Sunday, August 20, 2017

Oskosh, Garden County, Nebraska

Yep, in the Cornhusker state today, traveled here yesterday, Saturday, on Umarang, the URRV, towing Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol Rig on the trailer.

I am staying with a couple, the wife Trish is a Nurse College friend of Martha.  She and John, her husband own what they call a "small" farm just west of the small town of Oskosh, Nebraska.

They very generously are letting me moochdock on their property, supplying me with power and water.

This morning, Sunday, after a late wake up, I motored out of their farm on Scarlett and went to explore Garden County.

First it was a quick jaunt into town to catch Road 179, heading north on this county road, towards the Crescent Lake Wildlife Refuge.  It's apparently going to host an Eclipse event but I was just curious as to what passes for such a place in Nebraska.

The road quickly became packed dirt with the occasional patches of deep sand to get one's attention, still I was able to maintain mostly 35 mph on this road and 25 miles later I was at the refuge.

It's basically rolling hills, grassland and very few trees along the road; several lakes dot the landscape but it basically came across to me as a place to go fishing.  I saw several trailers and campers just outside the refuge but cell coverage was nil.

After wandering around a bit, I continued through the reserve and using Rd 180 got (eventually) to Rd 155 so that I wouldn't have to backtrack along Rd 179 back to Oskosh.

All this was packed dirt, again with the occasional patches of loose sand to encourage one not to go too fast between the hills.  Very hilly country was transited using this road and the sand tended to collect (duh) at the bottom between the hills.

Soon enough, I made my way through a set of county roads which went around large farms and found the junction to Highway 26.  Took this highway back into town and I fueled up at the kwikmart before turning south on State Highway 27.

First up was exploring an Oregon Trail Historical Marker I'd spied on the way into town yesterday:

 You can see the first stone marker over to the right, the
road led to John Hollman's actual gravestone.

 Near this marker on the right side of the road, on private property, is the gravesite.
The site is open to the public, through a nearby red gate that was secured just with a chain for easy securing of the gate.

It didn't strike me until later, as I processed the above pictures and reading the information both on the plaques and on the Internet, that John Hollman might have had relations back in Wisconsin.  Further, these relations, the Hollmans were somehow related to the folks who found the town of Holmen, Wisconsin.

Holmen is where my FIL spends his summers when not snow-birding in Arizona or traveling to Norway and other parts of this world of ours.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Next it was a 15 mile or so ride south along State Highway 27 till just past the border into Deuel County for a picture of a large sunflower field I'd also spied on the way in yesterday.

The heat of the afternoon, which was quite warm, had caused the flowers to be a bit droopy or perhaps the flowers themselves had become heavier than what the stalk could support?

Now heading back north along the same highway, I took a slight detour onto Rd 175 to explore what appeared to be interesting looking geological formations.  The picture below is looking north towards Wildhorse Canyon and the small specks flying above on the left are above Eagle Cliff.

They looked like vultures to me when I rode closer but I guess they could have been eagles.

Once back in Oskosh, I discovered the local version of a grocery store, the superette was closed on Sundays.  Doh.  I headed back to Trish and John's farm and cooled off a bit while writing this.

Tomorrow is the eclipse and if the "partly cloudy" forecast cooperates, I may not have to ride anywhere to pose Scarlett suitably to capture the changing light conditions during the Eclipse.

I don't plan to capture the eclipse sequence as the Moon gradually slides across the face of the sun; plenty of such shots will no doubt be available on the Internet soon after tomorrow.

I do hope to capture a shot or two of the eclipsed sun during totality....we'll see how that goes.


RichardM said...

I thought that the 360° sunset would be cool. Have fun tomorrow!

redlegsrides said...

Now I have to look that up....

RichardM said...

It looks like the forecast for Nebraska is overcast....

redlegsrides said...

We shall see

SonjaM said...

I hope the skies will be clear for the eclipse, Dom. I wouldn't mind you capturing it ;-)

The scenery looks quite familiar although I have never been there, very much like the prairies and badlands in Alberta.

redlegsrides said...

We actually woke to a dense fog warning notice! It's supposed to clear by 9am mtn though so all planned site will only have 15-28 seconds of totality so I think luck is going to have a lot to play in this.

Trobairitz said...

I can't even imagine the hardships the folks on the wagon trains faced. One wrong drink and you're done for.

Looks like a beautiful (but unforgiving) area you found to explore.

We went out this morning to watch the eclipse since we are in the path of totality. So weird to be able to take the glasses off at that time, we had 1 minute 50 seconds of totality. We were thinking of you as the light faded, it looked like the golden hour.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for commenting Trobairitz, we had excellent viewing conditions by the time the eclipse happened, woke up to dense fog....go figure.