Monday, May 27, 2013

2013-05-27, East of the Mississippi

The last time I posted was on the 21st, so, I guess it is time to do it again.  We stayed in the Blue Ox Campground until Sunday, the 26th.  During that time, we had one nice day, and one sort of nice.  Both times we walked in to town for 3 miles each time.  Besides the normal cows and donkeys, we found this little guy.  At least he is wildlife.IMG_20130523_135125_431  I enjoyed the time at Blue Ox because the wifi was pretty good, so I could work with looking for some of our ancestors.  I also checked the air in the motorhome tires, as well as checking the batteries.  Marilyn got some reading and cleaning time in.


The weather reports indicated that Sunday would be stormy and windy.  Of course Monday through Friday were not going to be any different, so we decided to leave Sunday morning.  We drove across the Missouri River, but the weather did not cooperate with Marilyn’s picture taking.DSC02643  That cold, misty, breezy made it difficult.  We were able to continue into Iowa on US-30DSC02644, stopping for the night at WalMart in Ames, IA.  My windshield wiper had started to pull apart, so I shopped for new ones.  Of coursed WM does not carry the 32 or 34 inch models that I needed, so I bought the largest ones – 28 inch.  New ones mount with a J-hook that does not work on our 2006 Phaeton.  Since the Phaeton’s mount with a spacer, nut and bolt, I broke the J-hook off, and sawed part of the rivet out.  The 28 inch ones work, although Marilyn loses a little more clean area.


This morning, we left about nine after the extreme wind and rain had died off.  About an hour later, we caught back up with the wind.  I put on the flashers, slowed to 35 or 40, and pulled over for the occasional vehicle to pass.  As we approached Cedar Rapids, the wind slacked off so I could drive at the speed limit again.  We drove a little south to pick up I-80 again so we could stop at Speedco in Walcott, IA to get the motorhome lubed.


Speedco finished in about a half hour, so we decided to move on – it was only 2:30.  We crossed the Mississippi River, but the sign was missed.DSC02645  However, we did make it into Illinois.DSC02647  We decided to stop in Geneseo, IL for another WalMart night.


Tomorrow’s weather is not supposed to be much better, so we will have to wait and see if we can drive on to who knows where.

Type at you later.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Yesterday, we left Elm Creek, NE and drove to Pender, NE where we are staying in the Blue Ox Campground.

This morning, our new Blue Ox tow bar, that we had purchased in Quartzsite, AZ, was taken in to the factory to be serviced. 

About 10:30AM we went in to the office to take a factory tour.  We found out that Blue Ox started out making agricultural equipment some 80 years ago.  It is still a family owned company.  They still make rollers for the grain agricultural industry, but have grown to making tractor cabs as well as products for the towing of vehicles etc.  My father worked in a machine shop, so I recognized some of the manufacturing equipment.  They press, cut, mold, and paint all of their products from start to finish. 

They no longer service their products for free.  They charge the same $25 at the factory as they do at RV shows, etc.  However, we thought it would be good to get the tow bar serviced.  We probably not get it serviced again until Escapade next May. 

We have had a rainy, breezy day.  However, there has been no severe weather.

Hugs, and Type at You Later.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Yesterday, the 18th, we spent the morning in the house.  After lunch, we went to Walmart, so, nothing much to write about.


This morning, the 19th, I checked the air in the tires, and Marilyn did wash.  In the afternoon, we drove to the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument.DSC02641  The Arch is a museum about trails and roads west, and actually crosses over I-80.DSC02640  The trails passing through were the Oregon, Mormon, and San Francisco trails  US 30 followed the same trail west, and was originally named the Lincoln Highway.  The interstate route I-80 then followed US 30.  The museum exhibits were created by Disney, and you use earphones to listen to different people describe the trials and tribulations of the wagon trails.  The museum and the arch are one and the same.  As you progress through the museum you walk across I-80.IMG_20130519_145404_404  Overall, we enjoyed the museum which cost $10 per senior.  We thought the sound could be improved by telling you to move to the next exhibit. 

Hugs, and Type at You Later.

Friday, May 17, 2013


This morning we drove down to Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska.IMG_20130517_105916_694  Mr. Warp grew up in the area, and decided to create a museum of Nebraska life in 1950.  He began to purchase old buildings to be moved to Minden.  In addition to the buildings, equipment, etc. that he purchased, people began to donate.  The museum opened in 1953.  It is not a highly polished, docent led living history museum like so many others that we have seen, but the collections are amazing. 

Buildings include an original Pony Express Relay Station (complete with a Buffalo Bill Cody original saddle), the original Elm Creek stockade (jail cell that could be used in a building, or left out in the public square for people to see the inmates), an historic country church, general store, sod house, one-room school house (Mr. Warp purchased at auction the school house that he had attended), an antique toy collection and a blacksmith shop.  Included were the books, maps equipment, and etc.

One of the best building collections was the one of rooms in homes through time.  There were bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens set up for every 30 years beginning with 1830 to the 1950s.  If you want to see how people lived, slept or cooked in any generation beginning with 1830 to modern times, this is the place.

Other collections include old automobiles (Studebaker, Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and discontinued lines), antique farm equipment and tractors (horse drawn, steam, gas and diesel), and earlier transportation modes like carriages, locomotives, etc.

They even have an old RV trailer.IMG_20130517_151352_767  It is a 1937 Vagabond Travel Trailer.  In another building is a homemade motorhome built by Mr. Wendell Turner on a 1939 White Truck.  He and his wife traveled in it from 1953 to 1956.  I took pictures of the descriptions, and they are included, but I do not know if you will be able to enlarge them enough to read her log of their trips.IMG_20130517_153936_141IMG_20130517_154007_794IMG_20130517_154108_643IMG_20130517_154136_169

If you are ever in the area and are interested in pioneer life in Nebraska, it is well worth the stop.  The village is 12 miles south of I-80 at exit 279, and is located at 138 E US Highway 6, Minden, NE,

Hugs, and Type at You Later.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


We left Cheyenne, WY this morning and drove 301 miles to Sunny Meadows Campground in Elm Creek, Nebraska.  That was a drop of almost 4,000 feet in elevation.  Cheyenne was at about 6100 feet, and we are now at 2252 feet.  We now can see green grass that is not watered, and we have seen corn fields ready to be planted.  Unfortunately, we did run into some storms.  The rain was not too much of a problem, but the windy dust storm after the rain pushed us around quite a bit.  Several times I put on the flashers and slowed to 45mph.  At one point, Marilyn yelled SLOW DOWN.  I did.

Hugs, and Type at you Later.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Good sightseeing day here in Cheyenne, WY.  After breakfast, we drove in to the Visitor Center at the old train depot with one of the big cowboy boots outside. DSC02621, found a parking place and went in to buy Trolley tickets for the 1pm tour since we had just missed the 10am tour.  From there, we walked toward the capitol building.DSC02624  Since we had gone to the Capitol Building with Bryan & Jane Rose a few years ago, we went to the State Museum instead of returning to the capitol.DSC02626  It is a very nice museum.  We then went to Subway for lunch before returning to the visitor center.  Here is a picture of the trolley, and another of the visitor center.DSC02629DSC02630  In the park next to the trolley is a statue of a horse with a license plate attached.DSC02627  Next, we went to the Old West Museum.DSC02632  The trolley returned for us 90 minutes later.  We continued our tour of Cheyenne, with a stop to see one of the largest steam locomotives ever produced.  In fact, there were only 25 made.DSC02633DSC02634  On its trips to Ogden Utah, it was supposed to take 25,000 gallons of water plus 25,000 tons of coal just to reach Summit outside of Cheyenne.  It took another 25,000 of each for the balance of the trip to Ogden.


We have enjoyed Cheyenne, WY.

Hugs, and Type at you Later.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yesterday, the 13th, we drove from Rock Springs, WY to Laramie, WY, where we spent the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot after doing the shop at Wal-Mart thing.

This morning, the 14th, we toured our third prison for the year.  Earlier, we had toured the Yuma Territorial Prison, and while in San Francisco, we toured Federal Prison on Alcatraz.  Today’s was another Federal Prison.  This one was the Wyoming Territorial Prison at Laramie.  It is one of only three federally constructed penitentiaries that still exist in the western US.IMG_20130514_093835_274  Territories were not states, so they prisons were federal, law enforcement was by US Marshalls, even the wardens worked for the US Justice Department. 

The prison was built in 1872.  In 1903, the abandoned prison, and its 640 acres was turned over to the University of Wyoming and operated as an agricultural experiment station until 1989.  Major restoration work has taken place since 1990 so that the property has been reincarnated as a prison and museum.

The first building entered upon leaving the visitor center, is the Warden’s residence.IMG_20130514_095812_283


Next are pictures of the prison building itself.  The building has survived intact since 1872, but the stockade is a complete reconstruction.  The third picture is US Marshall prisoner transport of the late 1800s.IMG_20130514_095841_439IMG_20130514_095945_564IMG_20130514_100151_914  Next we see the kitchen and a typical cell.  They did have a couple of female cells totally separate from the male cells.IMG_20130514_101148_091IMG_20130514_101206_908IMG_20130514_101906_840


The most famous prisoner here at the territorial prison was Butch Cassidy, and they had a picture of him on one of the walls.IMG_20130514_103929_623


Even though I took a picture of Marilyn behind bars, I did not leave her there.IMG_20130514_111452_968


After lunch, we moved the house to Cheyenne, WY, where we will stay for two nights at AB Camping, so we can tour the area.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013-05-12 Happy Mother’s Day

Marilyn and I had a great sightseeing day.  We drove the Flaming Gorge Loop from Rock Springs south on US 191 to the Flaming Gorge Dam, then back up the other side of the Green River returning home – a total of 178 miles on the Jeep.  The loop took us into Utah DSC02607, and back into Wyoming. DSC02618


As we started the drive we were able to see mountains with deep valleys, and to the west we could see snow capped peaks.  The Green River flows through the Uinta mountains, and joins with the Colorado River.  DSC02602DSC02603DSC02606


We drove into the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area at the Antelope Flat Overlook.  DSC06885DSC06886DSC06887


At the next overlook, we could see the lake and this red rock formation that looked like a steak with a slice out of it.  DSC06888-001DSC06889-001


We took pictures of the front and back sides of the dam from overlooks.  We even looked across and found this little waterfall.  DSC06892DSC06894DSC06896-001


Next stop was Red Canyon.  DSC06906DSC06909


The views of the Green River at the bottom of the Red Canyon are spectacular.  We heard an eagle, but did not get his picture, however, as we left Red Canyon, we saw this Mountain Goat.  DSC02609DSC06907DSC06912


Northward, we came to Sheep Creek Geological Loop with its fantastic rock formations.  DSC02613DSC02614DSC02615DSC02616DSC02617


Now that you have suffered through these pictures of rivers and rocks, I have a few of Prong Horned Antelope.  We did get one facing us, but most of them just showed their butts.  DSC06924DSC06925-001DSC06926


Hugs and Type at you Later.