I realized the other day that we’ve been home from our trip for almost two solid weeks, and I’ve yet to write about it. Because it would be a ridiculously long blog entry to write about the entire weekend, I’ve decided to split it into many small entries. Also, some of the pictures I’m including are ones I took with my phone, hence the really super-duper poor quality. The ones I took with my actual camera are just a regular level of bad.
Back at the beginning of August, the boy mentioned to me that since we both had Labor Day weekend off, he thought we should go somewhere. I was in agreement, because I greatly enjoy getting to travel. Turned out, the biggest challenge was deciding which direction to head, but finally we agreed on Colorado.
So, when I got off of work on Friday (8/29), we headed west from Omaha. Around midnight-1 a.m.-ish we rolled into Hastings and once we got to my grandma’s, we crashed for the night.
Saturday, we got up and continued our journey. Our first stop was in North Platte, at a little tourist trap right off the interstate.
See, I’m not kidding!
If you’ve ever driven down I-80, or are from the North Platte area, the Trading Post is a familiar sight.
When I was growing up, every summer we’d come home to Nebraska for a visit, and getting to visit the fort was one of the highlights of the yearly trip. Since I am big into nostalgia, and am also determined that the boy is going to be exposed to all the weird, wonderful things I know of, visiting the trading post was a no-brainer.
It’s a bit hard to describe this place to someone who’s never been there. Basically, it’s a mini-museum with a giant gift shop. There’s a big miniature display of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
It’s a bit hard to tell (thanks to my “wonderful” camera on my phone), but behind that glass are thousands of carved wooden figures that are all depicting the Wild West show. Plus, it’s all on a motorized system, so every half hour you actually get to see everything move and there’s a bit of narration to explain what you’re seeing. It’s pretty interesting.
Cowboy hats with attached tiaras are just a sampling of the awesomeness available in the store.
Once we had our fill of the Trading Post, we continued our journey west. As we were leaving North Platte, the question arose of which direction we should head to get to Denver. Now, for those who don’t know, there are three main ways to get to Colorado from Nebraska. There’s dropping south into Kansas and heading west. However, that’s a pretty boring drive. The same can be said for option number two. If you go west on I-80 through Nebraska, and go on I-76 into Colorado, about the only scenery you’ll see is construction. Not terribly exciting. We opted for option number 3. Going west to Cheyenne and dropping south from there.
This really is a beautiful drive.
These pictures are what happens when I’m not driving, and my camera has battery life. For those who think that Nebraska is only flat and boring, these pictures serve to prove that thought process wrong. I took these in the panhandle, as we were nearing the Nebraska/Wyoming border. (The traffic cones and windshield bug splat prove we really were on a road trip!)
And now, I come to then end of part 1. Up next…Cheyenne and really craptacular “Mexican” food.