Posts Tagged With: Crawford Nebraska

Toadstool Geologic Park: Unexpected Landforms in Nebraska

For many people, their Nebraska experience has been only traveling through along Interstate 80.  Still beautiful land, but these flat long stretches only tell part of the story of Nebraska’s landscape.  Only in going around to many regions does one truly understand what makes up Nebraska’s landscape.  One such place of rarely seen beauty is Toadstool Geologic Park.

Toadstool Park 1

Some of have compared this destination as to what it might be like to be on the moon.  With better air quality of course. 🙂

Toadstool Park 2

Hiking about is fairly easy on their well marked trails.  If you are in good physical shape or are a climber, you could even forge your own path.

Toadstool Park 7

A dry creek bed is another good place to wander and experience the park.  Evidently if it rains, you need to abandon that path fairly quickly.  The water could move you along faster than you intended on traveling.

Toadstool Park 3

One other fun place to explore is the sodhouse that was moved on to the property.

Toadstool Park 5

This gave me an idea as to what being an early Nebraska settler possibly would have been like.  During the summer, hot and blistering would have been the feel.  During the winter, you would have been stuck.  In fact, even today, this part of Nebraska basically shuts down as roads can quickly become impassable.  You were truly hardy to live in this country.

Toadstool Park 4

Diagrams help to visualize the effort needed to construct this house.

Toadstool Park 6

The interior was surprisingly sunny.  Obviously you also would have had great views of this interesting landscape.

Toadstool Park 8

Exploring this region is something I hope we can do again when our kids are a bit older.  This time two of them stayed in the car with other family members and did not really even get to explore.  Partially due to the heated temperatures that day, but the distance between two points is a bit longer than it seems like it should be as well.  You do want to bring with water and sunscreen!  To camp overnight, the cost is only $5, and the day usage fee is $3.  Well worth it for the adventures that can entail!


Categories: Family Outings, Panhandle, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Photography: Homestead High Plains in Living Color

I had fun experimenting with both my camera and my cell phone when I was taking photographs around the High Plains Homestead.  So, while I will end up with several entries about the place, each one shows a different angle or viewpoint.  And even though four blog posts (including the one I wrote previously) seems like a lot, since I do not plan to write very much, hopefully you can breeze through them (or save them for another day!)  And if you have an opinion as to which style of photographs suit the place the best, I would be interested in reading your comments.

High Plains Homestead View

The view across the road.

Color High Plains Post Office

The interior contained mail boxes and everything!

Color High Plains Kitchen

Kitchen Collection of another day …

Color High Plains Mercantile side

Side of the mercantile.

Color High Plains Jesus the Good Shepherd

I would enjoy having this “Jesus the Good Shepherd” photograph gracing our home even today!

Color High Plains sheriff and jail house

You’re in the jailhouse now …

Color High Plains Mercantile

More than your average souvenir shop …

Color High Plains Farm Implements

Farm implements of yesteryear …

Color High Plains View of the Street

A stroll down the short boardwalk …

Color High Plains Nature Collections

One could leave with a bit of nature (for sale in a shed …)

Color High Plains Windmill

The beauty of the Nebraska panhandle!

Categories: Friday Photography, Nebraska History, Nebraska Passport, Panhandle, Photography, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flashback Friday: High Plains Homestead: The Old West in Western Nebraska

Before we went up to Northwest Nebraska, we had made a list of places we wanted to see.  The High Plains Homestead almost made the cut, but one of the reasons the location was removed was because I was not exactly  sure where the place could be found.  But as we were making the gravel drive out to Hudson-Meng Bison Boneyard, suddenly signs informed us that we were almost to the Homestead.  I convinced my family to stop, and none of us were disappointed.

Homestead Livery

Initially I had thought that the High Plains Homestead was merely a place to eat or to spend the night.  They were so much more than that.  Using the wood from old abandoned buildings as well as rebuilding some of the buildings on site, a new “old” town emerged on the plains.  We ended up spending a few hours here (including come back from lunch).  We explored much of the town, but there was so much more that I am sure that we missed.

Homestead 2 youngest by the jail

My kids LOVED putting their uncles and aunt into the jail.  And they were all good sports and went over AND over AND over again!  (Thanks. guys!)  The mercantile, schoolhouse and saloon were rebuilt on site using original buildings from the area.  The remaining places were built using the lumber from abandoned buildings to maintain the “old” feel that was wanted in the “town.”

High Plains award wall

Because of their meticulous approach to setting up their homestead, the owners, Mike and Linda Kesselring, have won several awards.   I was able to talk to the owners a little bit, although I would have enjoyed talking to them even longer.  How they have gone about creating the High Plains Homestead is fascinating.  They are continuing to look to expand their “site” and have other notifying them when other area abandoned buildings are available to move that would fit in with their place.

Homestead High Plains Gun collection

Behind every object is a story.  Many items have been donated to the Homestead by families who want to see their history continue to be on display.  Our boys noticed the guns (I have to say that I missed them.)  They happen to be the owner’s guns from childhood.  Evidently when you went to birthday parties or even to get your haircut, you would leave with a cap gun.  So his collection is on display – in the sheriff’s office of course.

I appreciate the mission of the High Plains Homestead (taken directly from their website).

High Plains Homestead, LLC is a private, family owned, business dedicated  to providing all visitors and customers a quality, rural western experience through good food, hospitality, and education that is inviting, safe, fun, informative and draws an appreciation for the area and the generations of people who have inhabited the NW Nebraska grasslands and badlands.

And the “Dirt Roads” essay on their contact page is definitely worth reading.  I hope that we can return to the High Plains Homestead again someday and see all the progress that they will continue to make.  And by the way, they serve a mean buffalo burger!  (Next time, I want to try the Indian taco though – watching my son eat his plateful confirmed that will be my next selection!)  If you are up in Northwest Nebraska, go to the High Plains Homestead.  Definitely worth the drive!


Categories: Flashback Fridays, Nebraska History, Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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