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Over the past several years, I have become a Nebraska and South Dakota road warrior. Because there is so much about each state to cover, it will be in two different topics. I want to first share with you one trip we made through Nebraska:
The Omaha to Chadron trip (No stops) is approx 7 1/2 hours. But we knew there WOULD be stops! We decided to take I-80 through Nebraska. So our journey begins.
We decided to first stop in Grand Island, so we took a little turn onto US-281 N/ US-34 E/ TOM OSBORNE EXPY. Two hours later, we arrive. Grand Island is a lovely little town with a population of approximately 4,000. Detailed information on all the Grand Island Sights can be found at http://www.visitgrandisland.com/.
I would suggest if you have the time, you visit the Stuhr Museum. Both educational and fun, it offers a trip to the past. It does take some time to go through the museum, so please allow time. This trip, we didn't stop but turned onto Hwy 2 (which is one of the 10 most scenic Highways in the US.) Here we saw some of the most incredible, awesome scenery we could have imagined! Here is one view of the Byway:
Our next stop was Broken Bow, Nebraska. This is home to many rodeo and fair activities. This is a favorite stop on the River City Round Up. There are even (6) Internet "Hot-spots" in Broken Bow (3 of them being motels.) Yes, you can access the Internet Superhighway via Byway 2 in Nebraska! I can't emphasize enough the beauty of these locations. From Grasslands, to Sand-hills, to Badlands...You'll see it all.
Next Stop; Halsey, Nebraska. Halsey boasts the largest man-made forest in the United States, and it is gorgeous! There are (in the summer) Kids games, trail-walks, Hiking, Fishing, Canoing and includes 300 miles of off road trails for AT V's and Horses.
Pressing for time, we went on through to Alliance, NE. We just had to see "it." By "It" I mean Car henge. This whimsical slice of "Americana" is truly a sight! A replica of England's Stonehenge, it has been classified and debated as both art, and junk. Unique and interesting to see, although there is supposed to be a little "watering hole" there but the building was boarded up! If you are on the Byway, it is worth the stop.
From here, we hopped on 385 and headed up to Chadron. This leg of the trip lasted only an hour. Chadron is a wonderful little town as well. The landscaping is a hallmark of natural manicured wonder. Chadron is a college town, There is a lot of "Old West" history in Chadron. From here, you can see "Pine Ridge," which stretches from Outside Chadron, into South Dakota.
Once across into South Dakota, we headed over to the reservation. The Pine Ridge Reservation is so vast, it is an entry in and of itself. This was truly a splendid trip with a good deal of history and scenery. I am never disappointed by my Nebraska/South Dakota travels!
Nebraska General Information;
Area: Nebraska Rates 16th in Size. From East (Omaha) to Western Panhandle, Nebraska measures 687 km (426 mi). The distance from north to south is 333 km (207 mi).
Total Area being 200,346 sq km (77,354 sq mi)
Weather: Winter temperatures below -20°C (0° F) and summer temperatures in the upper 30°s C (lower 100°s F) are common. Blizzards are common in winter and severe storms prevail in the summer.
Wildlife: Pheasant, quail, sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chicken, and wild turkey are numerous in Nebraska. Many Water fowl and shore birds can be seen here, including the sandhill Crane, which stop along the Platt River evey spring during migration. Crappie, pike, catfish, trout bullhead, bass, bluegill, and Perch are abundant.
Principal Cities; There are only 2 in Nebraska. Omaha being the Largest and Lincoln being the Capitol. Both Cities are located in the Eastern Part of the State.
Recreation: Recreational activities are diverse in Nebraska. A variety of Scenic and recreational assets. There are many lakes, rivers, Historical sites, Historic trails such as the Oregon trail, and Lewis and Clark. There are cultural activites of many kinds, from Opera Omaha to Pioneer living experiences.
State Parks: Nebraska Boasts over 95 State parks and recreation areas. Some of the more popular are Fort Robinson, Buffalo Bills Ranch (home to William Cody for 30 years), Fort Kearny and Arbor Lodge.
Miscellaneous information: Native American Tribes indigenous to Nebraska are the Oto, Teton Sioux, Iowa, Missouria, Ponca and Omaha. Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapaho, Sioux and Kiowa were in Western Nebraska.
The first expedition by Europeans into Nebraska was 1807. Nebraska became a territory in 1854. On March 1, 1867, Nebraska became the 37th State.
Those are the General facts concerning Nebraska. However, there are many fascinating destinations and historical remnants to discuss about this State. Too much information to be put into one segment. Each week, I will discuss another facet of Nebraska, it's history, scenery and recreational opportunities. Some fun facts before I end this segment...The 100th meridian (the center of the US) is in Nebraska. Kool-Aid was invented in Nebraska. This is the only state to have a Unicameral Legislative branch of the Government. Warren Buffet, the investor Guru, calls Omaha, Nebraska, Home.
Surely one of the United States best kept secrets, Nebraska is brimming with vacation fun.