Friday, June 14, 2013

Cathedral, Farms, Oregon/California/Mormon/Pony Express Trail(s)

We left the park in Russell Kansas around 8 a.m., headed west on I-70 for 30 miles, then north from Hays Kansas up to I-80 in Nebraska.  I have taken this route numerous times, and find it an easy drive….even in the motorhome now that I have done that too.  Yes, you slow down at a few towns, but traffic is light, and it is an easy drive.  However, before we even get to Hays, we see the famed Cathedral of the Plains, also known as St. Fidelis Catholic Church, built from 1908 to 1911.  Here are a few shots, clicking on them will give you larger pictures (just be sure to come back to the blog Smile )
1a   1b   1c
The cross and figures at the cross is across the street from the church.  We did not go inside, had too many miles to travel, but it was a good, quick ten minute detour.  Then it was a long drive through much farm land…
Kansas above, Nebraska below
Nebraska below
Until we hit the Oregon/California/Mormon/Pony Express Trails in the area below in Nebraska
As we traveled along the relatively short portion of these trails, our minds wandered to “I wonder what the pioneers who traveled these routes thought as they came upon the various obstacles?”  Heavy brush, muddy fields, rivers to cross, hills, a constant slow rise in elevation….so many things besides the dangers along the way from Indians, animals, and other people.  The trail is about 2,000 miles long, and it took from four to six months to cross it.  So they traveled from ten to twenty miles per day, depending upon the conditions.  As we were about 10 miles out, we could see one of our destinations for the day…. Chimney Rock. One could imagine how many times wagons pressed forward to camp near Chimney Rock for the night.
Driving a bit further west, and we came to Scotts Bluff National Monument.  We should have went into the museum, but we were just too tired, and still an hour from our park for the night.  So here are a few pictures of Scotts Bluff, and the link to the National Park Service will give you more info on the monument.  We will need to try and come back to the area when we have more time, that is for sure.
Yes, the Oregon Trail rain right about where these wagons are placed today.
Well, we covered nearly 500 miles today, but we got to see some cool stuff, although just briefly.  With father’s day on Sunday, we need to get closer to Salt Lake so that we can spend Sunday with my daughter Stephanie.  But tomorrow we are stopping at Independence Rock for sure.  For tonight, we are at Pony Soldier RV Park, an old, old KOA with very friendly staff/owners.  We will be hearing a train whistle during the night, but I don’t think it will keep us up much since it is on the other side of the highway.


  1. Beautiful photos of the church! Wow, Kansas and Nebraska are so flat! If you get a good tail wind you should get some excellent mileage! :-) Have a good Father's Day with your daughter!

    1. We did have a tail wind as we drove north between I-70 and I-80, otherwise fought a cross wind most of the day. Stephanie is looking forward to seeing us...just happens to have the day off from work.

  2. We stopped at Scott's Bluff a few years back on a motorcycle trip. Very interesting place!

    1. It is something we sure want to see next time we are in the area. Time is not on our side right now though.

  3. Beautiful drive! We haven't explored Kansas and Nebraska yet. It sure looks pretty.

    Nice pictures of the cathedral and interesting facts about the wagon trail.

    Safe travels...I know you are getting excited the closer you get to Stephanies.


We love to hear comments from our readers. All comments are moderated by Dave before added to the website. Spam, advertisers and rude comments are deleted, and due to high spam attempts, Anonymous Users cannot post, sorry....register for a Google ID, it is free and it is easy to setup.