April 14, 2013

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


Holton, Kansas

A Holton cat.


Dawson, Nebraska

Auburn, Nebraska

Crossing the Platte River.

Fremont, Nebraska

Blair, Nebraska

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.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located in the migratory bird corridor of the Missouri River floodplain and provides essential habitat for resident, migratory and endangered species. High quality floodplain forest, grassland, wetland, sandbar and riverine habitats support diverse and productive populations of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and neotropical birds, as well as rare, threatened and endangered species including the pallid sturgeon, piping plover and least tern.

--NWR website

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.

Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established to recover fish and wildlife habitat in and along the Missouri River. The purpose of the Boyer Chute Restoration Project is to restore essential wildlife habitat that became scarce when the Missouri River was "improved" for navigation half a century ago. River channelization, wetland drainage, and conversion of river bottom floodplain areas to agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses had resulted in the loss of over 500,000 acres of habitat along the navigable stretch of the Missouri River floodplain.

--NWR website

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).













Waverly, Nebraska

Geneva, Nebraska

Bruning, Nebraska

Chester, Nebraska


last edit: 4/15/2013