Monday, August 8
Trip Start Jun 12, 2005
41Trip End Aug 2005
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We thoroughly enjoyed Gering this morning. Our first stop was out at the Scottsbluff National Park where we toured another excellent Visitor's Center and view a show on the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail, both of which came right through the pass not far from the Center. We then drove to the top of the bluff where the view of the prairie in all directions was magnificent. I didn't see and Indians but I did see two covered wagons heading west. They were down at the Visitor's Center. I took lots of good pictures from the summit. We could just barely see Chimney Rock through the haze.
We next drove down to downtown Gering and proceeded to look for Uncle Will's house where Pat had visited some 40 years ago, and we found it after several attempts. Next we headed for the North Platte Area Historical Museum because I read that they had a sod house on display. We toured the sod house (they ruined it by plastering the inside walls), a log cabin (which had some very interesting furnishings, including a fold down bath tub with a built in water heater that was coal oil fired), and a Union Pacific caboose. As I was looking around in the caboose I spotted a framed photo of the roundhouse in Gering with all of the employees lined up for a very formal photograph. There was Pat's Uncle, Will Friend! I called down to Pat, who had decided she did not want to climb the caboose steps, and she soon was at my side verifying that the man in the photo was indeed her uncle Will. I tried unsuccessfully to photograph the photo but our tour guide said not to worry, he would take it in to the office where "the light would be better." When we finished our tour of the displays in the main building of the museum (which were wonderful) the lady at the entrance had a copy of the photo which she presented to Pat!
For that reason, as well as the exceptional quality of the museum's holdings, we thoroughly enjoyed our morning. After lunch at a friendly downtown sandwich shop, we took leave of Gering and headed twenty miles east to Chimney Rock - the famous Nebraska landmark. We photographed it from several spots, made a 30 minute stop at the Visitor's Center where we saw a good film on the Oregon Trail travelers, and were on our way to Sidney, Nebraska where we "toured" Cabella's store and stayed in their RV Park. The store was big, the wildlife displays were excellent, but it did not hold a candle to The Bass Pro store in Springfield, and I am not very biased.
I did not buy anything. I thought they were a bit too proud of their merchandise. Pat did some Christmas shopping and we were soon back in our trailer where we had a quiet evening and a good night.