Today we traveled to Kearney, NE, about 50 miles away. Since the drive was so short we avoided the interstate and traveled west on Hwy 30. We arrived in Kearney at about 11:45 am. We parked on a side street and had a little lunch, then we pulled out, arriving at the RV Park at about 12:15. The sites are relatively nice, all pull-thrus, with full hook-ups…
At 3:00 pm we all drove the two miles to “The Archway.”..
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is a monument on Interstate 80 located three miles east of Kearney, Nebraska. Opened in July 2000, it houses a historical experience that tells the story of Nebraska and the Platte River Valley in the development of America. The monument spans more than 300 feet above Interstate 80.
Since prehistoric times, the trail along the Platte River through Nebraska, which came to be known as the Great Platte River Road, has been a thoroughfare for travel across the continent. The Archway museum details the stories of the pioneers, adventurers, and innovators who have traveled the trail since the mid-1800s and helped to build America. The exhibit starts at Fort Kearny in 1848 and features sections on the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Mormon Trail that converged at the nearby Fort Kearny before heading west. As visitors progress through the exhibit, the displays of different time periods feature a prairie schooner wagon on the Oregon Trail, a buffalo stampede, the Mormon Handcart Expedition, a 49er’s campsite, the Pony Express (including a video of a rider arriving at a relay station, transferring the mail to a fresh horse, and galloping off…), the Transcontinental Telegraph (which, of course, killed the Pony Express…), a stagecoach, the Transcontinental Railroad (which, of course, ended the wagon trains…), the first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway, and today’s transcontinental highway, I-80 (which, of course, killed thousands of small towns across the country and ended the livelihoods of millions of people…). The exhibit ends with a replica drive-in and 1950s-style café with windows providing views over the interstate. The exhibits are featured in chronological order and reflect the historical developments that occurred on the Great Platte River Road.
The art and exhibits were very interesting, and there were audio devices so we could each hear the story behind each exhibit as we walked through…
(I remember roadside cabins and motels like this when I traveled with my family across the country in 1961…)
There is a window from the exhibit of a roadside diner overlooking the 80. There is also a radar gun so we can see who is exceeding the posted speed limit of 75 mph.
It was a great exhibit – highly recommended…
We returned to the Villa. Tonight we had another GAM where we met four new couples. We had a little happy hour and sandwiches for dinner.
An enjoyable time was had by all…
August 6, 2021 at 11:38 pm
We stayed in Kearney 2 years ago when we drove to South Dakota. Love Grand Island!!!
August 7, 2021 at 12:06 am
Staying in Ogallala tonight, heard we just missed you guys. Might see you in Cheyenne.