June 8, 2010, Western Road Trip, Nebraska

     My favorite place in all 50 states is Mount Rushmore, SD.  I talked Ray into a short road trip to visit it and Yellowstone.  We flew into Denver, CO on Tuesday, June 8, 2010.  We rented a car and headed for our first stop, Alliance, NE.

     It is about 245 miles to Alliance and on the way we made a small detour to Chimney Rock.  Chimney Rock National Historic Site and Visitors Center near Bayard is located 1 mile south of Highway 92 on Chimney Rock Road.  “Towering to the heavens” is how one pioneer described Chimney Rock, the most recognized landmark along the Oregon Trail.  It signaled the end of the prairies to westward-bound pioneers and rises some 300 feet high.    Today an interpretive center operated by the Nebraska State Historical Society pays tribute to those who traveled the trails and features original maps made from Captain John C. Fremont’s 1842-43 exploration of the Oregon Trail.  It was closed by the time we arrived.

Nebraska Nebraska

Nebraska Nebraska

     Not too far away there was a spot telling about the Mormons on the trail.  We only saw Scotts Bluff from a distance. 

     After we checked in at the Holiday Inn Express, we decided to visit Carhenge about 3 miles away.  Carhenge is a humorous re-creation of England’s ancient Stonehenge.  Creator James Reinders has buried 30 old cars trunk-down and placed seven more atop some of them, forming arches.

Nebraska  Nebraska

     We had Chinese for dinner down the street.  Alliance has a population of about 8,960 and the elevation is 3,971 feet.

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