After learning last Wednesday evening what an engorged tick feels like and that I could remove it, kill it and clean the wound without completely freaking out, I slept a bit better than I did when we first encountered ticks in Minnesota a few weeks ago. We woke last Thursday morning next to one of the ponds in the campground at Fort Kearny Recreation Area, Nebraska, with the positive attitude that we would not let any evil, blood sucking creatures spoil our adventures. (Okay, the dogs always had that attitude but I had to work a little to readjust mine.)
There is a nature trail at the campground but I was anxious to get to the Fort Kearny Historical Park just a little over 2 miles down the road from the recreation area. I packed up camp and we headed out. Now, you would think a good Cascadian like me would know some Oregon trail history, which I do, but I did not know that Fort Kearny was a major stopping point on the trail West until we arrived at the historic site. Seeing as how I very much appreciate those who settled the region I love, I was thrilled to explore this park. And, as usual, historic or not, so were the dogs.
This was the longest drive I had planned for our entire road trip. Fortunately, we passed from Central to Mountain time so we gained an hour. Plus, this drive was one of the most beautiful we had done. I rarely noticed the dogs sniffing or looking out the windows so far on our trip, but this leg was one of the times they were definitely interested in the sights and the smells. It was a pretty dramatic change to go from colorful, flat grasslands to breathtaking, high peaks and from farms to ranches. The first mountain range we drove through was the Sherman Mountains. Beautiful! We stopped at the first view point we came to.