I am moving west. It is a slight push as I need to be in Boise by early next week. Elsie the cat is going to visit friends of ours for two weeks while I venture north on a small ship Alaska Cruise for two weeks. How cool is that?
I have been traveling across northern Nebraska for the past two days. I have followed the Outlaw Highway, Lewis and Clark Trail and the Bridges to Buttes Highway. Wow what absolutely gorgeous country. Most of the time not another soul in sight. This is my kind of driving. And because it is spring, everything is green and moist. It is a feast for the eyes.
The only downside has been ticks. Every time I have gotten out to take pics or go for a hike I immediately have to look for those buggers. Elsie the Cat gets checked at least once a day. Ay Yi Yi.
I am fascinated by American History and especially the history of the settling of the west. As I sat above the Upper Missouri River I imagined Lewis and Clark coming west and seeing this massive body of water. I love to ponder.
I left South Sioux City, NE and began the trek west. The first highway was the Outlaw Highway otherwise known as Route 12. Once I arrived in Valentine I picked up Route 20 ,otherwise known as the Bridges to Buttes Highway. Every day I followed storm clouds west. Sometimes I encountered rain but mostly clouds. Lots and lots of clouds.
Along these two routes were wildlife reserves to explore, although I don’t have much time on this trip to do that.
The state parks I encountered were marvelous. The first night I stayed in Niobrara State Park on the Upper Missouri. The campground had electric and water nearby all for $28 a night. I got my bicycle out and rode to the end of the road late in the day. The view over the Missouri was a wow moment for me. It was a lot of up hill and down hill. Even though I only rode 6 miles I got a workout. Turkeys came to visit in camp that night. It was a beautiful spot.
I am in the town of Chardon NE this morning. Last night I spent the evening at Chadron State Park. Wow! I wish I had more time in this park. My campsite was beautiful and shaded and the view of the storm coming in was pretty spectacular. This morning before I left I drove the scenic drive. The view in all directions was really pretty. This park sits about one hour south of the Black Hills. The scenery is very similar. It would be a good option if I wanted to avoid the craziness of the camping in the Black Hills. There were tennis courts, a small lake, hiking trails, a swimming pool and more. The park alone would be a great exploration. My campsite again was $28 for electric with water near by.
Both of these parks were well kept. The bathrooms and showers were clean. The campground hosts were kind and helpful. There was a lot of open spaces although this weekend, Memorial Day, everything is full. I can understand why.
I will revisit this area again. I think I am going to have to make Nebraska a focus of my next trip. There is so much to explore. I will definitely need to bring a kayak of some sort and plan a longer stay in these lovely state park campgrounds.