Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Little Late

Which you were here, in Lone Tree, Nebraska. I camped and trout fished for 4  days and never saw a soul unless I went to town to get an ice cream. I had a friend who did her first teaching assignment here 50 years ago, and she claims it sounded about the same. Tiny, with one store, one gas station and one everything store. The closest big town is 60 miles away called, Valentine. One can send their Valentines there to get that special postmark for the holiday. This is a remote area of north central Nebraska called the Sand Hills. At the ice cream shop you get a Sandstorm instead of a Blizzard. I always stop in Valentine for the national Nebraska meal, Chicken Fried Steak. The beauty grabs me every time I go. It is almost a needed journey to relive many visits and fun. Many ranches in the area are over 10,000 acres.

I worked in a Nature Conservancy area for a few years doing a study of plants making sure they were rotating their buffalo herd good on the 27,000 acres they owned. Living at a biological station is fun. Many  studies have been done here especially with doctoral studies, so your roommates  rotate in the  dorms. I had thought of trying to live here, but always want to be closer to a town that has good shopping. One year a friend leading our group was a bit glum having to be away Father's Day, something he had never done in eleven years of fatherhood. I drew a picture of a Spiderwort for his Father's Day card, opting not to drive 45 miles to get one,  and assembled signatures from everyone to cheer him up. Later I had to laugh, my oldest was 15, I was the only other father in the group of ten. I didn't get to be home either, but stayed quiet. It was a special day for me also.

Each year I relive being a father seeing my children still as children. They have grown and sometimes squirm a little when I still want to treat them that way, all being parents also. It is a treasure to keep, and a pleasure to be part of on Father's Day. I hope all who have assumed that role feel great for the deed that they preformed. After a day with grandkids, I sometimes wonder how I did it.

Little did I think of no phone or Wi-Fi connection, so upon my return I am posting what I had written Friday. No electronics since Thursday morning  was tough at first, then it just faded away. I have been gone for over a week.

Some real show stoppers for me. First this is a Bobolink.My ultimate  bird to see each year.
Next is a giant twin slide. I always have wax paper to ride down on when I visit this, you really go fast. This also makes you a  hit with any children playing there passing it out.

This water flows outside into a courtyard and into a sanctuary area.
This is the Holy Family Shrine, a unique all glass sanctuary with a living water stream sculpture sending a stream of water to the alter.


  1. I looked up Lone Tree, Nebraska on Google Maps. Just a 1184 mile trip that I should be able to drive in just under 18 hours. But what's the hurry, I should stop at a hotel, perhaps a restaurant or two, well stop and look at the sights as I go.
    Well one day.
    It looks like a restful trip except for that slide. That would scare me.
    The shrine looks like heaven on Earth.

  2. I am envious of such a gorgeous area to camp in! Thank you for sharing the amazing pictures. Always a treat to view a different part of our country.

  3. I haven't been to Valentine in years. I'll bet it's very different now. I know I don't remember the double slides.

    1. In one shot you can see the Woodmen skyscraper where I am sliding. It is in Omaha, 10th and Farnham.

  4. Sound like you had a great Father's Day, even if you were alone in the "wilderness." And you got all these beautiful photos while you were at it.

  5. Happy belated Father's Day! I enjoyed hearing about your past. It sounds very interesting. I'm glad you got to enjoy some time out "in the bush." I grew up a long way from town, so it has never bothered me much to be away from the hustle and bustle. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  6. Great place to be where you can get away from the rat race.

  7. Hi Steve -what a wonderful way of getting away - literally doing it ... so pleased you had such a peaceful time in amongst nature, some inviting areas in the town ... few people -but enough to provide the basics. Brilliant - loved the thought of your card for you friend - delightful thought ... cheers Hilary

  8. Believe it or not, I have been to Valentine and sent a postcard from there :-)

  9. This trip sounds like heaven to me. I love the getting away and letting go of technology. Always good to get back, though.

  10. Sounds like you had a good week. I'd like to go down that slide

  11. I remember Valentine well. We decided to try a route to visit the grandchildren in Greeley by avoiding the boring truck lade I-80, see the Sand Hills & a great canoing river the Niabra. Took in the Buffalo herd and saw my first Upland Sandpiper amongst the Buffalo...:)

  12. What a beautiful area! I want to go down that slide!

  13. you've done some really interestingl things in your life. anytime I'm away from home on vacation I have no problem leaving electronics behind.


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!