I know that when one thinks "fun destination point", The Cornhusker State doesn't immediately pop into mind, but we learned that there is a lot to be said for Nebraska! About a year ago, a friend of mine touted its attributes, so this year we decided to check it out.
One drawback road trip-wise, however, as my friend put it, "There is nothing between here and Omaha". I think Magnum took that as a personal challenge, and he found stuff! He does things like that, that's why he was appointed "Official Road Trip Planner".
Our first stop was actually in Northeastern Colorado - the Wild Animal Sanctuary. It's over 700 acres of sanctuary for lions, tigers, bears, (do NOT say "Oh my!", don't say it, DON'T!), wolves, and other wild animals that have been abused or otherwise can't survive on their own.
|Fat lion down there|
It was really a great facility. Visitors follow a raised platform and get amazing views of the animals. Apparently, being on ground level with them makes the animals agitated and defensive, but they don't feel threatened by humans walking overhead. We were advised that, should we drop something from the walkway, we would not get it back. Hats, cameras, etc. would just become "enrichment toys".
|Cars, cars, cars|
Eventually we made it into Nebraska and miles and miles (and miles and miles and...) of corn fields. This was a sight for us mountain folk. I will admit, however, that it didn't take long for the novelty to wear off. Magnum came through again in finding the Harold Warp Pioneer Village. It's "The largest private collection of Americana anywhere", and I believe it!
<----Any guesses as to what these things are? The answer is at the end of the post, for those who make it that far.
|Female Orangutan looking for an Alpha male|
In time, we traversed the state and made it to Omaha, which incidentally became the home of the College World Series in 1950. So happens, it was College World Series time while we were there, and luckily our Official Road Trip Planner had made advanced reservations.
We spent all day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and still feel like we didn't see everything. Anyone who enjoys a good zoo needs to go to this place! Even our teenaged boys sung its praises.
In addition to the expertly maintained displays and habitats, there is a skytram and zoo train driven by an actual steam locomotive (neither of which we rode).
|Sloth (x 2)|
The hotel clerk in Lincoln told me it was the best zoo she's ever been to and I would echo that. The only "drawback" is that it's just so HUGE and complete, that it's difficult to take in in one visit.
So a great trip all around! And did I mention the SAC and Space museum?
Throw in more corn fields, lots of hotel pool swims, endless rounds of 20 Questions, more educational stuff, and this was another road trip to remember.
If you need somewhere to "get away", I say NEBRASKA. Who knew??
OH, and about the mystery question... those are "Calf Weaners", yes they are! Here's one in action...
Now you too have seen a genuine calf weaner.