My intent that Friday was to drive west on Nebraska Highway 2 to Broken Bow and take some good pictures to include on the webpage, www.nebraskahighway2.com/BrokenBow. Because there are small towns between Grand Island and Broken Bow I have to convince myself not to stop at any of them before getting to Broken Bow or I would lose my focus and time. It was overcast and raining when I started out and cloudy, grey skies are not what I wanted for my pictures representing Broken Bow. The earlier weather forcast and the skies told me that the storm would be moving out of the area at some point so knowing I had a bit of a delay, I drove right through Broken Bow and headed for Halsey National Forest so I could purchase a lifetime National Park Senior Pass before the price goes up this Fall.
Once at the forest, I spent some time in the Ranger’s office chatting with a knowledgeable ranger (whose name I did not remember… sorry fella) who answered my questions with relish. I found I should leave some www.nebraskahighway2.com information pamphlets there for travelers to pick up to learn what is available to them along the highway. I did spend a little time enjoying the forest and then was on my way back east towards Broken Bow and the clearing skies. But those small towns just draw me in and the next thing I know is I am turning into Dunning, Nebraska with thoughts of what I would create for the webpage for Dunning. I have visited the Sinclair Station at Dunning, many times before over the years (it is right along Nebraska Highway 2) and admired and purchased some of the pottery that is sold there. The pottery is created locally by Marlene Van Diest of Sandhills Pottery and each piece I viewed was unique.
I drove down main street Dunning and parked and decided to photograph some of the interesting buildings.
I spotted the Sandhills Heritage Museum which was open so I stepped in. The Sandhills Heritage Museum is located in an old bank building right on the main street of Dunning. And yes, that is a hitching post in front of the museum. It is a snapshot of life in the area and holds some interesting and surprising items from the Sandhills life from years gone by. The days and hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00. It can be opened anytime by request and availability of board members.
April – beautiful month of early Spring and the welcome return of birds and flowers and leaves on trees. Motivation and new energies coming at us from all directions.
www.nebraskahighway2.com is undergoing a complete redesign of the website. We are making the website semantically correct — to aid those with visual disabilities and also making it responsive. Those visiting and traveling the highway and exploring the communities are relying on their smart phones and tablets for information on events and ammenities. Will they find you?
We are also updating the Farmer’s Markets page so the information is accurate and up to date. In anticipation of the thousands of visitors that Nebraska will play host to this August alone for the total solar eclipse and that huge economic stimulator we want your business to be found. The total solar eclipse alone will bring hundreds if not thousands of dollars into our communities and our businesses need to make the very most of it!
We are working towards the date of June 1st for our total renovation to be up and live including the webpages for the communities of Broken Bow and Lincoln! A big order but well worth the investment. Speaking of investments, will your business be found on the internet by visitors this summer? Place an ad on www.nebraskahighway2.com and reap the rewards of having an ad accessible 24 hours everyday by anyone in the world!
There was a time when I was an absolute news junky. Read newspapers, listened to morning and evening news shows… no longer. Now I want to shut out the nonsense, the ugliness, the tradgedies happening here at home and abroad. The best way to do this? Get out there on the highway and drive. My favorite drive is on Nebraska highway 2 of course. Westward bound. Up to Halsey National Forest. On to Mullen. Maybe out to Crawford and the beauty of the Pine Ridge area of Northwest Nebraska. Open spaces. Big skies. The feeling that you can go forever into solitude and nature. And escape the noise of the civilized world that’s not so civil these days. How about you? Where is your favorite drive?
It seems looking back that Nebraska highway 2 has been my mother… she raised me… sent me soaring to the faraway horizons…
We grew up not far from the farmer immigrant germans who settled near the mighty Missouri river where the roads rolled up and down over hill after hill. Our lives were in the city but our center was a small town in southeast Nebraska and we traveled that highway 2 almost every weekend. We were going “downhome” as my father said. Downhome was a small farm on the outskirts of a small town. We could walk into town as we grew old enough. Grampa was the town barber and for a few years he and Gramma owned and operated the town hatchery and the town Variety store. We also rode our bikes back and forth from the farm to town when we were permitted. There were no worries about child kidnappings or busy roads. We enjoyed a freedom children today have no idea of. Even the city life we lived was one without fear. Playing outside after dark, taking the bus downtown alone, walking or riding our bicycles anywhere in the neighborhood. Now, we keep a close eye on our children at all times, accompanying them on their neighborhood journeys, having them check in consistently, it is a different world then what we grew up in.
Family vacation times are important for ourselves and our children. Exploring our home state or traveling to places farther away, experiencing new horizons and meeting the great people living in the small communities is so important in developing a sense of place for our families. The world is out there to be explored and for memories to be made to take back home and relived.
Each of the communities along Nebraska Highway 2 are planning events for you to share in. Visit the community pages on www.nebraskahighway2.com to help you plan your travels along the highway and make some memories!
Why our fascination with numbers? Today’s date is 5-15-15 and as many have pointed out, all the dates this week are the same backwards and forwards. “They” say music is numbers, the universe is numbers, but aren’t numbers created by humankind to count and designate? What is a natural number? Anyway, I ponder this date mostly because it is my mother’s birthday. She is an ageless 81 and active and alert as anyone would hope to be at her age. I wonder if when you are 81 do you wake each morning full of surprise and thankfulness or with disappointment that you are facing another day? I hope to wake thankfully until I wake no more.
I may be dwelling on death today in light of the passing of BB King yesterday. He was 89 years old and for a blues man that is a good long life. I heard BB King play live twice in Lincoln, Nebraska and he was an incredible musician. I am grateful I had the experience to hear him. His music lives on and many musicians credit him with their love, obsession and pursuit of creating music. Music speaks to us on so many different levels. I know in my own life music has been a constant companion through my days and nights. Lying awake in my parents’ house late at night listening to my bedside a.m. radio, singing along, annoying my sister who shared my bed and dreaming of growing up and living the lyrics for myself. Emotions and dreams stirred up upon hearing a long-ago song.
Now these days will find me driving across the plains of Nebraska listening to my own personal choices of music for hours through the magic of a computer thumb drive. Upon arrival at a campground I can then turn on the laptop computer and create a background for stargazing or fire cracklings.
Sometimes it is nice however to turn the man made music off and listen to the sounds of the night. Nature plays some beautiful tunes of her own and we should listen.
Today nature is loud and wet all across the State of Nebraska. One should remember that Mother Nature can become quite violent this time of year as many have already witnessed so pay attention to what is happening overhead.
What was that? I think I hear BB King playing some soulful blues up there in those clouds. Yep, that was definitely Lucille. Rest in Peace BB King. We loved you.
The new beginnings of the year 2015 resonate with positive feelings and great hope of what is to come. No resolutions this year only a more enlightened way of thinking and dreaming of traveling the roads of Nebraska. When the roads are clear and free of ice. I am thinking a lot about the weather and those travelers on the roads that will be controlled by it. I hope everyone checks the different weather forecast sources and looks ahead to their travel ways and how it will intersect with wintery mother nature.
We had our own encounter with wintery mother nature last weekend when what usually is an hour and 1/2 drive turned into an overnight stay only 40 miles from our home. I did not check the weather forecast, only the darkening skies, and we headed out into the dry late afternoon. Soon there were little drops of moisture on the windshield and the drivers on the opposite side of the interstate were creeping along at a very slow pace. Soon an suv pulled up on our left to pass and then —- zing!!! across the road right in front of us and off to our right he or she slid……. made me think of the Wizard of Oz and the house inside the tornado and different creatures flitting by. Then a second vehicle… only this one spun around and was facing us and then … zing… off the side of the road he (or she) went. Thankfully the cooler headed driver was at the wheel and we were able to creep to the next off-ramp which happened to be a town with motels and such. We crept crept crept off the road and slid against the curbs like a pong game. I YELPED and found a motel directly across the road from where we were and yes they did take dogs… We were landed for the night.