Nebraska Sandhills Journey

Marysville KS, Fairbury NE, Hebron, Worlds Largest Porch Swing, York, Aurora, Grand Island, Broken Bow, Thedford, Valentine, Mission, White River, Potato Creek, Interior

Came out of Marysville, KS and headed north off the Pony Express Trail and headed north on the Oregon Trail toward Nebraska. Stopped by the Worlds Largest Porch Swing at Hebron, NE. Went on up to Aurora, NE and stayed at their City Park and did a few days bike riding. Nice town and a great park.

From Aurora we traveled the Sandhills Journey Hwy up to Thedford, NE and headed north on the Blue Star Memorial Hwy. Found a nice Road Side Park and thought about staying the night, but with no cell service, we moved on to the Valentine’s City Park. After a night there we moved into town to the Wacky West Travel Park and spent the week end with full hook ups and waited to go to the “Bad Lands NP” during the week.

After checking out the “Cowboy Rail to Trail” in Valentine we moved on north into South Dakota and through the Rosebud Indian Reservation and onto White River. Then west to Potato Creek, then north to Interior, SD. and onto our next adventure.

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The Pony Express Trail

Salem, Rolla, Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Whiteman AFB, Higginsville, Hamilton, St. Joseph, The Flint Hills, Hiawatha, Kickapoo (KS) Reservation, Marysville

After a week we found ourselves on the Pony Express Trail in KS. The Flint Hills area lets us know we are back in KS and out on the plains. Flat and rolling hills as far as the eye can see, farm land and some live stock.

Landed in a the small town of Marysville. They boast the Home Station for the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail and their Black Squirrels. The squirrels are said to be the result of escapees from a traveling circus. Several Museums are here with lots of history about the Pony Express. A nice Rail to Trail bike trail just a couple miles out of town.

 

On our way to North Dakota

Seems like we have “Hitch Itch” again! Headed for Kansas and then strike out across Nebraska toward the “Bad Lands”. I think we are going to be taking Lois’ Brother with us. He has just retired and hoping we can help him learn the “Two Lane Life Style” we have come to embrace. I have a lot of small town camp grounds lined up. I will keep my “Find us in real Time” map updated and try to give reviews for places we stop.

I have pretty much said about all I can say about Echo Bluff State Park. Had not seen the Horses that frequent the camp ground since the one had given birth to a Colt in the middle of May. But they have arrived on the beginning of Memorial week end. And the little black Colt was the star of the show.

Echo Bluff State Park, MO

Current River SP, Montauk SP, Johnson’s Shut-Ins SP, Dillard Mill SHS, Akers Ferry, Devils Well, Pulltite Hollow, Wild Horses, Round Spring and Round Spring Cave

Echo Bluff State Park is far and away the nicest camp ground we have run across in our four years of being on the road. The most Tec savvy with a dedicated AT&T cell service right at the check station. And Wi-Fi that will run Netflix, yes Netflix. They have five Wi-Fi towers in a camp ground with 60 sites. All sites are reservable. Concrete pads and patios, showers, beautiful Hotel right across The Sinking Creek. They have a great Staff here that offers programs for kids and adult alike on a regular basis. There are also Wild Horses that frequent the camp ground and surrounding areas. This is southern Missouri, Mark Twin National Forest Country and is very hilly. I have visited with campers that say they will never drive the road in from the south again. But IMO if you drive slow and take your time it is a beautiful drive from the north or the south.

I snatched this drone picture of the park from a great guy I met here in the park, Andy Simons. He spent a week here four wheeling and bike riding the area and has a ton of photos on his Face Book site check them out, click his picture.
Echo Bluff State Park

March is too Early to be in Missouri!

We have traveled around Missouri to visit family and friends. Spent a few days back at the Lake of the Ozarks, getting some work done on the rig. And have arrived back at Echo Bluff State Park in southern Missouri for April and May.

Hwy 377 North

674, Rocksprings, 377, Junction, Wolf Caves, Rock Crawling, Brady, Brownwood, Stephenville, 281, Mineral Wells, Baker Hotel, 59, Selma Park, Bowie, 82, Tishomingo, Atoka, 63, Hartshorne, San Bois Mountains, 2, Robbers Cave State Park, 59, Stigler OK, Sallisaw Brushy Creek City Park, Lower Boston Mountains, The Ozark Plateau,

Climbed out of the escarpment where KCSP is and onto the Edwards Plateau, through Rocksprings then dropped down into Junction. The roads are good and the scenery is awesome. We stayed in the Junction City Park for three days. Moved on up 377 to Brady, TX. Richards City Park. A little rough but full hook ups and showers for $20 a night for 10 days. Very nice Historical Jail down town, great visit. Then up to Stephenville, nice city park with Elect, Water and dump station for 10 days at $15 a night. Nice bike trail and city streets to ride our bikes on. Mineral Wells is a big little town with an amazing old Hotel. Made our way Bowie and stayed at the Selma Park. Little rough no water but great electric and a lake. We tried the Tishomingo City Park, only to find out there was no Electric so we moved on to a Walmart at Atoka. If you want to be adventurous follow us east on OK Hwy 63 east out of Kiowa to Hartshorne! Another name sake town! Then we moved into the San Bois Mountains to Robbers Cave State Park to find they had too much Electric!! All sites pegged out our meter. So back to our old faithful Walmart at Stigler OK. RCSP has everything but electric wish we could have stayed more than a day, very nice place. We went on to Brushy Creek City Park, a few miles off Hwy 59 but well worth it. Good electric, water, Wifi, and showers $15. If you think of Oklahoma as being flat, try OK Hwy 2 and 59! Another fast run 15 days from KCSP Texas to St Louis, MO.

We have “Hitch Itch” again!

Addax Antelope, Mouflon Sheep, Scimitar Oryx, Red Deer, Gemsbok Antelope, Corsican Sheep, Sika Deer, Blesbok Antelope, Axis Deer, Gran’s Zebra, Elk, Blackbuck Antelope, Wild Boar,

We have had a great two months at Kickapoo Cavern, but we are ready to move on. Headed North again to see the “Momma” and hoping to summer in North Dakota this year.

This year we where lucky enough to be in the right places to view the “Total Eclipse of the Sun” and my second “Total Eclipse of the Moon”!

We also had a brush fire in the park this month. Was interesting to watch young men with Viet Nam Era military equipment fighting the fire. Mostly hard work with hand tools.

This month the sun came back again and we are having the weather the way we like it, warm in the day time and cool at night. Kickapoo has dark skies, peace and quiet, lots of walking trails, beautiful views and a great way to re-connect with nature.  There are two neat little towns with in 40 miles, good for day trips. Del Rio and Uvalde are 60 miles away.  Devil’s Sinkhole is near the town of Rock Springs and is well worth seeing. Plus they have a restaurant called “The Jail House” that serves “Road Kill”, not sure what road it is killed on, but mighty tasty. Must be the way they cook it. And, the drive from the park to Rock Springs is amazing.This month we started taking long road trips and have found some interesting areas near by. One is Camp Wood and it looks to be very nice. It is on the East Nueces River at the end of the Nueces Canyon, part of the Three Twisted Sisters Trail. I understand The Big Oaks RV Park is the place to be.

One Saturday night the Park Manager and his Wife took us over the boarder to Ciudad Acuna for dinner. We where kids the last time we went over the border and it was a great time. Something we would not have done with out our chauffer and interrupter. Barber Shops and Dentist Offices on every corner.

Now that I am back on the grid again I will be posting more often. And I want to thank Alan and the Gang at KCSP for making our stay an experience we will always cherish.

Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Texas

Stuart Bat Cave, Seargeant Memorial Trail, Barbado Ridge Trail, The Long Way Home Trail, Pine Canyon Loop, Vireo Vista Trail, Armadillo Lookout Trail, Bee Cave, Chert

We arrived at Kickapoo Cavern to find an Artic Cold Front that tested our rig down to 16 degrees one morning and three days of below freezing temperatures during the day. This place is remote and has one land line and internet at the office. Small campground that has been in operation since 2010.
Its very interesting here, quiet and calm. As you walk through the hills, its like my ears are ringing with silence. As I hear the wind blowing up from the valley’s one foggy morning, I can see the fog rolling up over the brush. The wind here has a different kind of sound to it that I can not really describe. I think I am hearing a sound as if its possibly a car coming, only to see the sound is coming from a lone tree. I can understand how long ago people might feel the land is talking to them.
This month has been pretty dreary as its been colder than normal. Even on warmer days the wind has a bite to it. Guess I have gotten soft in my old age. I have added a couple videos on our Movie Page to try and give you a feel for the place. We find this place to be fascinating as are with most new places we go to. This places has only a few full hook up sites and very remote. It has very dark sky and quiet trails to hike. You can hike level trails in the valleys or climb up the rocky hillsides. Bike trails are available but only about five miles of paved roads. Hunting for an undiscovered cave or sink hole is for sure on the list of adventures. The cavern is really unique, totally unimproved so it is kind of a hard trek, but totally worth it. The total darkness is amazing, the guide said that if you stayed in the darkness for two weeks you would become totally blind. Nothing I would want to try! We are waiting for warmer weather to try to see any porcupines, they are suppose to be in the bat cave but like I say, been too cold to see them.

Uvalde, Texas

Showboat Drive-In, Newman’s Castle, Newmans Backery, Suzie Q’s Saloon, Bastrop State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Purgatory Creek, Canyon Lake, Guadalupe River, Potters Creek,Boerne, Pipe Creek, Bandera, Red Horse Saloon, Tarpley, Seco Pass, Utopia, Garner State Park, Concan,

A week at Tomball and we had rain and gloomy weather for six of the seven days. Did some remodeling on the rig and hanging out. We did have a day of sunshine on Lois’ Birthday and we got to do a much needed bike ride.
Spent a day at McKinney Falls State Park, went on the Onion trail and seen the waterfalls.
Moved on to Canyon Lake COE for Christmas and Lois made a wonderful Christmas Dinner and we spent the day counting deer roaming the park.
All month it has been cold, everything from rain to snow. Has not been ideal for exploring as we travel. But on our last day before we made it to Kickapoo Caverns we traveled West from Canyon Lake to Boerne, Bandera, Tarpley and Utopia. Through the southern end of the Hill Country and had a great ride through ranch country where we seen a lot of exotic animal ranches with animals we have no clue what there names would be, but we have some great pictures.
See Video (Hill Country Trail) on our “Movie” page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Wishing to all our Family, Friends we have met in our travels and fellow Travelers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We are still happy and healthy and back in Texas again!