Saturday, November 5, 2011

Not enough time in the day, days in the week

Fortunately I've got more than a week worth of comp time hours built up as a result of spending waaaaay too much tim on the job. It helps that I love my work, but spending some time away helps rejuvenate the soul and make me more productive. On a rare Friday when both The Mister and I are off work together, naturally, we take a drive.

We start along the canal that supplies cooling water to the Sutherland Reservoir and the Gerald Gentleman power station operated by NPPD. One of our area's largest employers, we've grown used to the industrial view of the power plant as a backdrop to some of our prettiest views.
From there, a few jogs in the route around the Sutherland Reservoir and we're on State Farm Road south of Hershey. Here we found the Trinity Cemetery. The historic church that once graced this site has found a new home at the Lincoln County Historical Museum.
Many of the gravestones are weathered almost beyond readability, and we didn't have pencils and paper with us, so could only guess at some of the inscriptions. Reflecting our area's German heritage, many were written in that language.

In the Kossbau (Kosbau) plot, one can read a familiar story in the stone. Early immigrant families coming through Ellis Island found themselves passing through different lines to enter the U.S. Uninterested, overworked customs officials didn't take the time to learn the correct spelling of the foreign names. Whatever they wrote down became official.
So here, as in many historic cemeteries containing the graves of our immigrant ancestors, you find family members with names spelled differently.
Further to the east, we reach our true destination, the scenic Box Elder Canyon south of North Platte. We've waited too long for the fall colors to be at their peak, but it is still well worth the drive.
Turkeys thrive in these heavily wooded canyons. This is only one group of the half dozen or so large flocks we encountered. Looking in the background, you can see the cedar trees that the ranchers have to constantly battle as they encroach on grazing lands.
Headed back north, on either Effenbeck or Cottonwood Canyon Road, we find the marker commemorating the Larsen homestead. Seems like there are probably Norwegian (or would that be Swedish? I think Norwegian.) descendants in the region as well.
Less than ten miles south of the flat expanse of the Platte River Valley, these wooded canyons offer a hint of the diversity of Nebraska topography.
As always, we finish the day wishing we had more time to explore. One day, we'll get acquainted with the area landowners and get off road on foot or horseback to do some more exploring.
Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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