Two Wildlife Refuges would be visited: DeSoto and Boyer Chute. For years I've considered the network of wildlife refuges as interesting areas that have been put aside for good environmental reasons, but not really worth going too far out of the way to visit. Wrong! They have a focus of purpose that rivals the national park system. They might not be spectacular; but, all are worth visiting.
And, too, you'll never need to look for a place to park as you would in Yellowstone
A Holton cat.
Crossing the Platte River.
Samuel and Joanna Dorsey are buried in the Blair cemetery. These are my great-great grandparents.
Herman, Nebraska is not far north of Blair along the Missouri River and is the hometown of my grandmother (born a Dorsey).
The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is in Iowa on the east side of the Missouri River, north of Omaha, Nebraska.
The visitor center is all about watching wildlife.
The early 19th century riverboat Bertrand sank within the current boundary of the refuge. Many things were recovered from it several years ago and are on display at the center.
They have space for lots of serious bird watchers and have some very good quality spotting equipment ready for your use.
And, in keeping the tradition of riding my mountain unicycle in a national wildlife refuge, I had a go at it.
For the very first time, I did fall. First blood (literally). Oh well, at least that's done with. The trails are really perfect for this sort of thing. I can ride down the slope at a gully well enough, but need to walk up the other side. I might--in future--consider wearing the knee pads that I bought when I bought the unicycle, but have never used.
Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
The Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge is in Nebraska, not far south of DeSoto but on the west side of the Missouri River.
There has been some serious flooding in this area. The refuge has really not fully recovered, but I was mostly able to find a way along the old trails.
The Strategic Air & Space Museum is southwest of Omaha, Nebraska. It used to be at Offutt Air Force Base, but in 1998, was moved to this location, in Ashland.
Much more than the location has been changed. The earlier museum (run by the Air Force) was all about the power of the Strategic Air Command, and not a small bit about the power and strength of General LeMay and his vision. This was not a kid's museum. It first gave you a concern for the strength of the enemy, but then left you with a resolute confidence that the enemy was going to be defeated in the end.
This new museum, is far more about children and education and even (to admit it) entertainment. The first one left you in awe of the power of these weapons and the destruction they could send; this one shows some really cool airplanes.
An advantage of this new location is that the airplanes are all indoors (all except a Vulcan, which was outside and away from visitors).