Inspired by my friend, Jackie and this post: https://jackiesjournalblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/good-things-happen/ , the boys and I took off early yesterday morning to explore our little community. I took advantage of each learning opportunity that presented itself, as we went along. We had a lunch date with friends and had treats along the way, even found time to get the family errands done too! It was a very good day.
Heading out, this is our street. Will the ice ever melt?
Our first stop was The Pony Express Monument.
Here’s part of the information that I had printed out earlier in the week, for the boys to read:
The Pony Express was founded by William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors. Plans for the Pony Express were spurred by the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster communication with the West. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.
Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The service lasted only 19 months until October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence. Although California relied upon news from the Pony Express during the early days of the Civil War, the horse line was never a financial success, leading its founders to bankruptcy. However, the romantic drama surrounding the Pony Express has made it a part of the legend of the American West.
Fascinating stuff, The Pony Express. I can’t imagine! It was a very dangerous job. Did you know just 50 something years prior, when President Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark out West, they expected to find mammoths?! Of course they didn’t, but it was still unbelievably wild country!
And to think today we just hop in our car and hit the road. No worries. We live in a blessed time!
Next was a shopping stop at:
For you guys who aren’t familiar with Cabela’s, it’s a national retail chain, specializing in hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and lots more outdoor activity stuff. (and they have fabulous, casual girl clothes!) Their corporate headquarters is in our tiny little town, in the middle of nowhere because this area is the home of the Cabela family.
Cabela’s, in fact, is what brought us to Nebraska. We’ve been with them for 10 years now. They’ve been very good to our family. (and my brilliant husband has been very good for them as well!)
Below is the Cabela family home in Sidney. I’m really not sure anyone lives there anymore. I’ve heard that the plan is to make it a museum, someday…
Below is their corporate office:
Take notice of the water tower in the above shot. It can be seen from all over town!
So from here, we took off to pick up some groceries, taking pictures all along our route. The picture below is just a panoramic shot of the Sidney valley, where downtown/old town can be found.
My budding photographer couldn’t resist getting out and taking some shots from on top of the hill! It’s a pretty big hill… those are full grown, 20 ft tall trees down in the valley. We live in a section of the country known as The Great Plains – our area is pretty high altitude, 4300 feet above sea level. It’s very cold in the winter, prone to violent storms and hail in the summer, very windy and very dry. I don’t know how anyone ever lived here without modern conveniences…
There’s still a good bit of snow hanging around, even though we haven’t had snow in a week or so…
I had to stop and take a picture of this pretty drive up to the top of the hill:
Below is from the same hilltop, but looking another direction. Can you see the Cabela’s water tower?
Passing the post office (below)… I spend a lot of time here. They know me by name these days!
Below is another Cabela’s building. They’re all over town, being the main, big employer in our community.
Finally arrive at the grocery store and the only Starbucks in town! Can you believe we only have one? It’s like living in the Middle Ages or something… Geesh…
I had to take a picture of this little Mexican restaurant that we love (below). It doesn’t look like anything special on the outside, but the food is delicious and we’ve become very friendly with the owners. We probably eat here once a week. (and they don’t blink an eye when I order weird stuff in order to stay on my diet, like, no cheese, no tortillas, light on the oil… then my only challenge is to stay away from the corn chips.)
Forgetting that I don’t drink coffee anymore, we stopped here:
… and I bought a sugar free English toffee latte… When I sat down to drink it, I took one sip and IT WAS AWFUL. Good – I didn’t cave and drink coffee and good – I didn’t have to try to figure out how many calories I drank! Will enjoyed his coffee and Scotty had a cookie!
At this point, it was time to meet our friends for lunch. So we headed back up toward Mcdonald’s. On the way, we took a couple more shots. Here’s our local library (below). We really don’t use it as much as I thought we would, relying on the internet more for school research these days.
Below is the main street in old town and our much-loved movie theater! (we spend lots of time and money there!)
We love Sam and Louie’s Italian/Pizza place. They’re the only one in town that delivers, so we take advantage of that when we feel like pizza!
Next is a picture from the road, especially for Jackie, because I enjoyed seeing your road pictures with everyone driving on the left side of the road!
You got it, lunch at Mcdonald’s with our best buddies, the Nguyen family!
By this time in the day, Scotty’s cold had really kicked in and the poor kid wasn’t feeling great. He agreed to one more stop (because he loves me that much) and then home for a hot shower, hot drinks and medicine.
On the way, I took pictures of our big, fancy new hospital. In a town of 7000, we’re so fortunate to have this! (not to mention the fantastic doctors, nurses and physical therapists whom we’ve come to know!) The new hospital just opened up a few weeks ago. It’s big news for our little community!
And… I LOVE THIS! Right across the street from the hospital? What else… COWS!
Our last stop was the park. Mostly too much snow to play or to get to the path around the lake, but we took a couple pictures. My boys have been on all those playground toys, over the years. They were in kindergarten and preschool (ages 4 and 5) when we moved here. Now 13 and 15.
Thank you, boys, for hanging out with me today! I loved spending time with you, as always!
That ends this tour. I’m planning on doing a similar journey next time we’re in Colorado. It’ll look way more urban than Sidney!