Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Transportation stations -- Sun., Aug. 26

Today is about travel...train travel; in particular, the moving of products around our country.

We took it easy this morning and had a great breakfast of turkey bacon, blueberry pancakes with cinnamon applesauce, and fried eggs. 

Our destination to learn about trains? The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, a must see for train aficionados. The eight-story tower overlooks the Bailey Yards of Union Pacific railroad. 

The yards comprise repair buildings, administrative offices, switching yards, storage yards and hump tracks. Hump tracks are elevated tracks where outgoing train cars are sorted electronically and sent down a hill to the outgoing train they will be attached to. The whole set up is fascinating to watch from the tower. It's like looking down on a child's toy train diorama, but it's real.

Eastbound yards.
Repair facility.
Looking east at admin building and corn maze.
Map of Bailey Yard

Look at all those engines!
From North Platte we had a long travel day (just kidding) of 82 miles to Elm Creek, Nebraska where we stayed at Sunny Meadows Campground (another Passport America park). Again, no "it" factor, just gravel pull-through sites. Two different people who worked at the campground told us they had free wi-fi and it worked best in the sites next to the laundry. We had the site adjacent to the laundry building and no wi-fi at all. False advertising in my opinion. We needed to do a couple loads of laundry so at least we were close to that. If any of you plan on staying in Elm Creek, we do not recommend Sunny Meadows. If you plan to use the showers on site, I'd recommend making another plan. There is one shower in the women's room and one shower in the men's room. You get to the restrooms through the laundry room. The restrooms/showers are old and dirty. To be specific, the bathrooms had no soap, no paper towels, the sink had old toothpaste and soap bits in it, the showers had cement floors, and the shower heads looked like they had never been replaced. Yuck. The laundry room was neat and clean, however. (See below for a campground in the area we DO recommend.)

Since we had a short travel day today, we had daylight left. We decided to make the best use of it we could. We took the truck and drove to Kearney, Nebraska to see The Great Platte River Road Monument which spans both lanes of I-80. I thought it was only a pretty bridge, but come to find out it's an attraction with two stories of history of the Great Platte River Road. We arrived at 6:10 p.m. It had closed for the day at 6:00 p.m., so we walked across the suspension bridge to view the outdoor exhibits of an earthen house and a sod house. I was able to take some pretty pictures in the light of the late afternoon sun.

The Great Platte River Road Monument.

Artwork on top of the monument.

Suspension bridge.

Earthen house.

Inside the earthen house--it's a lot bigger than it looked from the outside.
Bob at the sod house.

When we finished our walk around the grounds, we took a drive into the town of Kearney and were amazed by how big it is. We drove and drove. At a Booggarts grocery store, we stopped for a couple of items.

We headed south to Ft. Kearny (pronounced Car-knee) State Historical Park. It, too, was closed. We walked around the park in the faltering light.

After our walk around the old fort parade grounds, we drove two miles down the road and checked out Ft. Kearny State Park Campground. This is a very nice campground with electrical hook-ups, water at the site, but no sewer hook-ups. The park has about six small lakes and lots of trees. If we stayed in the area again, we would choose this campground.

So, our day devoted to transportation came to an end as we transported ourselves back to our campground. We started our laundry, then made tostados for dinner, finished up the laundry and read for a bit before snoozing.

Tomorrow will be another big travel day. We expect to be back in San Antonio by Friday or Saturday.

Good night.

1 comment:

  1. Regret not taking the train yard tour, so thanks for the insightful post...


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