I am a bit behind in my blog and I think this is just the way it is gonna be, so I won’t stress out about it. That is one big reason I stopped working was to de-stress and of course to travel for fun, adventure, learning, etc. instead of just working. Who really cares how clean our camper and truck are? My happy bubble about having a nice clean car was busted a while ago when Kat said that in reality the smooth surface attracts more debris than an already dirty one. Why are golf balls dimpled? To have less surface area and let debris just go away off the little places they can attach. I was crushed to find that out because I always loved washing my car… ask anyone who knows me. Especially my neighbors. Sorry if I misled anyone. It just looks good and I liked it. Now, I have a hard time finding the water and time. I will let it go and just read a book instead.
We, well we have been in Colorado for over a week and really need to get caught up. I will catch you up later on this last stretch, but for now it’s about the end of the trip through Nebraska.
After we left Omaha we headed to about the middle of Nebraska. I did mention passing by Kearny, NE so for reference we passed by there to Johnson lake in Elwood, Nebraska. It is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but that is ok. I am enjoying being nowhere. Elwood is just outside of Lexington, NE.
I called our intended campground at Johnson Lake and the lady told me she had a good site that we would enjoy lakeside and it was not crowded for those days. Again, it was a state park that filled up with locals on the weekend because it is an area with fishing, swimming, picnicking and a fantastic 10 mile bike trail all the way around the lake. We pulled in and I was disappointed that I still am horrible at backing up into a spot! I always feel I am almost there and then it’s all wonky and just super crooked. UGH. I get frustrated with myself for not being able to get it right quicker. Kat has it down pretty well and I have to always tell myself she is more of an engineer than I am and its ok. The lady across the way from us was watching and after watching me for almost 30 minutes she came over to tell us that maybe there was a pull through site we could go to. We said there wasn’t one available and I was practicing. I forgave her in the end as we talked a few times in our two days their and she was pretty nice. I would love to back up a camper that is on the hitch and see if it is any easier than a 30 foot fifth wheel! It is not easy.
The Johnson Lake campground was awesome. There were big trees for shade, mostly cottonwoods (which is ok if there are no tornadoes or storms) and we had a great view of the lake because we got a front row spot and it was pretty empty in the campground. It was a nice sized campground so we could get a good walk in and the lakeside trail was paved and just super nice. I did two mornings of 10 miles of bike riding and when I found the marina I took Kat for a drink. Since it was the middle of the week it was not very exciting and we had unexciting steak nachos for dinner. I imagine the deck area where we ate would be rocking it on the weekend. Along the path there were book exchange sites and the views of cornfields- my favorite. There were houses around most of the lake, but in a mostly single row alongside the water. There was another places to eat lakeside, which we found during one of our walks. The beach was pretty good with a decent sized swimming area. If you were living local I would for sure say to go for a picnic there.
We stayed two days there and then headed closer to Colorado and ended up just inside it. When we left we found the road was super bumpy so I asked Kat to re-navigate us back to the highway for a hopefully smoother ride on the interstate. Some parts of the the road were good and some not so much, lots of things bounced around in the camper. It was now Wednesday, July, 20th and we arrived at a campground named McGreer camper park in Big Springs, NE. When we got off the interstate and drove through we both said “uhhhh- no, Let’s move on.” We found it was on a highway exit in a miserable, hot and noisy location. When we drove through the campsite and I thought about her complaining I just didn’t feel it was even worth the $15. We also wanted to see if we could stay a little later than the normal checkout, but I wouldn’t have wanted to and definitely would not have wanted to ask. Most campgrounds are good about that if no one has your spot reserved you can usually get them to let you stay a bit later and that helps us so we don’t show up too early to the next place. I was nervous about asking her anyway, so that was also a factor in our decision to just move on down the highway. I had gotten a bad feeling when I talked to the lady the day before and she said not to come before 4 pm because when people show up early and it’s hot they use the electricity for their AC and then they don’t make any money. Hmmm. That didn’t give me a warm welcoming feeling. A good decision to keep going.
We belong to a club called Passport America that has a yearly fee and helps us save money as we travel. It costs us $44 a year and we can usually cut the cost of a stay from something like $30 to $15 with the membership, or at least get a discount. We can also get discounts off at Camping world stores for camper stuff and supplies. If we stayed at her campground for the night it would have been $15 instead of $30.
Another good move on our part! Woohoo! Our backup plan was to go to Sterling Lake, CO. There were only about 4 other campers. It was pretty hot, but it was beautiful. A dry heat, so it was alright. I love the weather in the West. It totally reminded me of my adventures camping at Bottomless lakes state park just outside of Roswell, NM when I was growing up. The lake was super pretty, full of birds and the area around it was pretty too. I had no idea there were pelicans in Colorado, but the lake was full of them! The fish didn’t go crazy jumping the night we got there, but in the morning those fisherman who stayed out late instead of being there in the morning sure missed out.
Something extra cool we saw happened while I was cooking dinner on the grill, we saw a ground wasp (cicadia killer) build a nest in the firepit. It took her as long to make the next as it did for me to make dinner. The next day we actually saw her carry a cicadia down into the hole! It was like something you would see on a nature show. We were sure to stay clear.
In the morning had my coffee outside while listening to the fish slap on the water as they jumped. I got in a pretty good bike ride down a road to nowhere in the middle of nothing. I thought I could get to the line of wind towers off in the distance, but it was way further away than it looked. In the morning we had a nice walk to a viewpoint and high rock thingy and got a nice view of the farmland around us. We stayed a bit later than checkout and had lunch. Before we left we did some extra black tank/ toilet cleaning since we were going to a friends’ house in Colorado who would have no sewer plug ins. We also did not want to show up too early since they had to work and we needed to know where to park.
Pretty beautiful campground!
The drive went well and was pretty short. We showed up just before Carol got home from work and the goats, chickens, cows and turkeys gave us a big happy welcome!