One of our favorite summertime activities has been exploring our beautiful state with the Nebraska Passport as our guide. Even though my cancer surgery and recovery have put a major crimp on our outings this summer we were able to get in a couple of trips the week between Lindsay’s wedding and my surgery.
On the morning of June 14th we headed out to the Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury. My Oregon cousins, Scott and Bruce, were visiting us after having attended Lindsay’s wedding the previous weekend in Des Moines. Scott is a professional photographer who spent most of his career working for Nike in Portland. And he loves to take photos of the landscape in the Heartland. Rock Creek Station is a peaceful and photogenic area with picnic and camping areas. Wagon wheel ruts are evident in the prairie left behind by the pioneers traveling on the Oregon Trail. A small museum at the visitor’s center details the adventures of Wild Bill Hickok in that area.
On June 17th we celebrated our anniversary with a passport trip to sights north and west of us. Our first stop was in York at Goody Pops - an awesome shop with a wide variety of popcorn. Just the smell when you walked in the door was well worth the drive! The antique building that houses the store has a lot of character with brick walls and a tin ceiling. We bought strawberries and cream popcorn, sea salt caramel popcorn, and movie popcorn that kept us in snacks for the rest of our trip.
We then headed north to Columbus for lunch at Glur’s Tavern. Their claim to fame is that they are the oldest continuous working tavern west of the Missouri River having been established in 1876. You could just feel the history the minute you walked in the door. While the menu was not extensive the food was good and the price was right!
Our next stop was just down the road at Pekarek’s Produce outside of Dwight, Tom’s home town. We were hoping for a tour of the operation but it was a very hot and humid day - imagine that in Nebraska! - and the only worker around was up to her elbows in beets. So we purchased a box of strawberries and went on our way.
We often combine the Nebraska Passport with the Nebraska Wine Passport on our trips so stopped at James Arthur Vineyard in Raymond next. Since it was over 100 degrees outside we opted to sit inside in the air-conditioning and enjoy a glass of wine.
Our final stop of the day was at Saro Cider close to downtown Lincoln. I’m not really a fan of ciders as I would much rather have a glass of red wine but it was fun to try something a little different. The ciders were refreshing and summery and their tasting room was comfortable with a modern aesthetic.
If you haven’t taken advantage of the Nebraska Passport yet then be sure to put it on your list for next summer. You will discover all kinds of places that you didn’t know existed in our great state.