After our visit to Devil’s Tower, we drove back to Gillette (WY), picked up the 5er, and drove about 4 hours to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. This wasn’t our original plan, but since the flu set us back a day, we decided to make a long day of it, and we finally pulled in to the Scottsbluff, NE at 9pm.
I must say that the Walmart customers service ladies that I have been talking to lately have been the nicest ever! When I called Gillette to ask if they ‘allow RVers to overnight in their lot’, she said, “of course! We just ask that you park as far away from the store as possible.” When I thanked her, she told me to “have a lovely drive!” LOL! Then, when I called this Walmart, the lady that answered told me that they allowed overnighters, and when I told her thank you, she said, “ok, we’ll see you soon honey!”.
So, we spent our first night ever in Nebraska, in the Scottsbluff Walmart (with all 3 slides out, thankyouverymuch), and 2 other RVs for company. We thought it pretty humorous that one of the other RVs was a Class A with a 20′ travel trailer for a toad!
The next morning, we got up and set out for Scotts Bluff National Monument.
The kids picked up Jr. Ranger booklets, we watched a 12 minute slideshow, and then checked out the museum…The kids got most of their booklets done, then we went outside to explore – in the gorgeous 65 degree heat!
Scotts Bluff N.M. has the cutest photo prop of a Conestoga wagon and oxen below the bluff. Scotts Bluff is famous for being a major landmark to emigrants traveling the Oregon Trail. The bluff towers over 800 feet above the North Platte River. The wagon trains passing through the area would have traveled right where these oxen and wagon are now, making their way through Mitchell Pass, which is directly in front of the oxen. You can continue up the short path, beyond the oxen, and walk through Mitchell Pass yourself.
* Speaking of wagons and oxen – in nearby Gurnsey, WY, you can visit the Oregon Trail Ruts site, where wagon wheel ruts, sometimes 4 feet deep are carved through solid rock. We visited this site last year (I think it was last year…), and it is a Must See if you are in the area! Had we not been a day behind, and traveling through in the dark, we would have stopped again!
Caleb wasn’t quite sure what to think of those big oxen – he wanted to like them, but just didn’t trust them 😉
After we took our little walk, we drove to the top of Scotts Bluff. The windy road was completed in 1937, and snakes up the outer edges of the bluff until reaching a small parking lot on the summit. The view from the top is really quite pretty. There is also a 1.6 mile paved walking trail from the visitor’s center to the top; we drove since we didn’t have time to walk it (we had another park to do the same day).
This is the view from the other side of the bluff…The road contains 3 tunnels, which Molly loved Scotts Bluff National Monument had a great Jr. Ranger program; the kids completed it in record time, and earned their badges. We purchased a few postcards at the visitor’s center, and then headed back to town.
There is really so much that we would like to do and check out around here! We would like to venture farther into Nebraska – Nebraska is, after all, the home of Cabela’s. How could we not love it?