Want to see our Visited States Data, our State by State Bucket Lists or our Visited Parks and Campground lists?

Then click on the image above to go to our other website.



STOP #205

We arrived safe and sound here at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, considered by most to be the Crown Jewel of the Nebraska State Park System.

It is one of Nebraska's newer state parks, having just opened in May of 1991. It is also the first Nebraska state park designed for year round operation. They have horseback riding, a driving range for the golfers, a conservatory, a waterway of lakes for their peddalboat rentals, a swimming pool, a tennis complex, picnic shelters, outdoor theater, indoor climbing walls, a ropes course, a snack bar, sand volleyball courts, a disc golf course and for the winter season a sledding hill and an ice rink.

Of course most of these activities are seasonal and open each year on Memorial Day Weekend, which happens to be the day after we leave here. Just our luck!

But we're OK with not being here for the boisterous holiday weekend with the crowds of people. We have a smaller and hopefully quieter place to spend the weekend picked out about 200 miles north of here.

TUESDAY - I have been asked by several different people lately how I manage to consistently pick the BEST campsite, with the BEST view and the MOST privacy? And I do all this without ever having been inside of the park!

It all starts by making my reservations online 6 to 12 months in advance of my arrival, precisely at the first second of the first day the sites become available. This way I usually have all of the sites to choose from, which helps out a lot. For most people, this alone is enough to turn them off to the idea they could do it too.

I would say most of the time I find there are no campsite photos online (www.CampsitePhotos.com) or on the various reservation sites, whether it's ReserveAmerica (for State Parks) or Recreation.gov (for Federal Parks). Even when you do find photos there is no way of knowing how old the photo is! I have arrived and found a twenty year old tree that didn't appear in the campsite photo I selected my campsite from and I'm sure they didn't take the time to Photoshop it out of the picture.

When I can't find photos I next look at the Google map satellite view of the campground. If the area is dense with heavy tree coverage you can't even find the roads, let alone individual campsites using this strategy.

If we are going to be spending a week or more at a location I sometimes make a phone call to the park, mid-morning when they usually aren't busy, and ask their recommendations on prefered campsites. Sometimes that works well, sometime it doesn't. It all depends on who answers the phone.

Anyway, even after all this effort, sometimes, but not often,
we'll end up with a site like we have here.

Sure we have decent privacy...

with nobody to our immediate left...

and nobody to our immediate right...

But what I couldn't see from the simple campground map was...

we've got nothing more than mud outside our front door...

and our picnic table and fire pit are inconveniently placed on the wrong side?

But worst of all...

we didn't get our lakeside view out the rear windows where we sit and work all day!


But what we did get was a lot of shade and that came in handy these last few days
with temperatures in the mid-80s and hardly a cloud in the sky.
So I'm not really complaining, it's just not what I expected when I picked this site
and besides, in 3 days we'll have a different view of our new backyard!

WEDNESDAY - Today I'm going to share with you a little U.S. geography and a little U.S. road history.

If you don't find these two things interesting like I do, go ahead and skip to the bottom of this post.

Let me start by saying, without a doubt the most famous road in the United States history is Route 66. Completed in 1926 it connected the cities of Chicago, IL and Santa Monica, CA at a distance of 2,448 miles. It quickly became known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road.

Then in 1946 it became part of pop culture when the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66", featuring Nat King Cole, with the King Cole Trio, was hitting the airwaves. Between 1960 and 1964 CBS even aired a television series simply titled Route 66. It starred a young Martin Milner who traveled the route in his Corvette convertible. Milner would later star in the NBC hit series Adam-12 from 1968 to 1975.

Sadly, even with all this fame, U.S. Route 66 officially has not existed since 1985 when it was decommissioned. All that remains now are short, unconnected segments, now known as "Historic Route 66" roadways. Some states have renamed their segments State Highway 66, but the U.S. Route 66 designation is gone forever.

You may recall we traveled upon one of these Route 66 segments while visiting Oklahoma City last month. But I bet you're wondering why I bring this all up now.

Well today we traveled on an even older segment of a different road, here west of Omaha, NE.

Here you'll find a 3-mile long segment of the Original Lincoln Highway still in use today. The Lincoln Highway was completed in 1913 and at the time was one of the first coast-2-coast highways linking Times Square in New York, NY to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, CA. This short segment of 108 year old paver brick roadway is still here and accommodates light local traffic daily.

For it's age it's still in pretty good shape, definitely uneven and bumpy, but hey, the average automobile speed when it was built was only 18 MPH.

Our ROVER traveling on the Lincoln Highway

A close up view of the brick paver construction.

If you've made it this far reading this post I'll bet
you're hoping that I'll wrap it all up shortly.

Well not just yet, I've got two more tidbits of information for you all.

Yesterday as I drove to the nearby small town of Ashland, NE to retrieve our forwarded mail from the Post Office I saw this sign on the side of the road.

I wondered two things:

1st) Did the Nebraska Highway 66 emblem at the top of the sign have anything to do with the famous decommissioned U.S. Route 66?


2nd) Were this U.S. Route 6 emblems on the sides the same road as the one that every Cape Codder is familiar with over in Massachusetts?

The answers turned out to be NO and YES.

NO) U.S. Route 66 didn't come within 200 miles of Nebraska, heck in barely entered the southeast corner of Kansas.

YES). U.S. Route 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, was completed in 1926 and connected Provincetown, MA with Long Beach, CA. From 1936 until 1964 it was the longest highway in the United States at 3,652 miles long.

In 1964 California renumbered all of their highways and U.S. Route 6 lost all of it's length from near the California/Nevada border to the coast in Long Beach, CA which made it only 3.205 miles long.

In doing so U.S. Route 20 became the longest U.S. Highway at 3,365 miles, connecting Boston, MA and Newport, OR.

NOTE: Today U.S. Route 6 is 3,198.87 miles long and Ashland, NE (where I took this photo) is within a mile or two of being exactly at the midway point of 1600 miles from either end.


Would you like to be notified of new blog posts?

We encourage everyone
to leave their comments
in our Facebook Group!

We would really like to hear from you!

Until next time