Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for nebraska

Life in the Sandhills

By Linda Tancs

The Nebraskan Sandhills refers to a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized sand dunes in north-central Nebraska. In the heart of the Sandhills is Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, an area encompassing nearly 72,000 acres of lakes, marshes and prairie grasses that provide a habitat for diverse wildlife. In fact, it’s home to 270 species of birds, 59 species of mammals and 22 species of reptiles and amphibians. Among many distinctions, the refuge is recognized by the state as a top ecotourism site and by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, especially for its large population of greater prairie chickens. The Marsh Lakes Overlook and a short nature trail provide great views of the grasslands and marshes. You’ll also find an observation deck located on the old fire tower, a great place for bird watching and prairie views.

Take Your Valentine to Valentine

By Linda Tancs

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Maybe with some chocolate and a candlelit dinner. Well, there’s so much more awaiting you in Valentine, Nebraska, where of course you can obtain a postmark to commemorate the day of love. But most visitors travel there to start a float trip or to tour the river valley, a good starting point for the 76 miles of the Niobrara National Scenic River that winds through  bluffs, waterfalls and fossil resources along a largely undisturbed shoreline. Less than one percent of U.S. rivers have received a scenic river designation by the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System, an honor reserved for those that are flee flowing with clean water and a largely undeveloped shoreline. The area features notables like the Allen Bridge; listed on the National Register of Historic Structures, it’s the longest single span bridge across the Niobrara. You can paddle among sandstone cliffs and visit public landings like Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and Smith Falls State Park, both of which have beautiful views of the river.

Nebraska’s Foremost Citizen

By Linda Tancs

Nobel Prize-winner Sinclair Lewis called Willa Cather the foremost citizen of Nebraska because her books so vividly depicted the Cornhusker State. Indeed, her depictions of the Nebraska prairie and farming communities were important milestones in American literature, and she is one of the most important American novelists of the first half of the 20th century. Her childhood home in Red Cloud is a state historic site. Guided educational tours of the home and other historic buildings related to her life and writing are conducted throughout the year. To experience the topic of her writings, visit the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a 612-acre haven with nearly two miles of free public walking and hiking trails.

The Old Wagon Trail

By Linda Tancs

Nebraska pays tribute to America’s westward expansion at the Great Platte River Road Archway in Kearney. The 1,500 ton structure crossing 308 feet of the heavily traveled I-80 emulates a covered bridge and commemorates the pioneering spirit—from the Pony Express to the creation of the first transcontinental road (Lincoln Highway). Officially opened on June 9, 2000, it offers visitors the opportunity to see and hear over 170 years of American history.

Chicken and a Movie

By Linda Tancs

Forget the poppycock.  In Wayne, Nebraska, it’s all about chickens.  The Wayne Chicken Show takes place from 8 -10 July this year at various downtown venues accessible by shuttles.  Complete with cluck-tible souvenirs and hot wings, the festival includes a rooster crowing counting contest, quilt show, parade and the world’s largest chicken dance.  Now that should put some pluck in your cluck.


Hit the Ground Running in Omaha

By Linda Tancs

Attention all marathoners:  time to test your mettle on the rugged terrain of Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, September 23rd.  But your sneakers are worn down, you say?  No need to worry.  Run without them in this year’s first barefoot runners category.  But don’t forget your t-shirt.

%d bloggers like this: