Saturday, August 4, 2018

7/29-7/30, Fort Kearney, NE

We had a lovely spot near one of the seven lakes at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area.

During our short visit in the area we visited The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument.

The Archway is a museum and monument to Nebraska’s and the Platte River valley’s role in westward expansion.
Located directly over Interstate 80 three miles east of Kearney, Nebraska, the Archway spans more than 300 feet and weighs nearly 1,500 tons.

The self-guided tour begins in the 1840s with the Mormon Trail, Oregon Trail and California Trail that converged at the nearby Fort Kearny before heading west.
The exhibits display different time periods including a buffalo stampede

The Mormon Handcart Exhibition
The Pony Express
The Lincoln Highway
A drive-in movie
1950s café.

We ended our exploration of the Archway by going through the maze.  We did end up cheating a little by climbing the steps to get an overview.

7-26 to 7-28, Aurora,NE

Day 2

During our stay in Aurora we took a day trip to Grand Island.  Our first stop was at to the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. 


The Crane Trust protects and maintains the biological, hydrological and physical integrity of the Platte River’s Big Bend area that supports whooping cranes and other migratory birds.
After watching a short film we followed the path around the butterfly garden to a series of footbridges.
Unfortunately, we visited the center at the wrong time of year.  Each spring more than 80% (500,000+ of the world’s population of Sandhill Cranes converge on this sliver of land along with millions of migrating ducks and geese.
The Crane Trust is also home to a herd of bison that play an important role in maintaining the bird migration habitat.  Bison graze heavily on native grasses and disturb the soil with their hooves, allowing many plant and animal species to flourish. 
After lunch we made our way over to the Nebraska Fairgrounds where we explored Raising Nebraska, a 25,000 square foot exhibit. 
The Agri-House displays different products that result from agriculture.

Raising Nebraska is an interactive experience, from science and innovation, to community and culture, and even the global economy.
The exhibits allow visitors to explore where food comes from, methods of irrigation and offers facts on livestock like how many eggs a chicken lays per years.
Carbine simulator