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One Tank Trip for Nebraska Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
149 miles – 2 hours, 54 minutes
With vast plains extending from the prairies to the east and meeting the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains to the west, Nebraska seems to have one foot firmly planted in its unforgettable past, with its eye set firmly on the future. Whether you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of those early trailblazing explorers or want to forge ahead toward a more metropolitan destination, Nebraska has something for a wide variety of adventurers.
We couldn’t have picked a better starting point than Sidney. During the Gold Rush Days, Sidney was a rendezvous for all sorts of famous characters: Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy and a list of others. There were 23 saloons on one block, gamblers came and went and nothing smaller than a quarter exchanged hands. Lawlessness and murder were the order of the day until 1882 when the Union Pacific took to clearing the city out and in the 1890s the military post, Fort Sidney was abandoned, much to the chagrin of the townspeople. Today, those characters have moved into legend, but we bet if you saunter into the local watering hole or restaurant, the locals have more than a few tall tales to satisfy your interest of those bygone days. Continue your exploration of Sidney at the Fort Sidney Museum and Post Commander’s Home, built as a garrison in the early days to protect railroad workers. Follow the historical markers, and you’ll discover more fascinating history of the old railroad town Sidney once was.
77.3 miles – 1 hour, 29 minutes
Time to dust that dirt off your spurs and head out of town on US-385N. Turn left at NE-92W and if you’re interested in a little side trip, take a right when you get to US-26W, following it into Bayard where you’ll find one of the most famous landmarks in the American West, Chimney Rock, the most noted landmark on the migration west. The Visitor’s Center contains a museum with many compelling exhibits explaining the greatest voluntary migration in the history of mankind. This area is a thrilling stop whether you’re retracing the steps of a long ago ancestor or just have a penchant for history. From Bayard, continue on US-26W into Scottsbluff where you’ll find a startling array of sites with great historical significance, including the Scottsbluff National Monument located on the Oregon, Mormon and California Trails, it’s home to an excellent museum of the trails and contains an impressive collection of art, as well. One of the most popular sites in the area is the grave of Rebecca Winters, just one of the many who died on the great migration but who has come to symbolize the hardship and struggle pioneers met along their journey west.
71.9 miles – 1 hour, 24 minutes
The last stop on our trail has us backtracking on US-26 heading east this time and merging onto US-385N for the 54 mile drive to Alliance where you’ll find Carhenge, the uniquely American version of the world-famous Stonehenge, constructed entirely out of old cars. The Carnegie Art Center is a wonderful place to view works by Nebraska artists. Also on site, you’ll find an outdoor sculpture garden you can leisurely stroll or sit on the patio, admire the gorgeous flowers and plants surrounding you and finally get a chance to rest those road weary feet!
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Nebraska
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Nebraska
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Nebraska
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