Friday, May 15, 2009

Stateside Part 4

By now, I'm sure you're bored with my trip but I still have to go home! Unless you're reading these posts in the most recent order first in which case you'll follow my trip backwards. lol.

After the trail ride and dinner, the three of us said our goodbyes and headed out to the hotel. Only we didn't go back to Lincoln. We were midway to Omaha so onward we went. Remember what I said about going south from Oregon via Canada? heehee. I have traveled through all the states west of the Mississippi except Iowa and Alaska. Well, being so close to the Iowa border, I had to go there, didn't I?

I booked a room for us in Carter Lake, Iowa. It is the only Iowa town west of the Missouri river and it's right in the middle of Omaha! Just try driving through Omaha, Nebraska to the airport and you'll go through Iowa to get there! Crazy, huh?

This hotel had a pool and a hot tub so Sheila and I went for a long soak. It felt great!

In the morning we drove around the town and visited the lake. There was a letterbox at the park there but we never found it. We must have been looking at the wrong trees because I noticed it was found by someone else a day later. It was a pretty park with a nice view of downtown Omaha.
Here's my mom and Buddha ready to head on home.
I always enjoy driving through the small towns. There is so much history and the architecture is pretty cool too.
We were following the Oregon Trail a lot of the way. I just can't imagine taking this trip by covered wagon though.Gothenburg is a pretty neat little town. They have a real time capsule there as well as two original pony express stations. There were lots and lots of beautiful, historic buildings around town.Check out this brick building with all the pony express riders painted on it.We just had to stop and see a real pony express station.Here's the original mochila (saddle bag) that slips on to the saddles.The pony express lasted only from April 3, 1860, to late October 1861. Their goal was to provide the fastest mail delivery between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. To draw public attention to the central route in hope of gaining the million dollar government mail contract for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.

Pony Express Riders- "Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Most riders were around 20. Youngest was 11. Oldest was mid-40s. Not many were orphans. Usually weighed around 120 pounds.

The riders averaged 10 miles per hour and rode 75 to 100 miles, getting a fresh horse every 10-15 miles. The full trail was almost 2,000 miles long.
You can find more pony express info here

This is in Denver. The old church is beautiful but check out the building next door! It rained the morning we were in Denver so we only drove around town for a bit. Here is the capitol building in the rain.

The "unsinkable" Molly Brown, a famous Titanic survivor, wanted a view of the capitol from her parlor so her house is located nearby. Here is her house.
Denver is such a neat town. There are lots of old, historical, frontier buildings right alongside brand new architectural structures.

We drove around a little and then hit the highway. We stopped for a luncheon in the town of Raton, New Mexico at the K-Bob's Steakhouse. Everyone was all dressed up and taking their mothers out for Mother's Day and it reminded us to hurry on home. My sister-in-law had a dinner planned for her mom, my mom, myself, and my three grown children at her new apartment. It was a wonderful multi-course affair. Thanks Lynne!

What a fantastyk trip!!

1 comment:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ohhh! I like that Molly Brown house. I'd love to take a tour if they give them.
And that old historic brick church next to that ultra modern building was quite a shocker. Such completely different styles of architecture so close together...reminds me of a museum. lol!

I liked the pony express building. I would have loved to go inside and explore, too. And the Pony Express walll looked like The Rolling Stones Rainbow Riders! lol!

You ladies were able to do and see so much. I would have been exhausted by the time I got home. I bet the homecooked dinner was a wonderful treat :)