2017 Western Spring Fling travel blog

Today's route

I25 out of Douglas

I25 and US 26 again

Trails of history parallel US 26 in the North Platte River Valley

Views of the North Platte River Valley along US 26

BNSF tracks run alongside of US 26 in the valley with regular...

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

A Trump fan in Nebraska

Retro gas station

Winnie at Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing RV Park

Chimney Rock


Our route from Douglas took us down I25 to a point where US 26 splits off to follow the North Platte River valley. The highway also parallels the original paths of the Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Pioneer Trail. There are several locations along the way that provide opportunities to see the wagon ruts left from the thousands of prairie schooners that passed this way in the 19th Century on the way to Utah, California, and Oregon. After stoping at these location in several other states along these pioneer trails and never really seeing them, we decided to forgo the opportunity this time.

I had planned on stopping at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. We wanted to stop because we listen to Radio Classics on satellite radio and there is an old radio show called "Ft. Laramie". It used to air on CBS Radio as a Western series starring Raymond Burr as Captain Lee Quince. It depicted life at old Fort Laramie during the 19th Century. We pulled in to the Fort Laramie and I tried to start the generator but it wouldn't run. It was so hot that we couldn't leave the cat in the heat, so we decided to push on.

We stopped for the night at Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing RV Park. It's a small park near Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Chimney Rock was a prominent geologic formation used by the wagon trains as a land mark while moving along the Oregon Trail and other trails through the North Platte River valley. There used to be a town at the base of the formation until about 1922. The Nebraska State Quarter features a covered wagon headed west past Chimney Rock, commemorating Nebraska's role in westward migration.

I took a few pictures of Chimney Rock at sunset and was surprised to see that it is illuminated after the sun sets.

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