Saturday, June 04, 2005
North Platte, Nebraska's favorite son was Buffalo Bill Cody. He had a ranch just out of town called Scout's Rest. We visited it expecting nothing and were pleasantly surprised. This is one of the best preserved and most beautiful historic site's I've seen and would highly recommend a visit. While I make some cracks about the sign on the barn and bridge please don't take those remarks and meaning Scouts Ranch is one of those tourist traps that sells curios, and cheap toys. It is a real historic site as important to the history of the west as any you will see.
Not that Bill was gregarious or anything but it wouldn't have surprised me at all if they told us huge lettering on the bridge we crossed on the way to the ranch house from the parking lot we put there by Bill himself and not a cheesy ad for the museum. But the bridge and stream looked pretty cool so I snapped a picture anyway.
You approach the house from the East (as if that makes a difference) and it looks terrific in the setting.
Once inside you pay your whopping $3 per carload and see Bill's study. It is quite beautifully decorated and simple. I can understand the gun rack since they lived on a prairie in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I can understand the showmanship of the statue of himself on the desk. I cannot believe anyone would sit in a chair made of antlers with pointy things all over it - Ouch!!!
The next room was the master bedroom and it was tastefully decorated and looked very comfortable and authentic.
Next was a child's room that looked better than I can show here and the wallpaper was wonderful.
They had several rooms with memorabilia like old guns and photos, costumes and letters but my favorite was the cigar box.
I guess Buffalo bill was one of the first "branded" personalities. An interesting fact is that Colonel William F. Cody was elevated to the rank of general but resigned the position because he thought Colonel Cody sounded better.
The barn was amazing even with the big advertisement on the roof.
I love this picture - at full size it's one of the best I've ever taken (brags on myself)
The stables in the barn with the saddles on the stalls was beautiful any horse lover like Jilly would love a barn like this.
Also in the barn was a fully equipped Blacksmith's shop
Great looking carriages line the interior of the barn.
Even a Chariot used in his "Wild West Shows"
Next we visited the Fort McPherson National Cemetery.
I loved the little grotto with symbols of all the branches of the armed forces
Scrabble Queen has a good eye and took this marvelous picture.
I was very glad to see so many flower decorated stones here.
Loved one's remembered for Memorial Day was a tender reminder of the men and women both young and older who fought to make and keep us free. It made me think it's these soldiers who we honor and not those who sent them off to die. I wonder if we who survive, realize we owe them for their unrealized dreams that we inherited from them on their passing. Do we ever realize for every burial in our National Cemeteries there are allies and enemies who also had dreams and gave their lives for their beliefs? Bless them all.
Further down the road we came to the town of Gothenburg famous for it's Pony Express Stop. Young kids rode from one side of the country to deliver missives under the worst of conditions "hell bent for leather" across the prairie through bands of "hostile Indians," rattlesnakes and severe weather. It's harder to believe they had no postal union, mace (for dogs), or right steering vehicles so they could sit down as they delivered. (Dianne tell Martha I am just kidding).
"The Great Platter River Road Archway Monument" is not only a mouthful to say but it's actually a museum built over Interstate 80. We didn't stop this time but may on the way back home. It actually looks pretty cool.
Scrabble score: Scrabble Queen 341 - Disillusioned Contender 333