Posts Tagged ‘Gering Nebraska’

Scottsbluff, again

July 23, 2016

Saturday 23 July 2016

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There is a second museum here, the Farm and Ranch museum, FARM, so we stopped to see what there was to see. Much is under construction, not really advisable for unrestricted public access, but a pleasant young woman was kind enough to show us around.

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The first attraction is a house, donated by a local family and restored to authenticity as certified by the family itself. Not completely antique; the phone has a dial.

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Notice the heat exchanger atop the refrigerator. The range was electric, with coiled heater wires exposed in the grooves of the burners.

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Outdoors, the first attraction is a jail cell, manufactured by a company in Detroit and available to those who might have need for such a thing. We presume it would normally be installed indoors somewhere.

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One of the larger of many tractors. The ambition is to restore as many machines as possible to working order, but it is a self-funded volunteer effort, so it’s completely open-ended.

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Not even sure what some of these things are.

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This one is a combine, actually never used, but donated by the manufacturer to the museum.

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There’s a big equipment shed, whose star attraction is arguably this big steam tractor. Our guide wasn’t sure this one would be possible to restore.

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The hearse is sometimes rented out, and not just for movies. Supply your own horses and enjoy a stylish final trip.

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A kit tractor made by Ford, parts from model T or model A, our guide wasn’t sure which.

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A smaller steam tractor, with some of its gubbins, below.

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This is a bullboat, a buffalo hide stretched over a frame. Big enough for one trapper and his load or furs, or a smaller version big enough for the man and his gear but not a load of furs.

We went to Dorthey’s for lunch, but we supplied the lunch. We get far too few veggies on these trips, so we stopped at the grocery store and bought a package of broccoli slaw, some blackberries, and in a concession to the inevitable, fried chicken.

Then off to a tour of the new high school, under construction. They had only enough hard hats for half of those who signed up, and we were in the group that toured the existing high school under the guidance of the principal. My reaction was great relief that I will never again (I fervently hope) be associated with such a place. We bailed out after the first part and never did see the new construction.

After saying good-bye to Dorthey, we stopped at a liquor store for some porter, a couple of bottles of which we enjoyed on the balcony of the B&B. This evening, the formal reunion dinner at the Country Club, and tomorrow back on the road.

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Scottsbluff

July 22, 2016

Friday 22 July 2016

Up at 5, out to the monument for a beautiful sunrise. We hiked all of the trails that were open from below and got back to the B&B in time for breakfast at 8.

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After breakfast, we stopped again at the monument, went through the visitor center and drove to the top. Very impressive 3D model of the terrain. The entire ridge was originally called Scotts Bluff, but the term now pertains only to the rock beyond Mitchell Pass, above the gap in the photo.

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In answer to my question: why did the pioneers come over the pass instead of going around the end, the answer is the extensive badlands below the bluff (the service road was built much later), and the quicksand further down into the North Platte flood plain.

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As to the rockslide that closed the trail, here it is. The signs warn about the upper surface having been undercut, so there could well be more risk than just loose rock fallen across the trail. We were able to hike only to a point on the near side roughly below where I stood to take the picture.

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I dropped Jacky off at Dorthey’s and went out to explore a little. High 90s again, so I’m not too ambitious, but then there’s not a lot to do around here anyway. Walked the main street of Scottsbluff, enjoying the uses to which the old theater has been put.

Jacky is completely down on Runzas, refuses to eat at Runza restaurants. So I tried one for lunch, just to form an independent judgement. It was okay, but we do a far better hamburger and cabbage pie ourselves at home. Not least because we would use red cabbage.

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Went to Lake Minatare, which has a lighthouse. No idea why. Tight spiral staircase to the top, where there is a view that’s pretty much the same as at the bottom. But it was something different to do.

Found a spot under an awning to read my book until the afternoon thunderstorm blew up. Rained pretty hard while I was in the car looking for trees to get under in case of hail. There were reports of big hail in the area, but none where I was. That’s fine with me.

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Back to Gering to pick up Jacky, and we went out to the reunion picnic, well out of town, but at a very nice meadow with a pretty pond.

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Of course, I didn’t know anyone, but several of the significant others banded together and talked about topics unrelated to the good old days. Probably upward of a hundred people, bluegrass band (without excessive amplification!), the usual picnic fare, and a good time was had by all.

Gering

July 3, 2013

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Pictures of the kids climbing what has to be one of the best climbing trees I have ever seen, just outside Dorthey’s door.

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After breakfast, Jacky and I packed our computers and headed off for the library, which has wireless access — Dorthey’s apartment complex does not. Along the way, we stopped at the North Platte Valley museum. We’re not much on museums, but this one was pretty interesting.

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I show just one of many photos. These were wooden models for the foundry. Pretty elaborate.

We worked at the library until about noon, then walked back to Dorthey’s for lunch. Jacky stayed there, but I wanted to get out and look for small animals.

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I went to Wildcat Hills state recreational area, rough terrain, a mix of pine forest and scrubby grassland and bare white rock. Trails not very well maintained, lots of grass seeds in my socks, and not as much fun as it might have been.

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But I have been noticing ants on the yucca, and looking for aphid ranches. Today I saw a good example.

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And the high point of the hike, figuratively speaking, was seeing the beetle in the background in the process of sucking the juices out of its hapless victim, here in the foreground.