Nebraska Weekend
March 4-6, 2005

Arbor Lodge State Park - Nebraska City
Julius Sterling Morton statue
Statues of Julius Sterling Morton & the Goddess  Daphne dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1905
The long bench behind them is a "whispering bench." If a person sits at one end and whispers into the
back wall, a person at the opposite end can hear them.


glulaminated arch timber bridge

  Then on to Lincoln, Nebraska to spend the night at an inexpensive Days Inn near the airport. Nothing special, but cheap, clean and well maintained.

Supper was at The Oven, an upscale Indian fusion restaurant in Lincoln's Haymarket district. Being alone and wanting to try several items, I didn't try the fusion dishes, but had the thali, which included Tandoori chicken, rogan josh, chicken curry, vegetable curry, dal, raita, papadum, rice, naan, and kheer. The food was pretty good, but expensive for a Indian restaurant in the Midwest. I spent over $30 without any drinks.

My server was a disappointment, she seemed to find my requests odd. She never brought the chai I ordered, and when I asked her to take it off my bill, didn't really apologize.

Saturday I started out again on secondary roads, taking Highway 34 and stopping briefly in Seward to photograph the world's largest time capsule (another Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations' location). I only followed Highway 34 another 15 miles or so. The route wasn't that interesting and I dropped down to I-80 and its 75 MPH speed limit. The highway patrol must be tough in Nebraska, the average speed was only about the speed limit.

World's largest time capsule, Seward Nebraska
Seward, Nebraska. The capsule was placed in the ground in 1975 and includes a
1975 Chevy Vega and a Kawasaki motorcycle - both with no miles. The pyramid
was added in 1983 and includes a badly beaten up 1975 Toyota.

Starting about Grand Island, there were flocks of 20 to 300 sandhill cranes in the corn fields along the freeway. They stay in the area for 3 weeks feeding on waste corn and bulking up before flying on to far northern Canada, Alaska, and Siberia.

First stop was the Crane Meadows nature center, right off I-80. The center was busy and the staff was geared up to be helpful. I got maps, some good advise and purchased a nice T-shirt. I couldn't get over how nice the staff and volunteers were!

The trails were all closed to avoid bothering the birds, so I explored the side roads in the car, seeing more large flocks, but unable to get close to the shy birds. There were many cars with people doing much the same. One time when I was out of the car taking pictures, a raccoon walked by. It made me a bit nervous, it didn't seem shy of me at all.

Sandhill cranes about 1 mile from Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska
Sandhill Cranes near Rowe Sanctuary


Canada Geese

Continuing west, I stopped briefly ay Rowe (Audubon) Sanctuary, where the trails were also closed. Then on to Fort Kearny State Historical Park where the trails were open. I hiked out to an old railroad bridge on the bicycle trail, scouting for a place to watch for birds at sunrise on Sunday.

Platte RIver Bridge at Fort Kearny State Historical Park

Continuing west, I stopped briefly ay Rowe (Audubon) Sanctuary, where the trails were also closed. Then on to Ft. Kearny State Historical Park where the trails were open. I hiked out to an old railroad bridge on the bicycle trail, scouting for a place to watch for birds at sunrise on Sunday.

Then on to Kearny to check in to the Wingate Inn and recharge camera batteries before the evening.. A nice, well appointed room with free wireless and wired internet was only $60 on their website, but $70 if you called the hotel for a reservation.

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photos copyright 2005 by Keith Stokes       Keith's other trips