Posts Tagged With: Nebraska Passport Place

Mellow Monday: Relaxing across Nebraska: Prairie Grounds Cafe & Gifts in Broken Bow

I just got back yesterday from a great girl’s week-end (our church’s women’s retreat up at Mahoney State Park).  So, yesterday at this time, I was just getting up.  (As opposed to waking up over two hours ago like today).  And I was anticipating a hot breakfast with friends.  (I did get to bring some leftovers home and at least had the pumpkin cream cheese French toast going for me this morning!).   And while there is nothing too hectic or upsetting about today, I am wishing I could be completely irresponsible and spend the morning drinking warm drinks and reading a book.  And if I lived a bit closer, one place would be my destination.  Prairie Grounds Cafe and Gifts.

Prairie Grounds Entrance

We intended on going in and out in a hurry, just to get our Nebraska Passport stamp.  But when we entered, I suddenly was wishing that we had several hours to spend in Broken Bow.  And that my husband would have a longing to spend several random hours with the kids in an unfamiliar town, so that I could just soak in the cozy environment.

Prairie Grounds booths

We had just eaten a picnic at the park, so I did not look too closely at the menu.  (I know they had soups and sandwiches).  Dessert on the other hand … their homemade treats are created in the back along with a varied selection of drinks.  Chelsie was the chef that day, and we left with a few of her cookies and an apple cinnamon scone.  Yum!  (They also carry a line of gluten free items,  which can be hard to find in smaller towns, but those are made elsewhere.)

Prairie Gounds interior

This warm and inviting living area was in one corner of the place.  Most of the items were for sale, but they all add to welcoming atmosphere.  Sitting inside this room with hot cocoa and a good book watching the snow fall would be lovely indeed.  (Until it was time to go home, but …)

I almost missed the best part of the place.  Thankfully friendly Mary Ann, who was working at the counter that day, told me that she had to show me the backyard.

Prairie Gounds courtyard

The owners have a created a bit of paradise that would be perfect for whittling away a beautiful sunny day.  This picture only captures part of the patio area which included tables for two, so you can dine with a friend.  The next time I make it to Broken Bow, I will be going there with intention.  And with several hours to spare, so I can actually get to soak up the serenity!

P.S. This lovely location is a part of the Nebraska passport program, so if you are close enough, definitely stop by today to get a stamp AND a treat!  And if your family participated in the Nebraska Passport program, the program is ending for the year.  The entries must be postmarked today: September 30, 2013.

Categories: Cornhusker Cuisine, Eating Establishments, Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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