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Old 04-12-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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Highway 20 across northern Nebraska

We're making general plans for our summer. It'll be our first as official full timers as Peggy finally retires June 1st.

The one place we know for sure we'll be spending some time is in the Black Hills. From there we want to work our way back east and are looking for alternatives to back tracking on I90 back to WI, a route we've done many times over the years. One thought was to head north to I94 and then east, but I got looking at a map and wondered if highway 20 across northern Nebraska might be appropriate for our 43' rig plus toad. It looks like we could head south on highway 79 out of the hills and intersect 20 in Nebraska. Freeways are great if you've got someplace to be in a hurry, but we're on no time table and are looking for new places to explore between places we do need or want to stop.

Besides the road itself, any places you'd recommend along the road to park our 'house' for a night or three?
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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US 20 IN Nebraska

I think you will find US 20 to be a fine choice for "non interstate driving" .. it has been a few years since I have driven between Chadron and Sioux City ...

1) Chadron State Park is quite a scenic spot ... we overnighted there in a 30 amp electric spot ... we were there after prime season so we had a wide choice of sites.

2) Valentine is an "oasis" in the prairie ... there are pines on the hills ... there is a preserve south of town with elk and bison ... The Niobrara River is south of town ... it has some very challenging canoeing ... I have not canoed it personally but have read about it ...

3) DO NOT MISS Ashfall State park ( north of US 20 about 10 miles between O'Neal and Plainview) ... this is a prehistoric site that contains the skeletal remains of animals at a watering hole that were trapped by a sudden ash fall storm ... the park is very rural ... the roads are paved and plenty of room to park your rig and toad

4) There is a very nice city park in South Sioux City, NE right on the Missouri river (Scenic Park & Campground) ... full hookups ... very reasonably priced ... some pull through spots ... large cottonwood trees for shade ...

We have travelled this in a 35 ft gas and 40 ft diesel motorhome with toad.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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I will give a big second to Skigramps suggestions. Might try thew Niabrara State Park at the junction of the Missouri River. Nice clean Park. Enjoy.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. This is sounding promising.

I am worried about finding a place to stay so close to the 4th of July though.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:13 AM   #5
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Reservations ???

Both of the places in my post take reservations
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Something we enjoyed during our travels thru the Sandhills on US 20 was the Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Hisorical Park. It was a working ranch, donated to the state. One neat thing they have is a "soddy" - a real sod house of the type used by the early settlers of the plains.

A hint - park in Merriman and drive your toad there as the access road can be very dusty.

The site is about 5 miles north of Merriman of of SR 61. Two hours should cover it.

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Here's another thought, depending how "historically-minded" you are.

Take US 18 west out of the Hills to US 85 south to US 26. West on US 26 to Fort Laramie National Site. The fort was a base for soldiers protecting the westward-bound pioneers.

Then, a little farther west to Guernsey, WY and the Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site 3 miles south of town. On US 26 just inside Nebraska is Scotts Bluff National Monument. Continuing east is Chimney Rock National Historic Site.

Look it up - all very interesting part of our national heritage.

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Old 04-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Another interesting historical site is Fort Robinson in Crawford, NE ... that is just a little west of Chadron ... many of the original building are standing ... Walter Reed was a young army physician there ... he made several important discoveries while stationed there ...
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