Being retired has its advantages. When you go on a road trip you don't need a destination point. When you see something you want to stop and see you pull over and go se it.  When a road side historical sign or local information sign posted  along the highway stop and read it if you want. Some might call this free wheeling.

Mountains far awayCredit: dmackey

When you want to stop and take a picture you have the time. Many of the travelers I visit with have expressed a regret that they failed to stop and take a vista picture. The Sand Dunes of Wyoming are the largest in North America and though they may look desolate that have a beauty all their own.

We began our trip in Kansas leaving Abilene on a Friday morning. We traveled north to Minter, Nebraska to see the Pioneer Village. If you have never seen this place you are missing a large piece of history. For those of you who may not know what pioneer village is all about let me give you some of the high lights.

First there are the carriages of old, from surrey to buckboard. then the stage coaches, horse-drawn hearse, milk , meat and other delivery vehicles that were also horse-drawn. You get the feeling of the past if you are old and the for the younger people a good look at what it must have been like in years gone by.

Then you have buildings fill with cars from the 1800's thru to the 80's. There are cars from many different makers, not just Ford and Chevy. The cars older folks will remember learning to drive in. Maybe the car they took their sweetheart to the big dance in. Anyone who is a car buff needs to go here to visit.

There are 26 buildings of things to see. The modest entry fee is well worth the price. there are stables fill with memories of the past, cabins that look like they did when they were built, a school room, and much more. Don't pass this by.

From Minter we traveled to Kearney, NE where we spent time at the Great Plate River Road Arch. When you enter you are greeted by a man who looks like the old mountain men of the west. You travel back in time as you walk across the arch over  I 80 hwy. The mural of pioneers and the tale of their journey are spectacular. You are provided a set of head phones that relate the story as you pass from one scene to another. Each portion of the walk starts as you enter into the scene.

Outside you will see a statue of a very large Buffalo. great for taking pictures. There other things as well, a stockade with an observation tower, and a sod home used by settlers.

Great Platte River ArchwayCredit: dmackey MuralCredit: dmackeyentranceCredit: dmackeyThe buffaloCredit: dmackey


 Leaving Kearney we traveled west on highway 30 to North Platte where we saw a sign about the Buffalo Bill Cody Home. We found the home an interesting sight. Preserved in it's natual state with out buildings and a pond. We walked the grounds and learned some interesting facts about Buffalo Bill Cody that we didn't know.Buffalo Bill Cody MuseumCredit: dmackeyWe stopped in North Platte to see his home and learned about his travels but in Cody we toured his beautiful museum. 

When we left n\Nebraska we headed for South Dakota and Crazy horse Mountain. We had visited there 25 years earlier and were happily surprised by the progress.Crazy horseCredit: dmackeyfrom the deckCredit: dmackeyYou can only be amazed at the work one family has down to honor the Dakota nation. Starting with a pick and chisel , then using a compressor,  than was a reliable as the weather, and the use of dynamite to what it is today. The government offered to give him 10 million dollars twice and he refused. He did not want his idea ruined by politics. It is a must see in South Dakota.

Mt RushmoreCredit: dmackey

The Next morning we took in the Mount Rushmore park. In 1998 they began the improvements and added the new audtiorium and observation area. The entry now has a walk of flags from every state leading up to the viewing area. there are now paths to take you close to the works.

Mountain Pass snowCredit: dmackey

After MT Rushmore we traveled through the mountains to visit Deadwood and Sturgis. Our stop in Deadwood was interesting for one reason; every hotel had a casino. The old town of Deadwood is like the old west once was. The city has grown to now become a mecca for gamblers.

Sturgis is a bikers dream. There were no bike rallies or large contingents of bikers there , however if you closed your eyes you could almost see and hear the boisterist events of late August.

the Cody Museum was fasinating from the grounds to the interior.

Cody museumCredit: dmackey

From Sturgis we traveled to Cody Wyoming. We found a nice hotel just as you enter Cody. Right in front of the hotel was a vetrans memorial that was inspiring.

Buffalo statueCredit: dmackey A look at the reserve of Buffalo Bill codyCredit: dmackey

It was off to Yellowstone from Cody stay tuned for the next leg of our journey.