we awoke to the promised forecasted rain. I actually believed the forecast and had packed up the night before. So, quick bite of cereal and off we went.
The drive west has been different. More corn fields and soy bean fields and the farms that go with them, but then we saw huge wind turbines.
I even saw the semi-trucks transporting the blades and they are HUGE! Here several awaiting transport.
There was also horses and also saw sheep and goats. I was on the look out for more fresh eggs but had had no luck.
We did see some very nice wildflowers.
Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park
This was on my list. I had always been interested in fossils so naturally this place was a must.
It is still an active site where students come each summer to excavate a section of the area. Two students stay year round to excavate and help with educating folks like me who like fossils but know nothing about them.
In a nut shell, for this site there was a volcanic event nearby that spewed ash into the air which eventually killed the animals. They are concentrated here because there was a watering hole. A paleontologist was surveying for fossils and found the skull of a baby rhino that had been unearthed by erosion. There are hundreds of skeletal remains in this site. Some have been removed already.
These were on the way to the restroom.
The below photos are in the Visitor Orientation Center.
That is the light on the ceiling reflecting on the glass case, not a giant eyeball. Lol
The original skull found.
You can did for fossils!! But please cover them back up for the next person. Lol
The active did is in the Rhino Barn.
It is really cool to actual bones of animals instead of casted reproductions
In addition to the students there is a looping slide show that shows all the specimens.
We saw some nice scenery along the way to the next stop.
Not sure I agree with the sign. “Most beautiful steel bridge”?
Fort Nionrara National wildlife Refuge
Daisy walked until we got to the stairs that were expanded metal.
We walked beyond the falls to the river. It was an easy walk and only about a 1/4 mile.
There is a wildlife drive you do but it was late so I opted not to do that. But, we did run into these fellas.
Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area
I chose to stay in Nebraska because I had to buy a rec permit at the Ashfall place and this would cover us here. I did not see any amount for camping, just the rec permit. So I did not submit a fee.
I met the only other camper there, BJ, and he got the site on the water. He didn’t know the deal waiter. He just paid the rec fee. He had a truck camper that popped up.
I made a fire mainly because there was wood and kindling already in the fire ring.
And it was cold and maybe I wanted a snack. I have the majority of the marshmallows and graham crackers to a young family at Stone Park.
Got a nice sunset shot before dark.
BJ and I talked for quite awhile the next morning. One story he told me really stuck with me. He is one of 13 children. One of his brothers died young at the age of 10 while his mother was pregnant with him and his twin sister. BJ and his sister were born in Florida one month after his brother died. Another brother had the idea 40 years later to exhume his their brother and move him to Colorado where many of the family currently live. BJ thought it was nuts but all the siblings got together and made the arrangements and did the paper work and drove a rented truck down to Florida and the cemetery dig up the vault and loaded it on the truck. They were ready to head back to Colorado and one of his brothers said he brought something for the trip, a sign. He hung it on the vault. It read ” He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”. We both laughed and he said that the event made even more close than they already were.
On to South Dakota!