9/19/2018 to 9/21/2018
A stop in Nebraska to visit family
Monday 9/17/2018 We left Grand Teton National Park today and are heading home. We visited everything we wanted to see this year and from here in Wyoming, until we get back to Ohio, we really don't have any plans. We're not in any rush but hope to be home around October 1st. From here we are going to head south to catch interstate 80 and then head east. Since we are going to be close, we want to stop and visit with Vernon and Laurel in Kearney, Nebraska. We haven't seen them for over three years. So the next couple of nights are just places to stay overnight.
Today we traveled 267 miles to Rawlins, Wyoming and stayed at Red Desert Rose Campground. After all the scenery we've seen the last couple of months this was a long boring drive. Nothing to see but flat farmland and cows, with an occasional long hill here and there. The campgrounds we are staying at now were picked for convenience, not because of a park or an attraction nearby. This campground was right off the freeway which made it easy to get in and easy to get out and be on our way.
Tuesday 9/18/2018 Today we traveled 234 miles and stayed in Potter, Nebraska at The Point of Rocks Motel and RV Park. This place was a little odd. There's a small motel right off interstate 80 but not close to any large town. It had about 20 RV sites with hookups in the back. We never saw the owners or workers. It was self-serve and we just filled out a form and put money in an envelope and then put it in a lockbox. It only had a few other trailers which could have been because of the very heavy train traffic just across the road. The train ran both directions constantly, and the engineers seemed to have fun blasting their horn at all hours.
Wednesday 9/19/2018 We traveled 233 miles today and arrived in Kearney, Nebraska. We reserved three nights at The Kearney RV Park and Campground which is a really nice park. It seemed to be just a few years old and had full hookups and cement pads at every site in the front area of the park. There is a back part of the park adjacent to this and this part looked older and didn't have the nice, cement pads. I think that full-time people lived in this section. There was a small lake in front of our trailer that would have been nice to look out the window at, but we were facing the opposite direction. We arrived in the late afternoon, set up the trailer and then gave Vernon a call. He and Laural came by the trailer later on after Laurel was off work, we talked for a while and then decided to try a new restaurant near the park for dinner. It was called Cunningham's Journal Tap and Kitchen. It was a great dinner with very nice conversation. We had a lot to catch up on with our families and life.
Thursday 9/20/2018 Laurel was still working today, so Vernon picked us up at the trailer and gave us a driving tour of Kearney. It's grown quite a bit since the last time we visited, over ten years ago. He showed us their parks, the university that they both work at, Laurel's second job at the Community College and drove through the downtown and other areas. I have been missing my Shake n Shake meal and asked Vernon if they had any in Kearney. Sadly, they don't - but he said they have a place very similar, called Freddy's. It was very much like Shake n Shake, except you order at the counter and seat yourself. The menu is basically the same, small hamburger patties and thin cut french fries. Thank you, Vernon, for filling my craving. After lunch, we went to their house and waited a short while for Laurel to arrive home. Then we loaded up their two dogs, Chewy and Charlie (not sure of their spelling) and drove to a neighborhood park called Cottonwood and went for a nice walk. We brought the dogs back to their home and then we went out to dinner at Whiskey Creek Woodfire Grill. This was also a very good restaurant, similar to a Texas Roadhouse style.
Friday 9/21/2018 Today we took a late morning short drive to the Archway. The Archway (also known as The Great Platte River Road Archway or Kearney Arch) is a museum and monument to Nebraska's and the Platte River Valley's role in westward expansion. The Archway spans more than 300 feet over Interstate 80 three miles east of Kearney and weighs nearly 1,500 tons. It took us along the trails, rails, highways, and superhighways in a self-guided audio tour that includes stories of the travelers along the way. It starts in the 1840's with the Mormon Trail, Oregon Trail and California Trail that converged at the nearby Fort Kearney before heading west. The exhibit has displays of different time periods featuring a buffalo stampede, the Mormon Handcart Expedition, gold seekers, the Pony Express, the telegraph, the transcontinental railroad, the Lincoln Highway, a drive-in movie and a 1950's cafe. We spent a couple hours walking around the enjoyed the audio tour. When we left the Archway we played around a bit in a maze that was built near the parking lot. It was free, a lot of fun and I've never tried a maze before. Everyone managed to get out alive. After the maze, we took a short walk on a learning trail and saw some very large fish begging for food and a re-creation of an old sod house. Next, we went for lunch to The Dash Pizzeria. It's a casual eatery in a restored garage focusing on creative pizzas, plus appetizers, wine & craft beer. We watched them press the dough and then ask us what toppings we'd like. (think Subway or Chipotle style) It was also a very nice place to eat. After lunch, we drove back to their home and picked up the dogs again and took another walk to a different park. When we returned to the house, Laurel began making a favorite family meal of Chicken Paya. (hope I have that correct) She spent a great deal of time creating just the perfect dish. We enjoyed it so much. Thank you again, Laurel, for all your hard work, we did appreciate it. Thank you also, Vernon, for suggesting it. Haha! After some more chatting, they drove us back to the RV Park and we had to say our goodbyes. Hope to see you both again before too long and thank you both very much for taking so much of your time to show us around. We had a great visit.
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