Friday, August 12, 2011

Playing Nebraska Catch-Up

After leaving Scottsbluff after staying for three nights (we loved it there) our goal was Ogallala and Front Street.  Remember in an earlier post we had finally found it on our way out west, but it was closed.  On a weekday, around lunchtime, this is what we encountered at Front Street...........
......everything but the restaurant was closed.  Had wanted our pictures taken 'western style' but their sign said they were at the county fair.  Even the antique shop was no longer there and had moved across the street.  So needless to say, we left, never to return.  And it really put me in one fowl mood, shame on me.  Drove on to North Platte for the night and try to get my attitude straightened out.  :)
   But we made plans for the rest of the trip, and by the time we were on the road Thursday morning, we were both in a much better attitude and spirit.  On to Kearney, Minden and Hastings.
 We have been to the "Great Platte River Road" archway near Kearney before, but never took the time to actually walk around and enjoy the historical walk through that spans the interstate below.
 Here we go with a picture by a buffalo again.....  I think maybe it's just a big enough object that Bill can actually get a good focus on it with the camera.  His good eye has been giving him issues this week, so any picture that he offers to take is a huge blessing, buffalo and all.
 A beautiful mosaic out front of the archway - tons of pennies have been thrown on it like a wishing well.
 It's just a magnificent place, in looks and structure.  And the weather behaved beautifully.
 There was a little walk over bridge beyond the mosaic and the water was so blue.  We just had to walk over the bridge and see what was on the other side.
 On our way back over the bridge, we finally read this sign.  No fishing?  Bill was quite disturbed.  HA!  If anyone has been to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and know how the koi is under the big bridge there, that's how the fish were under this bridge.  Only these were good FISHING fish.  Bill couldn't make them out very well due to his eyes, but I could not believe how many fish were close to the surface and taunting us.  The little kids on the bridge were calling out the names of the fish.  That didn't help poor Bill's un-fishing attitude any.  But it was beautiful.
 Close to the end of the historical tour through the archway, there was a spot where you could stop and watch the interstate traffic and see if anyone is speeding.  Of course, when we were there, no one was.  Actually, there have been very few instances of speeders so far this trip!

On to Minden only a few miles southeast of Kearney....

 On our way into town, we knew to be watching for Bill's grandpa's arch that was reportedly along the highway before the entrance to the Harold Warp's Pioneer Village.  So being tourists, I stopped in the middle of the highway and snapped a pic quick.  Wasn't sure if we would see if good from the inside of the museum.
 But we did!!  This used to be the archway on the east side of Columbus, Nebraska back in the day to welcome you to their town.  Floyd Nichols (Bill's grandpa) is the artist and maker.
 The sun was playing perfectly off the relief work on the arch.
 They've preserved the newspaper article from 1980 explaining how Bill's mom, Ruth Nichols, had been searching for the arch to try and preserve it.  It had been torn down in 1962 to make way for a wider highway into Columbus.  This explains her work in getting it located and placed at this particular museum.

 Here is one VERY proud grandson - an he should be.  I was even emotional about it.  Bill's family is so full of art and creativity.

Side note:   If you check back to a previous post about David City, you will see more of Floyd Nichols sculptures at the entrance of the city park.  The David City artwork has a military theme and well worth taking a peek at.
With all the history we're encountered, and museums visited, we found plenty of historical items for my own craft and employment, and only drums that would reflect Bill's interests.  But there were no printing presses to be found anywhere and it's been my mission all week to find at least one!  And at Pioneer Village we finally located a room full of them.  And out of that whole room, NONE of them (not even a maker) matched anything we had ever had in our business, nor where he works now.  There were plenty of letter presses, and that particular hobby is quite popular on handmade sites these days.  But my mission was now complete.

We stopped for a root beer float before leaving the village which topped off a nostalgic day perfectly.  Back in the car and headed east to Hastings for Kool Aid Days, a 3 day event celebrating the fact that Kool Aid is part of Nebraska history.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Great story and pics! I'm learning all sorts of cool things from your trip. Can't wait to see Kool Aid info and pics. Have fun!