Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On the Road, Headed East


Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area RV Park
2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd
North Platte, NE 69101
GPS: 41.169906, -100.789976

Rocky Mountains behind us and morning sun in our eyes. We are on the road headed east.

This morning we ended our stay with Adam, Amy, and the boys in Highlands Ranch, CO and resumed our summer 2015 journey. We helped them get through a difficult housing relocation and enjoyed an extended visit getting to spend a lot of time with our three grandsons Andrew (10), Joshua (8), and Benjamin (6). Besides packing and unpacking a lot of boxes, we attended many soccer games, Michelle played uncountable games of Uno, and I "helped" Joshua write a story. This was the first time we were there to celebrate all three birthdays.

Today's journey was an easy (read "flat") 285 miles northeast on I - 76 then east on I - 80 to North Platte, NE. Travel time was about six hours and we lost an hour going from Mountain Time to Central Time.

Travel Day 13 – Denver, CO to North Platte, NE


Eastern Colorado was uneventful with only a few cows to keep us company.


In Nebraska, the scenery changed dramatically as we entered Cornhusker territory.


The landscape is endless fields of corn punctuated by silos.


Small towns (very small) focus around giant Grain Elevators.


Out here, trains seem to be a million miles long and you can see every inch of them.


Our destination today was North Platte, NE.


We got there about 4:30 PM; too late to visit the museum ... maybe tomorrow.

Instead we checked out this very small but nice RV Park ...


... and enjoyed our new chairs – a gift from Adam and Amy. Thanks.


North Platte is a city in and the county seat of Lincoln County, Nebraska, United States. It is located in the southwestern part of the state, along Interstate 80, at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers forming the Platte River. The population was 24,733 at the 2010 census.

North Platte was established in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad was extended to that point. It was named from the North Platte River.

North Platte is a railroad town; Union Pacific Railroad's large Bailey Yard is located within the city. Today, North Platte is served only by freight trains, but during World War II the city was famous for the North Platte Canteen. Several thousand volunteers from North Platte and surrounding towns met the troop trains passing through North Platte, offering coffee, sandwiches and hospitality.

North Platte is home to the world's largest rail yard, Bailey Yard. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight-story building which overlooks the expansive railroad staging area. The tower and visitor center are open to the public year-round.

North Platte was the Union Pacific Railway's western terminus from the summer of 1867 until the next section to Laramie, Wyoming, was opened the following summer. Even though Congress had authorized building the Transcontinental Railroad in 1862, it was only extended as far as Nebraska City by early summer of 1867. The 275-mile section from Nebraska City to North Platte was completed in less than six weeks.

Lincoln County Historical Museum contains a display detailing the history of the North Platte Canteen, which greeted 6.5 million service personnel from Christmas Day 1941 through April 1, 1946. It also contains a Prairie Village with local landmark homes and other buildings, including a Pony Express station and pioneer church among many others.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is located near North Platte, a Nebraska living history park about Buffalo Bill Cody. The park includes his actual house known as Scout's Rest Ranch. The park is two miles west of U.S. Highway 83 along U.S. Highway 30. Wikipedia
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area is located next door to the Historical Park, which makes it easy to tour the ranch house and barn that Col. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody built for his home in North Platte during the heyday of his famous Wild West Show. Cody owned some 4,000 acres here, which were appropriately named Scout's Rest Ranch. The park encompasses 25 acres of the original ranch, including the house and barn. Part of Buffalo Bill State Historical Park, this state recreation area offers camping pads with electricity, primitive sites and a group picnic shelter. NO WATER, NO SEWER.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area is a convenient stop off I-80 at the North Platte Interchange. The recreation area offers fishing, picnic tables, fire rings, and hiking trails.

When I told Joshua (the eight year old) we were staying at Buffalo Bill Ranch, his response was "The Buffalo Bills have a ranch??". Like beauty, I guess history is in the eye of the beholder.
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