Friday, September 29, 2023

Trinity Heights

Trinity Heights is a quiet garden with winding walkways, benches, a little stream, trees, and Catholic religious statues. The most impressive ones are the 33' Jesus, the 30' Mary, and the life size hand-carved Last Supper. 
The paved walkways are accessible but some of the interpretive signs are at an angle that makes them hard to see from a seated position. The St. Joseph Center-Museum, where the Last Supper is located, is accessible.
The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Trinity Heights   42.52796, -96.37838  

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Windmill Collection

 Over two dozen restored antique windmills sit on a narrow grassy strip of land sandwiched between US 20 and the Gill Hauling landfill.  The windmill collection is a pet project of Leonard Gill, the owner of the landfill, who wanted to beautify the landfill entrance. Many of the windmills have interpretive signs.

The windmills can be seen without leaving your vehicle. It's also possible to walk (which we didn't do) around the property for a closer look but rolling may be difficult due to the thick grass.

Parking is along the landfill entry road. There may not be enough room to turn a large RV around when landfill is closed and gated. Windmills  42.46965, -96.61048



Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Laurel City Park

Laurel's a small town of fewer than 1000 people but it has a variety of businesses that are supported by the surrounding rural community so it has a healthy economic base and a recently renovated downtown. The city park is located on the east side of the town and has five campsites with electric hookups. The park also has restrooms, a picnic shelter, and a playground. The city office where you go to pay for the campsite is about a quarter of a mile north. 

 The parking pads are fairly wide. I was able to use my lift  and keep my wheelchair on the asphalt. Rolling around in the park may be difficult due to grassy, lumpy ground. The walk/roll to the city office is over level ground. The sidewalks are not accessible however there's so little traffic in town that rolling along the streets is fine. 

The parking pads are about 45' long. Park  42.42751, -97.08769


Monday, September 25, 2023

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

12 million years ago rhinos, horses, camels, deer, turtles, and birds all shared a waterhole in what is now northeastern Nebraska. A volcanic eruption to the west sent up a dense cloud of ash which settled over the waterhole and caused the animals to die of lung failure from inhaling volcanic ash. As the ash drifted into low spots the animal bones were covered and preserved.  A slow moving river then deposited sand over the ash until the bones were buried under many feet of accumulated ash, sand and dirt. In 1971  a paleontologist spotted a skull eroding out of a gully and by 1979 students from the University of Nebraska had unearthed hundreds of fossils. 

The site has a small visitor center, a building with interactive displays for kids, paved trails, and the Rhino Barn.

The main fossil bed is covered by the Rhino Barn, an18,000-square-foot building, that protects the uncovered fossils and the grid of ash that has not yet been excavated. During the summer visitors can watch students at work and get answers to questions. Drawing of the animals and interpretive panels line the walls. Video screens display overhead views of the bones. 

Like other Nebraska State Parks, Ashfall has an entrance fee and an additional fee to visit the buildings which makes it pretty expensive but this is such a unique site that it's well worth the fees. 

The visitor center is accessible. Follow the signs on the paved trail for the accessible route which leads to the upper level of the Rhino Barn. Continue on the trail as it switchbacks to the lower level. Retrace your path back to the visitor center and the building with displays for kids. The nature trails are not accessible.

The parking lot has two spaces for RVs. Park  42.42169, -98.15569


Friday, September 22, 2023

Grove Lake WMA Camping

 Most of the time I check campgrounds on Google satellite view to see the distance between campsites, the tree coverage, and the sites that might have good views. This one looked like it was just a dirt lot so when we came to a Y in Grove Lake Road we went to the left and camped in a pull out with a nice lake view. The next day we went in the other direction and found a great little campground - trees, easy access to the water, boat ramp, some lake views, and vault toilets. And free!

The ground is hard packed so rolling is fairly easy, The tables have extended tops.

Some of the sites are large enough for most RVs. Lake  42.37116, -98.11719


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Valentine City Park

Day use and campsites share the entire park so there aren't any numbered sites - just find a spot that you like, set up camp, fill out the fee envelope, and drop it in the box.. We were a little worried about insects because the environment is very similar to the two campsites where we were attacked by no see ums - lots of trees and close to water - but mosquitos at dusk were the only nuisance bugs. :) 

The park has a playground, restrooms with showers, picnic tables, disc golf, and a short trail. Local people drive through the park during the day. We figure that there isn't much to do in rural Nebraska so this is their entertainment. Very quiet at night. 

The ground is hard so rolling is fairly easy. The tables have a bit of an overhang. The trail is not accessible but the roads can be rolled along. We did not check the restrooms or showers for accessibility.

There are a few spots where any size RV will fit but most are fairly small. Some of the trees have low branches so use caution. It's hard to tell in this photo but the branches on this tree were so low that we turned around rather than risking driving under it. Park  42.88649, -100.54612

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Cody City Park

Cody is a tiny town with less than 200 people but they have a nice little park with a dump station and full hookups RV sites. The restrooms are not opened. Our camping neighbor told us to just put our money in the box and not worry about the missing envelopes.

It was a super hot day so we decided to try the only restaurant in town, Cody's Husker Hub, expecting mediocre food and hoping for good air conditioning. The air condition was just adequate but the food exceeded our expectations. The Hub is roomy with a good number of tables and booths and a bar along one side. Everything is squeaky clean and well maintained. The food is basic - hamburgers, hot sandwiches, french fries, and other breaded and fried food but it's all fresh and the fryer oil is changed regularly. Best fries we had in years. :) 

The ground is rough grass so rolling to the picnic tables in the park area may be difficult.  

There are only four RV sites but I think that parking anywhere along the north and south sides of the park would be find. The sites are long enough for most RVs. Park  42.93524, -101.24538



Monday, September 18, 2023

Bowring Ranch State Historical Park

Both Arthur and Eve Bowring were active in politics. Arthur served a term in the Nebraska State Senate and another term in the Nebraska House of Representatives. Eve was US Senator for six months when she was appointed to fill a vacancy. But their real love was the ranch that Arthur homesteaded in 1894. Eve continued to run the ranch after Arthur's death in 1944. Upon her death in 1985 the property was donated to the state of Nebraska to preserve the history of Sandhill ranching in a park setting.

The site has a small museum with exhibits on the Bowrings, homesteading, ranching, and native wildlife. Guided tours of the family home and a replicated sod house are usually available but the house is undergoing restoration so tours have been discontinued until the work is completed. 

This park has the same fee structure as Fort Robinson State Park which we visited earlier. With the high daily entrance fee and the additional museum/tour fee, we did not think it is worth the price. The fees were waived for us most likely because the second floor of the museum is not accessible and the house was closed.

 The first floor of the museum is accessible. I don't know if the house is accessible. 

The parking lot is large enough for any RV. The dirt access road is in good condition but is very dusty. Park  42.95698, -101.67732


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Bordeaux WMA Boondocking

The primary purpose of  Nebraska Wildlife Management Areas is to protect wildlife habitat for public hunting and fishing, however they are also opened for many other activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and primitive camping. Regulations.  

The area of the Bordeaux WMA where RVs are permitted is a large gravel and grass lot with a few trees that provide shade. We did not check to see if the gate opened enough to provide wheelchair access to the dirt road. 

There's plenty of room for any size RV to park and turn around. WMA  42.80712, -102.8989