Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Playing Tourist (from 2011)

The weekend of May 7th and 8th my son Jon & I decided to go to the Motocross Races in Kimball. It was a beautiful weekend!

I drove down hwy 71 to get Kimball. The Wildcats Hills looked gorgeous!
It was a nice drive and after about 45 minutes we arrived at the Highpoint Motor Speedway, just a short drive south of Kimball on 71.

I took a lot of photos of the races. It was so fun! Motocross is a nice family orientated event. It was was great to see the families supporting the riders and cheering them on.

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from Day one at the Races.

Okay so getting back to playing tourist, we left the races late in the afternoon and headed off to find the highest point in Nebraska. We drove north on 71 until we got to interstate 80. We headed out west and the drove to the Bushnell,NE. exit. Then we turned south onto Road 17.
(If you decide to take this trip make sure you have a full gas tank, because there is no service anywhere close!)
 Ok now back to the trip:

I drove down Road 17 south for about 10ish miles or so. It's really pretty out there and we saw these beauties!
The next leg of the journey is to get to Road 8, then go west around 4ish miles to Road 9. So now you are really out in the middle of nowhere! On road nine you go about 1 mile to Road 6.

On Road 9 you will see this old school house sitting on the West side of the road.

I thought this was a pretty neat old building! Next time I go here I'm going to allow more time for exploring. The original thought was just to take a quick jaunt to see the Highest Point in NE, then go the short distance to see the 3 state marker. Even though we got that accomplished, I would have liked to take more photos and drive down a few more roads!

Now where are we? Oh ya on our way to Road 6! Once to Road 6 you turn West/Right and drive around 2ish miles. Mind you we got directions online from a site that no longer exists.
I had to laugh when it said you'll go by a home.
Home of what? Ghosts? Here is the home you'll see.

You best hurry if you want to see that barn. I'm not sure how many more high winds that thing can take! Once again I would have liked to stop and get out and go exploring around this point, but off to the destination we go! So we are on Road 6 right? We drive about 2ish miles to Road 5.

You should see this sign if you decide to try this trip.

The instruction say go to Pasture Trail, well for sure it's in a pasture and it's a trail alright! At this point I was really wishing I had a 4 wheel drive vehicle instead of my little Kia! Here is the begining of the Pasture Trail.
Off I drive down Pasture Trail and it was rough! Depending on what time of year it is there could also be Bison grazing in the fields here. None were here on this day. There are pretty panoramic views in every direction. They say on a clear day you can see the Rocky Mountains. We didn't see them because it was too cloudy, but it was still really beautiful.

Here are the 4 direction views we saw from the Highest Point in Nebraska. It's also called Panorama Point.
There is a desk with notebooks in it at the actual highest point. ( I forgot to take a pic of the desk)You sign the notebook to say you were there.

 Then of course you take a picture of you or whoever is with you. Here is the picture I took of my son Jonathan. He is eating the last of the ham sandwiches on top of the Highest Point in Nebraska.

We took in the views a little while longer, once again wishing we had more time. I snapped a couple more photos from the Highest Point then we proceded back down the cow path, um Pasture trail.
The ruts in the Pasture trail were so deep I had to try to keep all 4 wheels on the high spots. I should have gotten out and taken a photo of the deep ruts, but it was nerve racking not to mention we had no bars on our "Can you hear me now Verizon phone" any way I did stop the car for a breather and took a photo of a tree stump! HAHA

 I'll call it my stress reliever picture stop. ;-)

I made it back to the point of entry and we decided to get out and read the sign.
Oh so you're suppose to pay before you go in! Oops...haha well we have to pay now don't we? After all we signed the register at the top and there is no way I'm driving back up there to cross our names out to save 6 dollars! I wrote a check, Jon deposited it in the box and off we went to try and find the 3 State Marker. The 3 State Marker is the agreed upon place where Colorado,Wyoming and Nebraska meet.
I thought the directions were pretty clear cut. We just had to go back on Road 5 drive south, then the road jogs and it turns into Road 111 and at that point you're in Colorado. Then you go south 2 miles until you get to Road 136. You can see this old barn and the wind towers on this road.
On 136 you drive about 3ish miles to Road 105. You are at the 3 state corner here. Now here is were the directions are a bit funky! Road 105 runs South and North but the instructions say, "Road 105: turn east until you reach the 3-State marker"

Well how do you go east on a North/South road? I decided to try North first, figuring I'd see a sign or something saying 3 state marker here or 3 state marker entrance etc...Now the skies were looking a bit fierce to the North.

Going North on 105 it turned into a blacktop road and the road name changed. Still no sign of any 3 state marker. So I turn around and decide that south is the new east and  I went back that direction. I went past the 3 state corner and continued driving south for some miles. There were tons of Wind farms and I knew from flying over this place I was in Colorado!

I got out the directions once again and tried to decifer how I could go east on a North/South road! One brochure we had said the 3 state marker was down a private cow path and that you had to drive over a cow gate thing. So once again I went north on Road 105. I went slow and noticed a cow gate crossing that had two red flags on it. I pulled up to it and this is what the road looked like.

This trail made Pasture trail look like a fine highway! Well I was determined at this point so off I drove. Oh good grief! Talk about giant ruts, I almost high centered a couple times, so finally I embarked upon driving on the high ridges. This takes complete skill mind you! It seemed like it was taking forever going about 1mph and we reached a water tank and this site.
After seeing this I realized they must have taken down the sign during calving season. I figured we best get the heck out of there before we got shot or stuck. There was a decent place to turn the car around and then I noticed this marker clear clear down at the end of the path.

I debated on whether or not to continue, but by now I was getting tired, the weather looked uncertain and the path down there looked worse than what I'd driven on already. Not to mention once again no bars on the phone. So this time I had to suffice with a picture of the 3 state marker.

I drove back down the private cow path, turned north on 105 and headed off to Pine Bluffs, Wy.
The instructions said that Pine Bluffs was 12 miles from the 3 state marker on Road 105, however if you remember Road 105 turns into some other road and once you reach Pine Bluffs it becomes Beech street. Here is a Pine Bluffs sunset. This was taken on the ramp heading back to I80.

It was just a short distance to see this sign of Nebraska.
"Nebraska the Good Life" it should also include " just be wary of online instructions! "

After driving the few extra miles trying to find that private cow path, I decided to get some gas before heading back home. We stopped here at Vince's Corner, in Kimball, NE. (I actually took this photo early this day)

I filled the car up with gas and went in to pay. I still had my camera around my neck and the cashier asked, " What were you taking pictures of?" So I told her I had taken pictures at the MX races. Well she (Penny) also works for the newspaper in Kimball, The Western Nebraska Observer. She asked me to send some photos from the races and she gave me her work email.
I gave her my business card and promised to send some photos and that we would be back tomorrow to go to the races again.

The next day May 8th, we drove to the Speedway again. I took photos all day. It was a really warm spring day and it was so fun! Here are a couple shots from the Mothers Day race.

It was another great warm day, I think the high was 85 degrees. We left the races late in the afternoon, then stopped by the local Dollar General and got some ice cream bars.

On the way there we noticed a sign for the lake,so we headed out west on hwy 30 to find that. Nice area there and here is a picture I took of the lake.

I could have taken a lot of photos here, but on the way to the lake I saw this old Drive in Movie Theatre! Way cool!
So back east on hwy 30 and I turned off at the Drive In theatre. I stopped the car and we got out. There was some old man there sitting on a John Deere Tractor. He said, "Who are you looking for?" I just told him no one. I just want to take pictures of this Drive-in! So thats what I did! I love old places like this. They always bring back so many good memories of growing up. Drive-ins were so popular back in the day! It's such a shame to see these places just sit and rot.
One of the pleasures of the Drive-in was of course the snack shack! Here are a few photos of that.
Jon really enjoyed going into the old snack shack. He asked me questions about the old movies. It was truly a fun Mothers Day! We looked around some and went back outside to look at the big screen more. I took a lot of photos. Then it was time to head back home. It had been a long weekend and both Jon and I were ready to just chill out.

Here is one of the hwy 71 views on our way back home.

Side trips from planned event trips are really fun! They do tend to be exhausting though and it is always great to see the final exit to home!

Oh and before I end one side note! One of the photos I sent into Penny at the Western Nebraska Observer made the front page of the May 12th, 2011 Newspaper!

There are so many little trips you can make in Western Nebraska. It's a great way to spend a day, a weekend or longer. We are always doing little road trips exploring this area. Great fun & Great photo opps as well!