Wyoming into the Grand Teton National Park and south to Gros Ventre Campground. It is first come-first served but if you get there in the morning you can almost always get a spot.

The next morning timing and places to stay along the way got us to Sidney, NE where the Cabela's headquarters and show-off store are. Sidney is not very big. Cabela's is just off the interstate as is the Walmart, some truck stops, a hardware store, an RV dealer and a few places to eat. The Cabela's campground was about 1/2 full when we stopped about 3:30. The temperature was in the 90's. Another night where AC felt good. In another hour it was full. According to the reviews the 100 or so spots fill up almost every night. There is a tent section and the overflow was filling in there. We didn't see any tents.

We went into the temple of outdoor stuff. Everything from horribly overpriced socks to boats and even smaller farm tractors. Guns, ammunition, fishing poles and gear, boots, tents and some kind of white coolers for $300! There was a food section and a cafeteria like place but nowhere to sit and eat. I guess it was all to-go. Elk or bison burgers for the price of a nice sit-down dinner. And a fake mountain that took up the middle 20% of the space covered with dozens of dead, stuffed, posed animals of every sort from a chipmunk to elk, badgers to a polar bear. Somehow I don't recall that polar bear's range extended to the Rocky Mountains. Credit was given to the hunter for almost all the carcasses on display. Maybe not for the chipmunk, probably road kill. It was supposed to be some sort of educational display. I just saw a lot of large animals killed for the fun of it in a commercial for Cabela's.

There was a very nice hardware store nearby where we were able to get some spare pins and retaining clips for our towing setup. I was sure that one day we would drop some small clip and not be able to find it. Some spares are good to have. And so far we haven't needed any of them.

Big storm that night mostly north. Noise, no rain.

The next morning the exodus began about 6 AM. We left about 9. The next stop was on the way up Togwotee pass heading for Moran, WY and the middle of the Tetons. There are not many places to stop going this way. If we had gone over the pass and headed for Gros Ventre (Grow Von) we would have arrived late afternoon. So we stopped at Lava Mountain Lodge and RV Park. It was a motel and gas station and maybe 10 RV sites with only 20 amp service or none. There were five or six permanently mounted trailers used as cabins. There was an OK restaurant. And pretty much everywhere around cast off stuff, old farm equipment, an old car, broken fences, just stuff. But for an overnight with no other choices it was fine.

Not sure about winning the National Spelling Bee though.

Gros Ventre is less than two hours away.

More later,

Roger and Susan

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