Monday, August 24, 2009

Fort Robinson, Nebraska

Addendum to Stop #2 - Flying Bee Ranch. This is the view I had from the outhouse.

And, Eureka I found it: One of my favorite pops in a grocery store in Bridgeport. I stocked up for a week or so!

The previous owner decided to put on a demonstration of a particular kind of auto demolition show on Sunday Sept 2, 1956. It was billed as “Spectacular, Devastating, and Educational”. 25 cars were to be demolished by pushing them off a high bluff! The flyer says: “Be an eye witness at the scene of the crash! See what happens when a car goes out of control on a mountain road! See autos driven at full throttle down 75 to 80 degree ungraded inclines into ravines 500 feet deep and plummet into space from cliffs 300 feet high!” WHAT? You were warned not to attend if you were “weak of heart”. This was billed as the “First Annual”. As I was told there never was a 2nd Annual. The current owners call it Car Wreck Canyon. I can see, from my campsite, 3 or 4 of the wrecks, that were left there. Reminds me of the days when they use to run two locomotive engines full speed at each other for amusement.

Okay, this is a long posting. Have tried to cut it down, but it’s still long, so grab something to drink and read on.

Stop #3 is at the Fort Robinson State Park, just outside Crawford NE

Short drive today. I did stop and see Carhenge, north of Alliance. Got some pictures and left. Continued on up NE 87. This highway is under construction until it turns and goes west to Hemingford. NE highway stimulus money must have been spent in orange barrels along this stretch. Barrels line both sides of the two lane road, every 10-15 feet - or just about the length of the truck - for around 15 miles! Geez, I was blinded, especially with my headlights reflecting back and it was daytime.

At Crawford, the Park was just a couple miles west. Got my site and drove over there. Whoa Little Casita, what have we landed our selves in among? These are mighty, mighty big rigs we’ve landed among. It appears we have landed in the middle of a big rig rally this weekend here. They certainly know each other hollering their “hellos” and “where are you parked?” to each other, while I was trying to take a nap.

And backing in! I am real proud of myself on how I did it and it’s getting to be 3 snaps of the finger now instead of 20. But, OMG I kept backing and backing and backing. Finally, I said that’s enough I am close enough to the water and electrical hookups, but when I went to hook up to the sewer, it was a tenth of a mile back down the site towards the road! At least that’s what it seems like. I’ll be moving the length of the trailer again to empty the holding tanks when I leave.

To stay overnight, with full hookups here it is $21 a night, then there is the day pass park permit on that. Since am going to be here 3 nights and probably use another couple of NE parks, on the east side of the State, decided to get the annual one for $20. They do have sites with just electricity for a couple dollars less per night but decided to get the works for a couple dollars per night more (and camp among the big rigs and have the dump hole 1/10th mile away). Anyhoo, my budget has already been shot and now up to 2 freebee nights in a WalMart parking lot somewhere. Oh, I’ll have SD & ND park permits to get too - geez my windshield is going to be covered with stickers! Am going back to Federal parks where can use my Senior Pass and get my halvies or freebies on parking fees. Geez, I sound like a senior citizen.

Saturday morning. Slept good, not as cold as previous nights as on The Ranch. Only down into the 50’s last night. It got down into the low 40’s at The Ranch.

I have never stayed among a “group” of big rigs before. It is certainly interesting watching them. I haven’t seen a group so fastidious about keeping the outside of their big rigs so clean. After setting up for the stay, they are out washing their rigs and their “toads” - vehicle they tow behind them. They have been going thru a mechanical check by a certified Foretravel RV inspector/mechanic. This group is with the Foretravel Motor Coach Club.

So far am not impressed by either this full-hookup campground nor the other with electric only. Only one restroom/shower between the two camps. There are 76 sites at Soldier Creek campground and 32 at the Red Cloud full hookup campground. Granted, the full-hookup campground was obviously built geared to the big rig folks who don’t need additional restrooms/showers. I will say that the Park Personnel patrol the Parks about every 90 minutes, even during the night. Good feeling.

Laundry is done. Found a washer & dryer at the very west end of the Fort Park, near the horse camp facilities. Rest room & showers too very clean. In fact, that’s where I would rather be camping. It’s going to be a warm one today. Temp outside is already 86 and it’s 11:30 a.m. Going to cool off at the Fort’s Museum this afternoon, then take advantage of the showers I found, head for the Homestead for a Sunday lunch tomorrow.

This place has lots to do and is a destination spot. Besides the museums (two), there is horseback riding up into the hills, jeep riding, hay wagon riding with the driver giving history, there is an indoor swimming pool, activities hall, mountain bike renting, there is a steak cookout tonight, historic building tours, kayak riding, tube riding, chuck wagon cookout, stagecoach and pony rides; oh and a hayrack breakfast and from time to time a rodeo at the arena (Sunday night in fact). It’s had quite a history from the Indian containments and captures, to the world’s largest training, care and breeding center for Army horses and mules, to serving as a training ground for the US Olympic Equestrian Team in the 30’s, to a K-9 training facility in the early 40’s, to a German POW camp, and then eventually becoming a NE State Park in the mid-50’s.

Ahhh, the smell of diesel fumes! Two more rigs have arrived and they are sitting right by me to determine where their sites are. Excuse me while I quietly pass out!. Hark it is 98 degrees at 12:30 It’s now 4:30 and 103 in the shade.

Dinner will be simple tonight, probably a waffle with blueberry syrup, nice coooooool glass of milk. Tomorrow to the Homestead. Think will stay one more night, do a little laundry before I leave on Tues a.m. I can use the public library in Crawford for getting on the Internet and will do so Monday to post this blog, check e-mail, etc. Will work to get my pictures on Flickr at the same time.

Sunday, Drove out to the High Plains Homestead, Home of the Drifter Cookshack & Bunkhouse for lunch. You go north of Crawford for 4 miles on NE-2/71, then turn west and drive 12 miles on dirt/gravel road. Today it was dry and dusty; and. you almost felt like a tired and dusty cowhand by the time you got there, except for the windows rolled up and the AC on. I was wondering if there would be anyone else out there. Boy, was I wrong, little as it is but one can eat in the Cookshack or the nonalcoholic Saloon and they were both full. Lot of locals plus I recognized folks from the Campground. The signage is adequate so one doesn’t get lost out there. I had a Navajo Taco and a big piece of Walnut Carmel Creme Pie along with a couple very cold glasses of ice tea. All for $11. And it was all verrrrrrrrry good. Don’t take your credit card, only take cash or check. Drat, I forgot my camera. It is on my list of Interesting Places to the right. Then home, turn on the AC in the trailer and took a nap. It is only in the 90’s today, but pretty windy so had to put my awning up tight to the trailer.

Only trouble I’ve had is when the wind blows - which has been almost every day - my eyes dry out and burn and itch. The various pollens in the air don’t help either, so have learned when I get up in the morning, first thing I do is start putting drops in my eyes. When I go outside I wear my big “bug eye” sunglasses that wrap around the eyes.

Okay, while I am on a toot. I must say these big rigger folks are for the most part pretty quiet. There are 19 of them here now. There are some, I would say, in their 60’s, most in their 70’s and a few in their early 80’s. John was being wished Happy 84th Birthday the other day and he would say “What? What? I can’t hear too good”. And, I hate to say it, but those 80 year olds kind of scare me driving something as big as a Greyhound Bus. Should bite my words ‘cause hope I can be on the road at their age too; but, when you see this little scrawny, bent over man get out of the big monster, it’s kind of scary. Okay, that’s enough. Overall, am glad they can wheel those things around and get out and see things like I do and contributing to the local economy.

Well, Monday is cleaning day, visit the Library and get ready to go to South Dakota. Next posting will be in or within a week. Finally finished reading a Nevada Barr book, “Flashback”. Ohhhhh, just saw a flock (sorry, if not correct term) of 20 turkeys, mostly youngsters.


  1. Glad you found your soda! Still haven't found it anywhere down here.