Gallery USA - Chadron Region, Nebraska

January 28, 2018

IMGP6017

I was traveling back to Wausau, Wisconsin from Keystone, Colorado in early June 2015. I drove to Denver and up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. My sights were set on getting to Rapid City, South Dakota. As a result, I ended up on US Hwy 385 in western Nebraska, known as the "Gold Rush By-way" referring to the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874.

Hwy 385 was not much more scenic on a good part of Hwy 385 until I got to the Chadron National Park and Chadron City region, way up on the northwest side of the state, not far from the South Dakota line. Frankly, having driven across Nebraska's Great Plains, I was astound by what I saw as I closed in on the Chadron region.

I am going to present a series of photos I took along the way to give you an idea of what's there. This is a spectacular region of the state, and country. As you'll see, the weather was threatening.

IMGP6018

IMGP6010

IMGP6015

IMGP6011

IMGP6013

IMGP6014

IMGP6023

IMGP6007

IMGP6024

IMGP6021

IMGP6016

IMGP6025

IMGP6009

IMGP6020

IMGP6008

IMGP6026

The Gee-Whiz Story on how I got here

I was traveling back to Wausau, Wisconsin from Keystone, Colorado in early June 2015. I drove to Denver and up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. My sights were set on getting to Rapid City, South Dakota. I had left early in the morning so I had plenty of time. Once at Cheyenne, I decided to get a little bit off the beaten path and kind of escape and evade my way up to Rapid City. I was not taking notes but my recollection is when I got in the vicinity fo Scottsbluff, Nebraska and the North Platte River I ran into all kinds of problems associated with flooding.

I later learned that during late May 2015 the Scottsbluff region was suffering from some heavy floods from the North Platte River. In fact Emergency Planning officials from a number of entities met in Scottsbluff on May 26. The officials were expecting the river to reach record levels during the week ahead as the result of heavy rainfall upstream. Making matters worse, heavy thunderstorms were expected over the next week.

What I found out the hard way was that many roads were flooded and washed-out throughout the Scottsbluff region. Having been raised a New Yorker, of course I ignored a lot of the "roads closed" signs and kept on trucking, only to find out someone was up there telling me to turn around as there was no place to go. I did this perhaps two to three times and realized I had better square away and get out of this area.

My "Google Maps" on the iPhone was worthless as I could not get a signal. I recall really being out in the boondocks. So I looked at my map, now worried a bit about time lost going up and down roads I should not have been using, so I decided to shoot eastward to US Hwy 385. This highway goes south-north from darn near the Mexican border all the way up through South Dakota's Black Hills and Deadwood. So I figured this was my best bet to get to Rapid City.

I learned when I got home that I was on what is known as the "Gold Rush Byway, honoring the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874.

When I originally drove from Wisconsin to Denver I crossed Nebraska's Great Plains. They are just what you wold imagine, flat as flat can be. So I was in for a huge surprise driving north on Hwy 385. Frankly, it was not much more scenic on much of Hwy 385 until I got to the Chadron National Park and Chadron City region.

Regrettably, I was now hoping to make some time to get to Rapid City for Brewski hour. But I can tell you I fully intend to return to this area and explore it. It is really fascinating.