Midway Mark

Waning Gibbous Moon

Kearney NE (pronounced car-knee) is the approximate midway mark between the Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast for transcontinental hikers along the northern route. It also has a rich tradition of pioneer trail lore and railroad history.

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Today I stopped by the Trails and Rails Museum on 11th Street to see what they had to offer. The museum is fairly small, located inside the former Shelton train depot, but there are some interesting features on the grounds.

Here’s the depot/museum.

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Right next to it are a couple of rail cars on some salvaged tracks.

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There’s a gazeebo. Surely you know by now that I ♡ gazeebos.

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This old log cabin seems overly restored, but I like it. I could easily live in a cabin like this if I could move it to California. I could hook up an outdoor shower and a plastic port-a-potty around in back somewhere. I’m not fussy.

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This Blacksmith Shop is not EVEN as cool as our Blacksmith Shop in the San Juan Bautista State Historical Park, but then, what is? Our shop is in a freakin’ Hitchcock movie, hello?

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I especially liked this eagle, though. As Murray said in A Thousand Clowns, “You can never have too many eagles.” (Ruddie Toot, if you are reading this, you know what I mean, even if nobody else does).

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Kearney also has an impressive Centennial Park with an alluring Aquatics Center and several well maintained ballfields. And the community is connected by a network of bike paths. I will take the Betty Trail on my way out of town tomorrow morning.

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One attraction I will not get to visit on this trip is The Archway. By all accounts, this is the best and newest feature that Kearney has to offer. It is basically a museum/archway that spans Interstate 80 just southeast of town. Inside, the stories of the nation’s pioneer trails, railroads, and the interstate highway system are explained in an interactive walking tour with headphones.

The Archway is supposed to be great. The city is aggressively developing that area to draw more visitors. Kearney is growing rapidly and may soon overtake Grand Island as Nebraska’s third largest city (behind Omaha and Lincoln).

This small mural was hanging on a wall near the museum. Don’t you think the poor old handcart pioneers deserve more respect from historians? Wagon trains, wagon trains, all you ever hear about is wagon trains.

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Peace, Love, and Footpaths,
Palomino

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