Nebraska - Not What I thought
On a recent trip to Nebraska, I suspected acre upon acre of cornfields. I saw cornfields alright, but much more.
In years past I've traveled through parts of Nebraska...I suppose it was the eastern part because I saw things in Western Nebraska I didn't expect. Things like hills. And tall land formations. Trains. And much history.
You know, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway. Didn't know that. The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental automobile road connecting the east and the west. It followed the North Platte River through Nebraska. As did the earlier pioneer wagon trains. Oregon Trail. California Trail. Mormon Trail. Even the pony express used similar routes.
Also, the railroad used the same routes to connect the east and the west. The Union Pacific has the largest classification yard in the nation. A classification yard is one that disassembles rail cars and re-assembles them into trains. There they are routed to their appropriate destinations. The Bailey Yard has 17 tracks to do its work. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center overlooks the yard. This "golden spike" has nothing to do the with "golden spike" that joined the east and west legs of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit in Utah.
Farther west I visited natural monuments like Chimney Rock, Courthouse and Jailhouse Rocks near Bridgeport, and Scotts Bluff National Monument near Scottsbluff. There is a paved road, the Summit Road (the oldest in Nebraska I'm told) that goes to the top of the monument. What a view!
Fort Robinson sits in the northwest corner of the state, and has accommodations in the restored enlisted barracks and officers quarters. Campgrounds, a couple museums, horseback riding opportunities, and jeeping to higher elevations. We actually spotted big horn sheep.
Everywhere I went I saw trains. Long trains. Like the 120-car train coming from Wyoming loaded with coal, and returning for more.
Lots to see and do in Western Nebraska. Surprises.
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