by Betsy Finley
Nebraska’s state line signs read “Nebraska, The Good Life”. Well, I’m back in Nebraska and have just finished eating a portion of my 28 ounce Coffee hamburger at Sioux Sundries in Harrison, Nebraska and I must admit this is truly the good life. I had the pleasure of talking with an elderly local while waiting for my burger. He shared some interesting stories of the Coffee Ranch and life as it is in Harrison. His rugged face spoke volumes of the hard work he’d put in while living in this ranching community. If you listen carefully to stories from the elderly locals and watch the lines on their faces, one can get a feeling of what life must have been like when this area was first being settled. It can be a harsh territory, but I truly felt close to God while staying here.
After a good night’s sleep and a visit to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument which is 28 miles south of Harrison, my trip to Chadron State Park continues. The next leg of my journey will take me through Fort Robinson State Park. I’m quite sure I’ll need to spend at least a day there because of all the rich history that surrounds this former Cavalry fort and then a German POW camp during WWII. And Fort Robinson delivered. What a neat place Fort Robinson State Park is. I took many tours through the various buildings that once housed the Cavalry. I stood on the ground where Crazy Horse was killed. I rode my bike out to where the WWII POW camp used to be and then out even farther where the Red Cloud Agency was headquartered. There were times I could almost feel the presence of these soldiers and Indians. It’s a truly fascinating place.
After spending a day and a half at the Fort, I took an easy 3-mile bike ride into Crawford, Nebraska. This town, too, has a rich history and is named after a soldier stationed at the Fort. But to my big delight I found a wonderful quilt store where I was able to buy another stash of fabric for my trip quilt. The women at this store were very friendly and informative as were the other folks in town. It made me want to set up home there, but that would mean ending my trip and I’m not nearly ready to do that.
After a tour through the local winery in Crawford, I ate dinner at the local Dairy Keen which boasts of the best BBQ north of Texas. I do believe they are correct as I had my fill and still have leftovers for tomorrow. My time spent in Nebraska so far has truly depicted their state line road sign motto “The Good Life.” It truly is a good life here and a place I’ll be coming back to.
And after spending the last couple of days in my real life at home due to inclement weather, I ponder on my imaginary biking travels and the time I have actually spent at Fort Robinson and in Crawford. My biking has been instrumental in making my life more centered, healthier, and happier. And my memories of actual time spent at Fort Bob and Crawford are fond memories of a quieter life, a life of simplicity where you can walk outside and enjoy what God gives to us each and every day. I believe it is this same feeling of simplicity I get from riding; a feeling I try to keep in my life so that I, too, can enjoy “The Good Life.” And, as usual, I hope that all you who are reading this can find “the good life” in your life whatever “the good life” may be to you. It’s different for all of us, but then we are all different. May God bless you all and thanks for your continued support.