June 9th 2018
A bright, warm sunny morning welcomed us to another day of adventuring! Left camp little after 9 am to start the barren drive of Nebraska in hopes of finding some form of entertainment to break up the drive to Colorado. Let me tell ya the options were looking thin as paper.
Our path took us through Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Stopping at a sketchy gas station nonetheless for Jason’s monster addiction I decided to glance over the map and saw that shade of green which usually means something to do. Maps are kind of my thing!! Riverside Park was the name and I thought great a place for Phoenix to burn off that toddler energy and nap later when truly needed. Instead of a park we stumbled upon a small zoo, Riverside Discovery Center. $16 got all 3 of us through the door. One cool thing about this place is they allow you to bring in your own coolers and strollers. In all honesty though I am not one for Zoo’s as I prefer my money to go to sanctuaries if its going to go somewhere and this zoo proved even more why. I felt horrible for these beautiful animals trapped in extremely small enclosures and looking quite stressed but we were already here and paid so on we went.
This was Phoenix’s first zoo experience and he did enjoy himself especially with the dinosaur fossil digging area, pretty much in heaven there. Not so much when attempting to feed the goats lol. Gorgeous peacocks were roaming free along with ducks and geese. They also had sad looking donkeys, llamas, monkeys, a pacing tiger, buffalo, 2 grizzlies that shared an enclosure the size of our kitchen, lynx, birds and more.
Located behind the zoo is a campground, few shelters and a park area all with a view of Scotts Bluff National Monument. We decided it would be the perfect spot for a quick lunch as it was uncomfortably hot that day and getting back into an air conditioned car for a few hours was extremely appetizing.
To add another state to our ever growing list on this trip we took the long way around to Nebraska’s state highpoint crossing over into Wyoming on those dirt backroads. This state highpoint has to be in the dictionary by middle of nowhere. GPS takes you to the wrong place and I’m assuming it has been for quite awhile. This persons house has signs up stating where to go from here lol. You know you’re in the right area when you come upon this sign warning you of no walking because of the bison that roam free.
Pure honor system on paying so how bout just paying for no bad karma. Its a bumpy ride to the actually monument with jackrabbits galore, pretty much at every fence post trying to hide in any bit of shade they could find as the heat was pretty intense. It was my first time seeing a jackrabbit so I was pretty excited! Phoenix was sleeping for this highpoint which kind of sucked being I’m hoping to visit and get a pic of us 3 at all 50 but you never wake a sleeping toddler literally at no cost!
An monument itself is a simple engraved cement block with a bench and table with drawer full of little trinkets left by past visitors. We got our giddy pictures and found some trinkets to leave ourselves, a cap to my favorite beer and a arrowhead from our zipline trip back in Wisconsin joined the drawer for others to pondered about.
After the highpoint we were off to find camp for the night which had us on gravel backroads for hours. With extremely limited services it was interesting to find our way around let along find a campsite. We somehow managed to find just the right amount of service to guide us to another free campsite, Pawnee Buttes National Grassland. Finally COLORADO!!! The state that has been on my Bucketlist since day one!!
Free, magical view, cows roaming absolutely free but so windy.
Pulling up we thought for sure we would be the only ones instead we found 2 more families setting up home for the night on the ridgeline with out cropping’s serving as the campsites. We station ourselves in the middle and get to work. It was about 4:30pm when we arrived so the heat was still pretty intense. We set up our canopy hoping we had enough weight to weigh it down from the very gusty wind. Ummm not so much…..within not even a hour ours and the neighbors came down.
Phoenix used the frame as his own personal jungle gym at least.
Before supper we spent some time being silly, discovering the new bugs and saying hi to the cows as they slowly herded their way through camp.
Of course getting pics of the gorgeous landscape surrounding us was also top priority!
Supper was delicious grilled brats with zucchini cooked right in with them soaking up all that amazing flavor. By far one of the best meals on the road yet. Being in the eastern dry part of Colorado with all the wind there wasn’t exactly the cleanest area to eat. For example:
Bellies full we spent the night exploring the upper portion of our new home for the night. Phoenix was able to make a new friend while they were running around us adults got to know each other and exchange facebook’s. Best part of adventuring other than mother nature herself is meeting all the fabulous personalities along the way!
We ended the night seriously the best way you could. Unbelievably gorgeous sunset spread out across the wide open spaces as we walked back to camp.
Cuddled up inside the tent admiring the night life and open sky without a tent fly on.
Yea only picture I could find of him without his junk showing lol night time is air out time. Important part of going so long between showers just a tid bit of non needed info 🙂 But O so freeing!! 😉
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95 Days till RVLIFE!!