Apache Camper Blog

  • Published on Mar 26, 2015
    Our "state-cation" in Nebraska

    My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively, but as we were looking for places to visit last year it came up in our discussion that I had never seen Lake McConaughy, never seen Chimney Rock, or seen most of the smaller towns and byways of Nebraska.

    As luck would have it, I broke my foot last summer, and it was becoming necessary to get off of it for a week, so we took the opportunity to take an RV out and do a loop of Nebraska.  No matter what exotic place we travel to, there is never anything quite so sweet as seeing our home state, and this was our golden opportunity to see some of the sights. 

    We left Labor Day weekend on that Sunday to catch an outdoor concert at Digs in Norfolk, and the following day, took the camper on what turned out to be one of the best adventures of our lives.  We traveled from Norfolk to Merritt Reservoir, and found a campsite right on the water.  We were set up just in time for a late summer thunderstorm which lasted for about 45 minutes.  What happened after the clouds cleared was one of the most beautiful sights we had seen.  The sun began setting under the last of the low hanging clouds, creating colors and an intense light show topped by a rainbow.  The next morning, we ate breakfast, and then decided to take a leisurely drive across the dam and through the rest of the campground.  A landscape with surprises around every corner. 

    We traveled then to Chadron State Park – a beautiful spot, and decided to drive the path to the scenic overlook where you can see the Black Hills.  After that trip up to the overlook, we decided in the future to make sure to research a the size of the roads a little better….We were driving a Class C motohome, and realized with an approaching car that the road was one way in and one way out – and only wide enough for a single vehicle.  I had visions of the movie RV in my head as we inched by the oncoming vehicle.  We made it to the top, enjoyed the incredible view and headed back down where we continued on to Fort Robinson State Park.  Luckily for us, with Labor Day over, we were able to get a campsite at every campground without reservations, and had a prime spot every night. 

    After Fort Robinson, we stopped by Carhenge and Chimney Rock.  Carhenge is definitely someplace that you need to see, whereas Chimney Rock is someplace that you need to experience.  To see the history, go through the museum and imagine the travels of the early pioneers was inspiring.  I am so glad that we had that opportunity.

    We then drove through Minatare and saw the lighthouse which was totally unexpected on my part.  My husband had seen it as a child and wanted to share that with me.  We went onward from there to Ogallalla and Lake McConaughy.  We camped on the water (in the campground), but others were actually dry-camping on the sands of the beach.  Idyllic and peaceful.  While the weather was cold and rainy, it was  amazing to see a lake of that size in Nebraska.  The next morning, we drove around the campground and the lake, and my husband showed me where his family camped during the summers of his youth.  Not much had changed except the passage of time.  The visitor’s center there is a definite must see on your stop.  I learned so much that I had never known about.    

    We continued on to camp in Kearney while we were checking the progress of our new store, and then headed home to Omaha.  1600 miles of completely stress free camping – that is what being an RV’er is all about.

    This year, our plan is to do the southern circuit of Nebraska – I can’t wait to see what we find along the byways and highways.  I am already looking forward to it.

    The moral of this tale is to take the time to discover Nebraska – your children will never forget the sights they see – the wildlife, the history, and the wonderful little towns along the way.  We live in a place that needs to be treasured and discovered.  Camp Nebraska!  For a great website to discover Nebraska, go to http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Nebraska/Things_To_Do-Nebraska-TG-C-1.html



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