Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lewellen, Nebraska

Doug and I had been planning to take a trip to some of our western states in August. It was to be a combination of a celebration of our 29th anniversary and an opportunity to see our friends, John and Betty, in chariot races in Dubois, Wyoming on August 13th.

When it became apparent that the health of our friend, Dave, was quickly deteriorating, we cancelled our planned trip, wanting to be home to lend what support we could to Kay and to attend Dave's funeral. 

Dave died the day after we cancelled our reservations, and his funeral was scheduled for August 10, the day that we had originally planned to leave. We talked it over and and decided that, if we left right after the funeral and burial, and drove hard for two and a half days, we could make it to Dubois in time for the chariot races.

The first day's travel took us through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. We stopped for the night on the eastern edge of Nebraska. The next day, we crossed Nebraska, then took U. S. Highway 26 toward Scottsbluff. It's a route that we followed in 2013, so some of these photos may look familiar.

We both remembered the beauty of Lake McConaughy and looked forward to stopping at that overlook again.

20160828_Lewellen, Nebraska
Lake McConaughy
Dusk was falling and a storm was approaching as we left Lake McConaughy and continued on toward Lewellen, Nebraska, where we had a lodging reservation for that night.


It was getting too dark for good photos by the time we saw this old sod house and a historical marker for Windlass Hill Pioneer Homestead. It was part of Ash Hollow State Historical Park. If we ever get back that way, I'd like to plan some time to explore that area. It was part of the Oregon Trail route followed by westward-bound pioneers, and it's said that there are still visible wagon ruts on Windlass Hill.

Sod House at Ash Hollow State Historical Park
Lewellen, Nebraska is a very small town. We stayed the night at the Gander Inn, pictured in the next two photos.

Gander Inn, Lewellen, Nebraska

Our room was in the back, the brown door to the right of the path.
Following are a few pictures of the main street of the town of Lewellen. The Gander Inn didn't provide breakfast for its guests, but the hostess informed me that breakfast was available at the art gallery starting at nine in the morning.

A sign on the side of the art gallery says "Gallery, Bistro, WiFi"

A sign on this corner building points people to the cafe at the art gallery.

That's the art gallery/cafe on the left.
We didn't have breakfast at the art gallery because we wanted to get on the road earlier than when they began serving. A man who saw us taking pictures encouraged us to at least go over and have a look around. We said we understood they didn't open until nine. He said, "She'll be in there cooking now and would be glad to let you in to look around." But we declined. We should have stayed and had breakfast there, though, because we wound up driving an hour or more before we found a place to eat.

More from our Trip West 2016 to come in future posts.


  1. Great photos, Linda! I especially like the sod house photo.
    Wow, ruts on Windlass Hill, still. That's amazing.
    I'm looking forward to seeing your pics of the chariots races. How fun.
    I still don't have a camera, the summer has gotten in the way of my making a decision on that.
    Have a great week!

  2. cute little arty place. sorry you had to rush your drive, but completely understandable.

  3. Pretty remote out there in W NE.I have fished the lake and it is huge, one needs a compass to return home sometimes.There are some really nice parks around that area.The chariot races sound fun,will look forward to seeing them.I will say a prayer for your friend when out on the prairie.

  4. I love love love following you on your journeys.... I'm certainly glad you all got to take this trip and got there in time for the chariot races.

    Beautiful pictures... AND your little inn looked like a great place to stay... Sorry they didn't serve breakfast earlier...

    Keep these great pictures coming.

  5. Beautiful scenes.The Inn you stayed at looks quite charming.

  6. I've been eager to see some of your great photos of your latest western adventure! You and Doug always find some interesting places to visit!

  7. You would have enjoyed your trip and it would be a unforgettable moments:)

  8. Thanks, Toni. I wish the lighting had been better for the pictures of the sod house. Maybe next time. And we'll have to allow time to explore those wagon ruts.

    Tex - The town was so tiny. The artistic flair on the buildings took us by surprise.

    Steve - It really IS remote in that part of Nebraska...and so beautiful. What fun it must be to fish on that huge lake, and a compass sounds like a necessary tool when you do. Thanks for remembering our friend in prayer.

    Thank you, Betsy. You're a great encourager and make sharing my trips here more fun.

    Ruth - The Inn worked out perfectly for us. We wanted to get beyond Ogallala that day but didn't want to try to get all the way to Scottsbluff. The Gander Inn was in just the right place.

    Ah, Diane. You're a glutton for punishment. I'll probably wear you out with photos before I'm finished. :)

    Weekend-Windup - We did enjoy the trip immensely and hope we don't forget those special moments. Posting them here will help us remember. :)

  9. Wonderful images from your trip. Love the small town feel. It must have been hard to go back out after Dave's passing. But I think it's important to keep going.

    1. Thank you, Mersad. It WAS hard to take off right after the funeral. If it hadn't been that this pre-season chariot race was the only one that wasn't in winter, when travel isn't the greatest, we'd probably have postponed the trip for a few weeks.

  10. Linda, Lake McConaughy looks beautiful and… Scottish… :)

    1. Thanks, Petra. You made me laugh with the Scottish remark. :)


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