We travel the back roads of northeastern Colorado through the Pawnee National Grassland.
The grassland is located on the Colorado Eastern Plains, a part of the Great Plains. In the early 1900s the land was somewhat cultivated until the Dust Bowl of the 1930s depopulated the area. (en.m.wikipedia.org)
We enter the southwest panhandle of Nebraska via State Route 71…
and head east on State Route 92 toward the city of Bayard.
We spend the next 3 nights at Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing RV Park, just off 92 and 3 miles southwest of Bayard.
Chimney Rock is visible from the front of our RV.
At night the rock is lit up.
Our next door neighbor has the smallest RV we have ever seen. It’s really a tent on wheels with an electrical hookup. For awhile she had a tall and narrow teepee-like tent set up. A shower and portable potty? But the wind blew it over so she disassembled it.
I did some online research. The 4×8 unit is called a Runaway and can be equipped with air conditioning and television. Of course, everything is extra. YouTube has lots of videos too.
Notice all the stakes lined up around the old windmill below?
Each stake represents a reserved spot to set up a tent. This part of Nebraska will be in direct viewing of the solar eclipse on August 21st.
Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation that served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail in the mid-1800s. The peak of Chimney Rock is a little over 4,000 feet above sea level.
The first recorded mention of Chimney Rock was in 1827 by fur trader Joshua Pilcher. The Native Americans already living in this area, however, called this by a different name which meant elk penis.
Based on sketches, paintings, written accounts, and an 1897 photograph, Chimney Rock was taller when first seen by emigrating settlers. Erosion and lightning has since reduced its height. (en.m.wikipedia.org)
Courthouse and Jail Rocks
Courthouse and Jail Rocks are 2 more famous landmarks of western migration. Often called a “castle” or “solitary tower,” the name “courthouse” was first used in 1837.
Rising some 400 feet above the North Platte Valley, these 2 prominent rocks are composed of clay, sandstone, and volcanic ash. (historical marker plaque)
First impressions of Nebraska…
- Cornfields… duh, the Cornhusker State…
- Black-Eyed Susans
- Cows and more cows
- Trains blasting their horns ALL night