This week we did spend a lot of time racing across interstate highways. It bothers me a bit because parts of our beautiful country are beginning to look alike with all the super malls and the same line-up of fast food places. Our saving grace was a pile of audiobooks. They sure help us concentrate on other things. It turned out to be okay as we were eager to get back to the West. We did manage to take a couple of side trips that we quite enjoyable.
Our first side trip was in Nebraska. We got off the interstate and went south to see, first, a small national park that celebrated the National Homestead Act of 1862. This was the law which offered free land, 160 acres, to a head-of-household and family who would live and farm to land for five years. The quilt you see above honors hangs in the museum to honor the people who came to these lands.
Further west of the National Homestead Park we visited Red Cloud, Nebraska. This is a small town that celebrates the home of Willa Cather. Cather is still well loved in this area. Her childhood home that you see above is marked and cared for by a Cather Foundation.
Many other homes in this little town are well cared for too. This one is the Harling’s house. It featured well in Cather’s book My Antonia. The town also features a restored opera house/theater and below it is an excellent book store featuring works by and about this favorite author. Oh yes, I managed to leave a substantial donation at the book store.
Because we were ahead of schedule, we took an extra two days to go up to northwestern Wyoming and visit an old favorite – Grand Teton National Park. This is a sentimental favorite of Jay’s and mine because this was where we spent our honeymoon. We’ve been back numerous times over the years and are hoping to hold a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration here in 2014l. We’ve never been to the mountains this late in the year. As you can see from the picture, there was very little snow left on the mountains. The Tetons are the mountains featured in my Favorite Places button at the top of this post. That shows a more normal look at the mountain range with plenty of snow.
From here we are headed to Portland, Oregon where we will spend a week with our eldest daughter’s family. We love them and Portland so it will be a great time for all of us. I’ll share that segment of our roadtrip with you next Sunday.