Sept. 22 – Oct. 24 Chadron State Park (Chadron, Nebraska)

I stayed at Chadron State Park for over a month while I was waiting for my camper to be built and delivered to Arvada, CO, a suburb of Denver. The beautiful weather continued to hold the entire time I was there, with only a few chilly mornings. I stayed snug and warm in my four season tent and down sleeping bag. I made life long friends at the park and in the town of Chadron (Cathy Smith and family, and Steve and Ruth Baker). There were so many places to explore in this area, including activities in Chadron.

Horses in the pasture near my campsite.

One of the many buttes in Nebraska National Forest.

Entry area for tent camping.

Herd of cattle around a water tank in the distance.

Many turkeys called the park “home”.

A beautiful stream flowing through the park.

The campground cat who seemed to have the perfect life – free, unneutered, undeclawed and loves to hunt. He is really healthy and friendly. Named him Buddy.

Another of my friends at the park. I would visit him at the small lake. I would whistle and he would come paddling to me across the lake as fast as he could. A lot of times, with the sun shining and the warmth, he would tuck in beside me to sleep. Beautiful, isn’t he?

Oct. 14 –

Oh my gosh! The strangest/neatest thing just happened to me this morning. I am driving from the campgrounds into town. I pass by something on the side of the road and since I wasn’t sure what it was, I turned around to check it out. It was a Great Horned Owl! It wasn’t moving and there was a large amount of scat under its tail. I examined it without touching it and couldn’t see anything wrong – but it’s eyes were closed. So I said “Hey are you alright?” kinda quietly. I did this when no cars were coming because I was afraid of it being startled and flying right into a car. It opened its eyes, blinked and slowly looked around. Then slowly it took off flying. It had strong wing beats and flew off for a considerable distance ( I did not see it ever land. ) I think this bird just had a wild/rough night and was sleeping it off. LOL. Sleeping it off by a highway was not a good choice. I sure wish I would have taken a picture before waking it up, but I didn’t get a picture – I was more concerned about the bird. This was after rescuing a crayfish at the Box Butte Reservoir yesterday. The reservoir is really low right now and there was a crayfish that seemed really tired trying to get across all the sand to the water. So I picked it up and was carrying it to the water. The surface turned from sand to deep mud so I tried tossing the crayfish to the water. Well, I didn’t throw it hard enough and it ended up on its back in the mud. I watched it struggle trying to right itself for a little while. Finally I took off my shoes and socks and slopped through the deep mud and put it in the water. Even after cleaning off my feet in the sand, I had to scrub them last night to get all the remnants of the mud out from between my toes. I think I am channeling my inner St. Francis of Assisi.

Oct. 15 –

After a chilly night of 22 degrees, and a rainy Saturday – it is a beautiful morning.

Visiting Black Hills and Custer State Park

Custer State Park is one of the most beautiful and sacred areas in the US and my favorite. So much wildlife to see: elk, bison, mule and white tail deer, big horn sheep, prairie dogs, burros, pronghorn antelope, a coyote by the prairie dog towns, etc.

Museum of the Furtrader, Chadron, NE

The Museum of the Furtrader was a very interesting museum with so many mountain man and Native American artifacts – showing both the good and the bad. I would highly recommend it. Take the time to make the trip to the Chadron area to see this museum (I spent 4 hrs here) and the surrounding area.

I fell in love with wool blankets while attending Alderleaf Wilderness College. Many fine examples of Hudson Bay blankets and others.

Fine Native American artifacts.

More artifact displays.

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