Nebraska Journals

Trekking along the Oregon Trail through Western Nebraska

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A July 2013 trip to Nebraska by RoBoNC

Agate Fossil Beds Photo, Nebraska, United States More Photos
Quote: While western Nebraska may be mostly rural and its landscape dotted with rolling hills and farmlands, we still found things to do. We visited a couple Oregon Trail landmarks, a fossil bed, and the World's largest rail yard in North Platte.

Scotts Bluff National Monument

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Attraction | "Landmark on the Oregon Trail overlooking the Nebraska Plains"

Scotts Bluff National Monument Photo, Gering, Nebraska
Quote:
The drive from the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument to our next national park, Scotts Bluff National Monument, was less than an hour. The nearby town of Scottsbluff is Nebraska’s 13th largest city with over 15,000 residents. Since leaving Rapid City, SD and over 200 miles later, this is the largest town that we encountered. The towns between them are few and are rural so there is not much in the way of services. As we approached the town of Scottsbluff, the monument towers above the town which is located just across the North Platte River which separates the two. The bluff which towers 830 feet above the plains was an important landmark used by settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail and the Mo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2013

Scotts Bluff National Monument
Highway 92
Gering, Nebraska 69341
(308) 436-9700

Fort Cody Trading Post

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Attraction | "Nebraska's Largest Souvenir and Western Store "

Fort Cody Trading Post Photo, North Platte, Nebraska
Quote:
There are not many metropolitan cities in western Nebraska. So as we searched for a place to spend the night before heading back to Iowa, it was not an easy task. We settled on North Platte, with a population close to 25,000, it ranks as Nebraska’s eighth largest city. It sits at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers forming the Platte River. The city lies just off of Interstate 80 and with its location near the middle of the state, it was an ideal place to spend the night. We made it to North Platte just in time to check into the hotel and get some sleep after a long day of driving from South Dakota. Before heading to Iowa, we decided to do a little sightseeing around...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2013

Fort Cody Trading Post
At junction of I-80 and US 83
North Platte, Nebraska
308-532-8081

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

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Attraction | "Famous Landmark on the Oregon Trail "

Chimney Rock National Historic Site Photo, Bayard, Nebraska
Quote:
We left Scotts Bluff National Monument and headed east on Highway 92 to visit another famous Oregon Trail landmark. Near the town of Bayard off of Highway 92 stands Chimney Rock National Historic Site, a large rock formation that points skyward and can be seen for miles along Highway 92 and US Route 26. The rock formation consists of a large pillar that sits atop a large hill. The pillar rises 286 feet above the North Platte River valley and from the base of the hill to the top of the spire, it measures 4,226 feet above sea level. Just like with Scotts Bluff National Monument, it was an important landmark for settlers migrating west along the Oregon and Mormon Trails. Although Chimney...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2013

Chimney Rock National Historic Site
Chimney Rock Road
Bayard, Nebraska
308-586-2581

Agate Fossil Beds

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Attraction | "One of the most complete Miocene mammal sites"

Agate Fossil Beds Photo, Nebraska, United States
Quote:
As we left Rapid City, SD for our journey back to Des Moines, Iowa, we decided to take a different route back. Our route took us across the state of Nebraska. Our family enjoys visiting national parks and since most of the parks are in the western part of the state, that pretty much dictated our route back home. We drove south from Rapid City on Highway 79 towards Nebraska. Once outside the city, there is not much in the way of gas stations or restaurants. Hot Springs, SD is about sixty miles south of Rapid City and this was the only city that had any type of fast food restaurant or full service gas station. Had I known this, I would have stopped and had lunch here, but we decided to grab a snac...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 27, 2013

Agate Fossil Beds
301 River Road
Harrison 69346
(308) 436-9760

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

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Attraction | "The World's Largest Rail Yard "

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center Photo, North Platte, Nebraska
Quote:
Although North Platte, Nebraska was picked as a stopover on our way back to Iowa, we decided to see what the city had to offer in the way of tourist attractions. My children, like most others, are fascinated with trains. Everywhere we went through South Dakota and western Nebraska, our children were fixated on the trains that raced alongside us. So when we discovered that North Platte is home to the world’s largest rail yard, there was no way that we were leaving without first stopping to look at it. The Union Pacific Railroad is the largest railroad company in the US and it has the largest railroad network linking 23 states with over 31,900 miles of tracks. Although the company is he...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2013

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center
1249 North Homestead Road
North Platte, nebraska