Thursday, May 27, 2021


The Archway, Kearney, NE

We got news tonight that our granddaughter Emma received a big honor.  She will be entering 9th grade and high school next year. 

The have a huge band department in their school system with a marching band, and 3 different concert bands that require auditions.  She is going to be in the marching band and she was selected to be in Wind Ensemble,  which is comprised mostly of, if not all, upper classmen, Juniors and Seniors.  Emma was the only Freshman selected and maybe the first one ever selected.  She is an amazing young lady, as beautiful inside as out, very kind, and has worked so hard at her music.  She is interested in becoming a band teacher.  Congratulations Emma on becoming 1 of only 3 auto sax players in the Wind Ensemble.  We are so proud of you!❤

Oh Emma, where has the time gone?  


Wednesday's drive took us to Lamar, Colorado. Thank you Walmart for allowing us to park overnight.  We were able to stock up for our next destination.  

We usually take Interstate or the largest road available to make our drives easier.  Today we were on some smaller roads and went through a couple of small towns that deserve a note.

Monday night a tornado went through our first town, Seldon, KS.  38 properties had major damage.  They were, of course, still cleaning up.  If I were them I would have been a little nervous today as there was a storm looming ahead of us.  I was a little nervous.  Fortunately we turned left at the wind farm and headed south avoiding the storm.

It didn't look promising ahead.

We took a break at Oakley where we found the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center.  Here they celebrate the birthplace of the legend of Buffalo Bill Cody.  He was born in Iowa but Buffalo Bill and Medicine Bill Comstock had a Buffalo shooting contest for 2 opposing Forts and Cody won the bragging rights.

We came to another community called Monument, actually the defunct Railroad station there had been named that after nearby Fort Monument. The grade was too steep at the station so a couple of miles away was the siding, which came to be called Monument Siding and actually was Ennis City.  Here is the interesting part. Ennis City was platted by John B. Ennis, an attorney from, of all places, my home town Ottumwa, IA.


In the mid 1800's the Oregon, Morman and California Trails converged on the Great Platte River Road, which covered nearly 800 miles in Nebraska and Wyoming.

The Archway, located 3 miles east of Kearney, NE, tells the story of Nebraska and the Platte River Valley in the development of America. It spans nearly 300 feet above Interstate 80.  

At the museum there was an audio tour telling the story of the pioneers and adventurers that were looking for gold or maybe a better life.  We spent about an hour and a half walking through the exhibits and beautiful murals.

The Archway was about 2 hours from our stop for the night Tues. and cost $11 for seniors.  It was right off I-80, easy to get to,  and had pull through parking for big rigs. It had a gift shop of course,  an outdoor maze and what looked like a playstructure for kids, and hiking/biking trails nearby.

Signature rock

Chimney Rock was a landmark for pioneers.

This is how many covered wagons ended up looking like.  Some were abandoned while others had to toss out some of their belongings in order to reach their destination.

We arrived at Branded Cedar Campground at Prarie Dog State Park in Norton, Kansas at 3:00 .  The drive wasn't as long as Monday but we had spent a couple of hours at Kearney.  Poor internet reception at the campground so we traveled into Norton to zoom with Josh and the grandkids tonight (Zia was gone).  We all shared some jokes.  What is a pirate's favorite letter?  A"r"rr.  There was water and electric so we enjoyed air-conditioning.  One more night on the road and we get to stay put for a few days.

They did not like the motor home and they all ran and hid.  There were little mounds all over this area.


  1. We've gone under the archway in Nebraska in the past but never stopped. Usually we were trying to get to or from Colorado in a (long driving) day but our long driving days are done. We can barely handle the 7 hour drive to Wichita now. 🙂

    1. I told Pat that in order to put a sticker on our map we have to do something besides spend the night in a state. The night before there wasn't anything close to see so I picked this the next day before we left the state.

    2. We try not to go much over 200-250 miles in a day if we can help it. We don't have to rush and we get tired. Driving the RV is tiring too especially since I don't drive it