Friday, September 29, 2023

Little Bluestem Stop 24 pg. 26

It's really nice to see another repurposed, old downtown building in a small town.  As in others we've seen, they have done considerable work renovating it.  The bakery is in a pretty small display case, but they have a nice sized menu for breakfast and lunch.  Plus, plenty of coffee choices.  Since we were a bit late, after lunch, the bakery goods were probably sold out by then.

The staff is super friendly and pleasant to visit with.  There are a good number of seats not all showing in the photo below.  There is an interesting building across the street.  I was visiting with a customer about it.  She said it was a grocery store before its current use and a bank before that.  To me it looks like it was originally a nice hotel.  

 Legacy of the Plains Stop 22 pg. 46

Pretty nice background for a lineup of old farm machinery.  There is a lot out there so I had to cut it off somewhere so I chose to keep Scottsbluff National Monument in the photo.

We didn't have time to enter the main part of the museum.  This part of the building is pretty small compared to the museum.  One of the most interesting things was this display of the history of farming.

I have to come back here next year when we're around Gering for the Nebraska Passport.  Having seen what I have, it is going to need about 2 hours for a decent tour.  Even better, I'll try to time our visit for when they are having one of the monthly events.

Grain Bin Antique Town Stop 45 pg. 10

What a unique antique store (stores?).  Very interesting place.  Not only is everything filled with antiques, but all the bins are antiques, as well, and they're original, too.  It is located a few miles south of North Platte and in spite of its location, there were a bunch of people there when we were.  

Even the floors are original.  There are 20 of these bins and each one has a theme for what you will find inside.  One of the most surprising things about this is that none of them are crowded.

Very easy to walk around inside and browse.  Since they are so roomy you don't have to be nervous about knocking something off a shelf like some antique stores.

The main building is also loaded the same way, lots of space to walk around.  There is an upstairs, as well.  As I might have mentioned before, I'm not much of an antique shopper but even I found some things of interest.  I found an old garden weeder that I bought for Tracy.  It looked like it might work pretty good in sandy soil.  I used plenty of old tools when I was young and helping my grandmother in her garden, but I never saw one of these.

Cindy found something interesting.  Purses made from old book covers!  Who thinks of these kinds of things???

Double L Country Store Stop 25 pg. 26

When we arrived here, we were greeted by some chickens.  That's right, chickens!  And boy were they talkative.

You can't see them in this photo but there were 3 more black ones under the chicken house.  They had a nice hole scratched out about 8 inches deep.

The lunch counter is unique as far as I know.  It is covered with pennies.  I wish I would have written down how many.  I think it was several thousand.

They also serve breakfast and lunch here.  There isn't only food here, either.  There are a whole lot of gift ideas, some being pretty interesting.  It's a small store with a lot of charm.  We had a friend with us for this visit, Cindy's cousin Bonnie.  She and Ted live only a few miles away and have driven by here numerous times but had no idea what this place was.  Bonnie had a lot of fun looking around at all the stuff here.  She said she was going to bring her mother-in-law here in a couple weeks because this is exactly the kind of place she likes to explore.

Of course, you can't leave without saying "Good-bye" to Sadie and get a treat from her plate.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A Collective Gathering Stop 54, pg. 10

This market is a well-appointed business.  Lots of nice things for all around the house plus some locally made condiments.

There is a remarkable variety of goods here.  Seriously, anyone could find something that appeals to them.  As you may be able to spot in the photo above, there are even some model train cars.  I've never seen those anywhere except a hobby store.  

The old business district in Potter has a few different re-purposed former downtown buildings adapted to new uses.  This is the second time in 2 years we've been to Potter for the Passport.

Here's my favorite find from this store.  I would imagine this will find its way to a hunter's home someday.

Dragonfly Desserts Coffee House & Bakery  Stop # 1 pg # 22

Very disappointed but we were running very late that day and were not able to get here before they closed.  The smells in a Coffee and bakery shop are wonderful, but there is nothing like a cup of specialty coffee in a Coffee shop. We stopped long enough to snap a picture of the front of the building and peek in the windows. It looked like a great place.

 The Crispy Biscuit Pet Deli Stop # 61 pg # 23

This is a relatively new business and appears to be very successful.  They make quite a lineup of homemade pet products.  Numerous people came in while we were there, late in the afternoon.  They have things for dogs and cats.  We got a sample for our cat, who is the pickiest cat I've ever seen, and he liked it.

To be fair, our cat loves to chase, catch and eat flies so he kind of earns his keep.  This is a very nice idea and competes directly with the big box stores such as Petco.  I'd always prefer to come here any day.  Personalized service.  The owner told us about a young girl who keeps bringing her dog in to have his height measured but it never changes, it only gets longer (because it's a Corgi).

Just look at this selection of treats on the menu.  It would make your dog's mouth start dripping if he could only read.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Branding Iron Cafe 

 This small cafe in Wahoo is certainly a local favorite.  They only serve breakfast and lunch.

We were there for lunch and it was packed.  People kept coming in, replacing those who left, keeping the tables and lunch counter chairs filled.  The wait staff didn't have a minute to spare.  It's located by the fairgrounds so not where I would think it would attract a lot of people but that isn't an issue for them at all.  What we ordered was very good so, I guess, lots of folks know where to go for great meals.  Like most small town cafes, the portion size is huge.  I had the cod basket and had all I could do to eat the all fish.  Next time I think I'll try one of the burgers.

ReMain Stop # 65 pg # 11

 ReMain is a fantastic vintage store in Springfield, NE. We immediately were greeted by the very friendly owner, Alicia.  

The store was filled with beautiful vintage furniture, wall decor, housewares and accessories. The company is determined to repurpose vintage items, redefine items to support local businesses and local creators, and rekindle her customer's creativity.  

There were so many things I could have bought but I would need someone to come in our house and give me an idea of what I could use and help me decorate. I could have spent hours in there, but we were short on time.  

We did buy a wall decoration which we decided to place in the living/dining room where we used to have a small clock.

I am finding that I enjoy going into these vintage and antique stores.  It always amazes me what you can find and different ways you can use any items.  For example, take a look at this.  Lots of parts have been scavenged to create this little vehicle.  So unique, it won some ribbons at the Sarpy County Fair.

If you can't get to Springfield to see ReMain in person, go to their website, and see for yourself what they have in store for you.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

 Fontenelle Forest Stop # 6 pg # 14

We were really glad to see this on the Passport this year.  It has been on a list of places we wanted to see for so long but just never took time to go.  This year we finally got to see it, thanks to the Nebraska Passport.

The Visitor Center is very impressive.  There is a gift shop and a history room with many displays and descriptions of how it came to be and how it was named.

When you enter, the first wall on the left has a historical snapshot of numerous time segments with brief explanations of what took place here or near here, who the main people of the era were and how the area was used and changed over the years.

Archeologists have done extensive research here to help piece together all the events and their impact.

It's a very interesting place to visit plus let's not forget this is a forest.  Lots of hiking trails and if you join as a member, you can come even when it's closed and stay as long as you like.  I went out to take a quick look at the forest and came across a woman who just started hiking to the farthest point from the Visitor Center, which is a couple miles away.

This is a great outdoor recreational resource for the Omaha metro area and anyone relatively close by who loves hiking and the outdoors.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Ashfall Fossil Beds Stop #  56 pg # 47

This park is a bit of a drive but well worth it.  Most people would be surprised to see this in Nebraska. The visitor center has some great displays of ancient animal life with descriptions.  But the real treat is a short walk from there to the enclosed fossil bed.  

This building is huge!  What you see here is a small part of the whole thing.  There were several paleontology students working here when we visited, and they were very welcoming for all our questions.  Lots of different animals have been found.  The most common are 5 species of horses and a barrel-bodied rhinoceros.  Plus, turtles, dogs, camels, and more.  The rhinos were crafted into bronze statues outside the visitor center.

The kids also have a special place to learn and have some fun doing it.  They can dig in a sandbox and discover some fossils themselves.

Indian Cave State Park Stop # 63 pg # 47

This park is certainly one of the gems in the Nebraska State Park system.  There is so much to see here and it's a really a well-equipped place for large family picnics.

Lots of wildlife can be found at various times throughout the year.  Lots of different plant life but, unfortunately, it was a bit too late for most of the flowers.  However, I did find mushrooms.  

A cicada decided to land right by the trail.

Many kinds of mushrooms.  They provide excellent photo opportunities.  It's been just too hot and dry this year but there were recent rains that helped.  

The namesake of the park is a small cave in the southeast corner of the park.  A couple years ago the trail to the cave was closed due to weather damage so I wasn't able to get up close but the boardwalk that replaced it is really well designed and well built.  It takes you right up to the edge of the cave.  I know there are some old Native carvings but so many people have carved recent graffiti it's hard to find them.  It took me about 10 minutes of looking plus it started to rain lightly when we got there.

It was pretty rewarding to find one after looking through a long camera lens for so long.  If it wouldn't have been raining, I would have searched longer.

Indian Cave State Park is really a great place in southeast NE if you're looking for some great hiking.  Some of the trails are flat and some are very steep.  Lots of miles through some beautiful scenery.  There is also an old town site and cemetery to explore.  

Riverside Discovery Center  Stop 60 pg. 15 Once again, we missed this from being open by minutes.  Darn it!  The lights were still on but no...