Sunday, May 6, 2012



After our full breakfast this morning we hit the road around 0645 and headed north for Martin's Cove. The LDS church has a visitor's center near the site where a large group of handcart pioneers found themselves trapped by an early winter storm in mid October 1856. It was here the company was met by several rescue teams from Salt Lake City. They camped in Martin's Cove in an attempt to seek shelter from the storm. It was a very sobering place to visit as we learned about the sacrifice people made as they sought relief and refuge from bitter and violent religious persecution.

Devil's Gate

Replicas of handcarts. A family had to find room for all of
their personal belongings and food in one handcart.

"Father was weak from want of food having denied himself for us, and the terrible strain of the journey was too much for him. One night near the Sweetwater he passed quietly away at the age of 33. Our little baby brother died the same night. They built a fire to thaw the ground so that a grave could be dug. 
As I stood here I tried to visualize what happened here.

We continued north and then east to Guernsey Wyoming to see the Oregon Trail ruts.
"...a preserved site of wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail on the North Platte River... Wagon wheels, draft animals, and people wore down the trail about two to six feet into a sandstone ridge...during its usage from 1841-1869"
Nearby was a place called Register Cliff. 
It "...rises one hundred feet above the North Platte River valley. Following a day's journey from Fort Laramie, emigrants spent the night at Register Cliff and inscribed their names into the rock face.

North Platte River

 Next stop was Chimney Rock near Bayard, Nebraska.

Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation in western Nebraska. It served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail.

Amusement was the theme of the next stop as we headed to Alliance Nebraska to see Carhenge, a replication of Stonehenge. It was built by a man as a memorial to his father.

"Thirty-eight automobiles were placed to assume the same proportions as Stonehenge with the circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Some autos are held upright in pits five feet deep, trunk end down, while those cars which are placed to form the arches have been welded in place. All are covered with gray spray paint."


                                                  The Four Seasons

                                                                                                                      Spawning Salmon  

Knowing we needed to be in St. Louis, MO (810 miles from Alliance NE) by tomorrow night we decided to drive as far as Thedford NE after leaving Carhenge. The drive to Thedford is along Highway 2, a scenic route through the Sand Hills of Nebraska. 

"...a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized sand dunes..."

It wasn't the most scenic drive we've ever been on. It was interesting, but a lot of the same scenery. We saw a sign describing it as "windmill country" because there are windmills everywhere pumping water for the grazing cattle.

Cities are few and far between on Highway 2, and there is only one motel in Thedford, which made it easy to choose where to stay. We ate our anniversary dinner at the Brahmers Steakhouse (the only restaurant in Thedford), next to the motel. Not sure why they call it a steakhouse because the only thing they serve is appetizers and hamburgers. Funny...I recall we had hamburgers for our anniversary last year in New Zealand at a Hungry Jack's!

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