Ash Hollow & Windlass Hill

On our travels from North Platte to Scottsbluff, we decided to take the Oregon Trail and stop in Ash Hollow.  We are working on figuring out a better way to show you our travels on a map, but for now, you can see a photo of the physical paper map we use (Thank you, Peg – we use this for all of our planning!).  We highlighted the route we took, and we are currently in Chadron.  I am a little behind on posting, but will try to get caught up. From MO, we came in to Nebraska and stopped at Beatrice on our way to Grand Island, then we stayed in North Platte, then we stopped in Ash Hollow on our way to Scottsbluff, and then finally made the trek to Chadron.  As you may not have imagined, Nebraska actually has very diverse scenery.  The southwest corner was rolling, green hills with lots of small farms.  Along Rte. 80, it was very flat with the corn fields you would expect.  Once we got on Rte. 26 toward Scottsbluff, the terrain really changed.  We passed a huge lake and cliff-like drop-offs – we both felt like it looked like something out of Ireland (just less green).  As you approach Scottsbluff, you come into the Ancient Bluff Ruins and the rock formations. Wait ’til you see the photos of Scottsbluff – fuhget about it!  Heading North of Scottsbluff, it was cattle ranges as far as you could see, gently rolling.  Then, you pass through hilly country with dotted pines and beautiful cliffs. That is just a quick overview, but Nebraska has been a very pleasant surprise for us.

Nebraska Map

 

North Platte is the site of the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers to form the Platte River.  From North Platte, we followed the North Platte River, which is the Oregon Trail route to Scottsbluff.  As I mentioned, we stopped at the Ash Hollow State Park area.  Ash Hollow was an important resting area on The Oregon Trail, as it offered good water and some shade.  This was a very welcome respite after so much toil on the plains.  There is a replicated sodhouse that you can check out, like Chris, as you walk past the rattlesnake warning sign:

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The soddie sits at the bottom of Windlass Hill.  We took a quick video to explain the importance of Windlass Hill (it was windy, sorry for the poor audio)…

…and some photos of the area…

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They also have a visitor center and caves that were used by Indians, but these were closed on the day we were there.  However, there was a rattlesnake just outside of the visitor center, but we didn’t get to see it…rats!  A young man found it, but it was out on a rocky outcropping, and Chris talked sense in to me and we avoided that area.  I went in to Indiana Jens mode, but the truth was that we had no idea where the nearest hospital was, and a venomous bite just doesn’t fit in to our travel plans.  So, I am still scouting for a rattlesnake from a distance.

And Aunt Glady came with us this time, since we were in route to our next campground.  Isn’t she a vision???  I will leave you with that thought.

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3 comments on “Ash Hollow & Windlass Hill

  1. I just saw your mom at the Brownstone, where she was having lunch with Brenda Hahn and I was having lunch with Sandy Rimmey. She showed me your website/travel blog when I was at your parent’s house one day a couple of weeks ago and when she mentioned the address, I came home and typed it in. I envy you and Chris, Jen . This journey that you are on has been a dream of mine for quite some time. I guess that I’ve always been too conventional. So, “BRAVO “and “HAPPY TRAILS” !-

    • Thanks so much, Cheryl! And thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the blog! -Jen

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