- Depart Grand Island on a Monday in a modern, full sized four door PU or comfortable van.
- Follow the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway north and west from nearby Cairo and learn of the land and its people.
- Stop in Dannebrog, the Danish capital of Nebraska, browse the Pawnee Arts Center with its history of the Pawnees so prevalent here many years ago, purchase books written by local resident and historian Roger Welsh of CBS’ “Postcard from Nebraska” fame, and grab a cinnamon roll or a kolache from the Danish baker.
- Check out Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine near Scotia – what a view of the North Loup River Valley!
- Cassidy’s Backroad Barbeque and Grill near Elyria awaits us for lunch where your palate will be more than satisfied by fantastic beef brisket.
- Travel the half mile to Ft. Hartsuff State Historical Park following lunch and envision this well preserved fort in its hay day in the 1870’s.
- Next up is Evelyn Sharp Airfield, Ord, and learn of the history of Nebraska’s most famed aviatrix.
- We’ll “bed down” for the night at Calamus Outfitters northwest of Burwell, next to Calamus Reservoir, where we’ll experience their ranch hospitality and the adventures they have been showing people like us for years. We can take a jeep tour of the ranch and learn about what it takes to make a ranch “go” and provide a living for a family. We’ll get a really great home cooked dinner and get to listen to a real cowboy poet!
- Tuesday morning we’ll check out tanking on the Calamus River – one of those great streams flowing through the Sandhills
- Our next stop is a ranch near Brewster where you’ll be able to visit with the owner/manager regarding his purebred cattle operation and get to look eyeball to eyeball with some registered cows or bulls.
- Now we’ve moved on to the Middle Loup River for Tuesday lunch as we arrive at Uncle Buck’s in Brewster, the Blaine county seat town of about 20 people.
- After traveling through Dunning where the Dismal and the Middle Loup Rivers merge, we head down the “race” road toward Arnold and the “hard ground” canyon country.
- Next up is an Arnold/Callaway area ranch where you’ll become intrigued by the beautiful, different, canyon and cedar dotted terrain that covers this area of Nebraska. We’ll visit with the owner/manager about this central Nebraska hard ground ranching operation.
- At Gothenburg we’ll visit the well preserved, original Pony Express station, and stay at the Comfort Suites for the night. Wednesday morning, we’ll be treated to the Sod House Museum, just minutes away from the hotel, where you’ll be intrigued by not only the house itself, but really interesting items and information from Nebraska pioneer days.
- Now we move on to a ranch in the cedar hills and canyons southwest of Gothenburg where you’ll be inspired by this rough, hard ground, grass covered landscape that you may not have known existed in Nebraska. You’ll get to quiz the owner about the history of this ranch and what it takes to make it viable.
- The Great Platte River Road Archway near Kearney houses a great museum to find out tons about what this great Platte River Valley met in the 1800’s to those that traveled her trails. And it is highly entertaining, and yet rather succinct and very educating, audio-video tour of the history of this great road that opened up settling of the far west.
- Our final meal together will be a great one at the really unique Alley Rose eating establishment on the bricks in downtown Kearney. Who says one can’t find good crab cakes in Nebraska!!
- Following lunch, we’ll arrive Grand Island, our point of origin, at about mid-afternoon on Wednesday.
Thank you for checking out this itinerary! We believe you will enjoy this trip, and we know that we’ll enjoy having you along as we once again travel this great stretch of Nebraska that somehow seems to stay suspended in time.
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