Monday, July 27, 2009

Nebraska, Dawes County Museum, Hwy 2, and the Amazing Sandhills

Nebraska was beautiful! Who knew there was more than grass there? I wasn’t very impressed when we first drove across the border from Kansas to Nebraska on Hwy 281 north of Lebanon, where we stopped to see the geographic center of the United States, (see previous post). The second we crossed into Nebraska the roads got so bumpy! My son, Cody, commented on how terrible they were compared to Kansas. Well, the roads did get better further into the state. We turned west on 136 in Red Cloud and stopped in Alma at the city campground. Our neighbor was freaking out because she said that if we ran our washer/dryer it would blow all the fuses to everyone’s electric. Shae engineers electrical stuff and said it would be fine. I, of course, trust my husband. The lady was quite aggravating and I had to remind myself that she just needs Jesus. We left first thing Saturday morning, heading for northern Nebraska. We were hoping to volunteer at a camp in Lexington Nebraska, but could not. I heard that the Sand Hills in central Nebraska were considered one of the top ten drives in America. The sand dunes are the largest in the western Hemisphere. Now I love a good museum, but I love God’s natural museums even better. I couldn't wait to do this drive. We got on Hwy 2 and headed west. I must agree, that drive was incredible. It was so peaceful - a calming beauty. Rolling hills with intermittent trees.

There was a beautiful river that ran along the side of the road. It looked so refreshing. I just wanted to jump in at the next available spot.
We pulled over at the Middle Loup River
We stopped at the Nebraska National Forest - Bessey Ranger District. From there were jumped into the beautiful river and body surfed it down a ways.  The sand between our toes felt amazing and so incredibly refreshing I can hardly wait to go back.. someday.

This forest covers more than 90,000 acres and is the largest hand planted forest in the world!


There were ranches here and there. Not many people, not many towns. I loved being out in the middle of such breathtaking scenery without the busyness of cities and traffic.

We could have spent a week there easily. There was a campground there and a few campgrounds on Hwy 2. Since we had a reservation in South Dakota, we needed to move on. I am going to try to buy 5-10 acres on that river. I don’t want to live there permanently, but I want to spend a month a year there. It would rejuvenate me in every way.

There aren’t a lot of gas stations so make sure you fill up before you head out on Hwy 2. We drove all the way to Alliance Nebraska that night. We stayed at a little parking lot campground on the edge of town. It did it’s job, plus we had cable! Everyone loved that.
Sunday morning we left asap and headed for, yes,

Carhenge! Not Stonehenge, Carhenge!

 It is such a tourist trap…and we totally fell for it. This man, buried cars in the ground in the exact shape and size as the real Stonehenge  The kids ran around it and on the little path way. It was free, or we would have driven by. There was a little food stand there, but we didn’t get any. There wasn't anywhere for us to park, so we had to leave the camper, truck, van, and trailer on the side of the road, where the sign said “No Parking”! Shae and I took turns with the vehicles while the other looked at the strange car monument. It gave us a good laugh and headed on.
A while down the road we came to a wonderful little museum. It was early afternoon on Sunday, and everyone was hungry, as usual. We try not to eat out much, so we pulled over at a little, free, local museum, called Dawes County Historical Museum. It ended up being absolutely delightful.

It is on Hwy 385 in Chadron, north of Alliance, and almost to the border of South Dakota. We enjoyed the old log home and farm we could go in. The church was sweet and the school house was really great. There was a ton of old farm equipment in a field nearby. The main building of the museum was huge! They had so many neat things crammed in there! We could go back at least one more time. It was wonderful. It is on the left hand side of the road, heading north. It is the local county museum run by volunteers.

If you ever have the opportunity to drive through the Sandhills - do it. If you need peace for your heart and soul - I haven't found a better place.  Just stick your toes in that sandy river and relax.

We continued on to our current destination, the Black Hills of South Dakota. What a great time!

In the following product guide there is a movie on canoeing in the Sandhills. I bought it myself, off of Amazon.  It is a good movie and well worth the 1.99 rental. It is short, but good.

1 comment:

  1. Sheri, I just read an article about your adventure, written by Donna for the Christian County Headliner in Missouri. I simply wanted to touch base with you to encourage you and support you in your journey. We ourselves, are a homeschooling family and we admire your dedication to follow where the Lord leads you. Our journey is here near our aging parents currently, but we dream of doing what you are doing. My parents are originally from northern Minnesota and I lived in northwest Wisconsin until about 3 years ago. I would encourage you to visit Duluth Minnesota and then travel east through northern Wisconsin if you haven't been through that area yet. There is much to learn, see and do up in that area. Lots of shipping history up on Lake Superior with a free marine museum. Be sure to visit before the end of October due to the November cold. Fall is gorgeous up there and I'm sure you can get information online regarding when the trees begin to turn for the best time to visit. I'm sure you have many places on your list to visit. If I can be of any help, please let me know and may the Lord bless you and your wonderful family.

    Sharon Shannon


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog. I hope to hear from you again!