9/21/14

Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area, Merriman, Nebraska

We had a long day of driving without mishaps that ended in a very weird way. It's all good. Before I get onto the weird ending, let me tell you how the day started.

As you know from yesterday's post, we were camped in LeMars, Iowa, last night. It was a great spot except for the large white woofie next door. Smitty stayed busy keeping tabs on its every move.


I was wishing I'd taken more pictures of LeMars as we drove into town yesterday, but I was busy navigating to the campground. Instead, I took some this morning. It is so typical of the many small towns we have driven through in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska...with old buildings that give the impression that time is standing still in this part of the country.



When we left LeMars, we were headed for Sioux City and the Nebraska state line. A few of you mentioned barn quilts after my last post. I have seen a few barn quilts, but I haven't been able to get any good pictures of them. This morning I caught one quickly enough to avoid blurring the image. I believe this quilt block is called a dahlia(?)...not sure. Please chime in if you have another idea.


Soon thereafter, we crossed the Missouri River into the Great State of Nebraska. I'll have to give you the state of the states map tomorrow because (believe it or not) I haven't yet stuck the state to the side of the RV.


While Wisconsin and Iowa were fairly flat landscapes, we've noticed more rolling hills in Nebraska.


We've seen this crop growing along with the acres and acres of cornfields. This morning, we determined that it was soy beans.


And all the fields everywhere are in various stages of harvest.


Can you stand one more barn? I'm about barned out, myself, and I didn't take nearly as many pictures today.


We've driven about 3/4 of the way across Nebraska from east to west today. The western side of the state is more prairie-like with more ranches than farms.


So here's the weird thing that happened. As you might guess, campgrounds are few and far between in these wide open spaces states. We decided to drive to Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area just outside Merriman, Nebraska. The website described it as having some 70 sites, with no length limits, full hook-ups, etc. All in all, a modern campground. When we arrived, the campground was anything but. It is primitive, with pit toilets, no more than a dozen tent sites, and none for trailers. And the place is completely abandoned. We've both looked and double-checked and looked at the map, and we've determined that the website is referring to a campground miles from where we are...literally almost all the way back to where we came from!

No matter. We are completely self-contained, and the solitude is certainly nice. Just before sitting down here, I stepped out onto the top step of our RV and took this picture looking to the left, 


and this one looking to the right where there is a nice big mosquito pond.


Despite the mosquito pond, it's a nice spot, even if it isn't intended for big rig trailers. We are happy. It is very quiet here with no trains and no highway noise. And it should be great star-gazing.

Speaking of mosquitoes, I want to congratulate Minnesota on having the most polite mosquitoes ever. After picking on you for your roads, I'll say that your "state bird" mosquitoes were nothing compared to those we met in North Dakota. It's a dubious distinction to be sure, but I wanted to let you know that we loved your mosquitoes.

And since this is a primitive campground, I'm writing this post on battery power. Surprisingly, we have a cell tower within our line of site, and so I am using my personal hotspot for my wi-fi service. But all of that to say that I need to get off before I run out of juice.

Tomorrow we'll be heading for Casper, Wyoming, and a shorter day of driving. There are a couple of quilt shops there. Timing is everything when I visit a quilt shop, and so hopefully, we can get in early enough in the day for them to be open for business. Until then...signing off to conserve my battery.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

I'm glad to see Smitty watching the woofie, they can't be trusted. Sorry for the campsite not being what you expected but you do have peace and quiet. Hope you do make it to the quilt shops, at least one. Safe travels.

Cinder Gal said...

When you're in Casper look for the giant jackalope. I haven't seen it but my husband has (he's a trucker and has seen it all). You should make a "giant" quilt with all the giant statues you've seen, haha.

Tami C said...

Gracie looks quit comfy sitting on her Daddy's chair! That's where Roxie sits on her Daddy's chair. The barn quilt block us unknown to me but it looks really nice on that barn! Sorry about the RV site that isn't where you thought it was, but at least it should be nice and quite. Have a nice drive tomorrow. I'm looking forward for your next quilt shop stop!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

So different from what we see each day in our regular lives. Thanks for sharing such great pictures. Smitty and the Woofies-title for a kid's book.

Brown Family said...

That is one thing I like about downtown Plano. It has all of the quaint old buildings. A mile in any direction and you are in big city!

treadlemusic said...

We have encountered similar invalid info......so wrong as to make one wonder (in this techno day and age) how it could even occur!!!! But, yes, cell towers are everywhere...thankfully! Looking forward to your next report!!! Safe travels..................

Diane Wild said...

So glad you got to tour through corn and bean country. Think of all that high fructose corn syrup standing in those fields. Say goodbye to the flatlands and hello mountains.

quiltzyx said...

The rolling hills are so lovely & green. Not much of that around here these days!

Even though the campground was not where or what you expected, it did look very serene.

Kate said...

It does look like a lovely place to park. It's good that you are "self contained".