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Alamo Car Rentals Nebraska

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Things to do in Nebraska

  • Henry Doorly Zoo Henry Doorly Zoo Omaha, Nebraska
    The Henry Doorly Zoo opened in 1894, as the Riverview Park Zoo, located in Omaha, Nebraska, and today is accredited by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Containing the biggest cat display in the continent, "Kingdoms of the Night" is the biggest nocturnal display and indoor swamp in the world. The biggest indoor rainforest, the Lied Jungle, is the biggest in the world, and the biggest indoor desert is also here, the Desert Dome; pictured to the right, and also the biggest glazed geodesic dome in the world. It is the number one attraction in the state, and has had over 25 million visitors come here in the last four decades. In 2004, there were 130 acres of land, 7 threatened species, 184 mammal species represented by 2025 animals, 42 amphibian species representing 487 creatures, 276 bird species with 1626 birds, 103 invertebrates species represented by 5000 specimens, 181 fish species with 7600 fish, 44 endangered species, 176 reptile species with 598 reptiles; with over 17,000 animals and 962 species. When the zoo was only four years old, it had 120 animals, and by 1952 it was assisted by the creation of the Omaha Zoological Society to help improve the zoo. Margaret Hitchcock Doorly gave $750,000 to the zoo, asking that it be renamed in honor and memory of her late husband Henry Doorly; chairman of the World Publishing Company. The Omaha Zoo railroad was began in 1968, with help from the Union Pacific to put down 2.5 miles of track; with two rides going around the zoo, and a carousel. It sits right next to the Rosenblatt Stadium, where the College World Series are held each year, and also, the Triple-A Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League. In the planning stages for the future, the zoo hopes to buy the stadium once a new one is built downtown; where the NCAA College World Series will be held in 2011.  As mentioned main displays include the Lied Jungle, which opened in 1992, and cost $15 million to build and is the biggest indoor rainforest on earth. The building is 80 feet high, is 1.5 acres across and sits just within the entrance. The massive interior is 123,000 acres, with 61,000 square feet of plants, 35,000 square of exhibit management area and 11,000 square feet of educational displays. Those coming here can walk along the dirt trail as well as a walkway that heads around and above the animals. Included in the 90 species living here are; cichlid, blue monkey, otter, common squirrel monkey, gibbon, black howler, ring-tailed lemur, clouded leopard, pygmy hippopotamus, Baird's tapir, Malayan tapir and scarlet macaw. They did have an albino alligator here, but has since left.  The Scott Kingdom of the Seas Aquarium was opened in 1995, costing $16 million, and its structure is 71,000 square feet of habitats. It is divided into various regions like the coral reefs, polar regions, flooded Amazon rainforest and temperate oceans. The shark tank contains 900,000 gallons of water, a 70 foot tunnel that sits at the bottom of the 17 foot deep tank; showcasing sharks, coral reef fish and sea turtles. Another tank holds a North Pacific giant octopus, varieties of ocean schooling fish and jellyfish. Other creatures living here include; tufted puffin, stingray, little penguin, weedy sea dragon, lionfish, leafy sea dragon, pufferfish and moray eels.  The Garden of the Senses opened in 1998, and cost $1.8 million, and is filled with plants, huge sundial, birds, fountains and other marvelous wonders. More than 250 kinds of trees, perennials and herbs are grown here, with numerous trellises, roses, flowers and butterfly friendly plants. Birds include macaws, Australian cockatoos and South American parrots. The Desert Dome opened in 2002, at a cost of $31.5 million, including the Kingdoms of the Night, and is 42,000 square feet, without the Kingdoms square footage, and contains geologic features of deserts from throughout the globe, including the Sonoran Desert of the southwest US, the Namib Desert of south Africa and the Red Center of Australia. Animals living here include; central bearded dragon, wallaby, collared peccary, poison snakes, purplish-backed jay, Cape Thick-knee, American badger, greater roadrunner, puma, black-tailed jackrabbit, meerkat, swift fox, prairie dogs, coatimundi and hummingbirds. The Hubbard Gorilla Valley is named after the Omaha cardiologist, Dr. Theodore Hubbard, and was opened in 2004, at a cost of $14 million. Before being rebuilt and enlarged, it was called the Owen Gorilla House. Not too long ago, this society had a casualty, when Baina, a young 3 year old gorilla, was put in her father Sampson's cage and he playfully tossed her into the air where she hurt her head and died. Also on the valley are cattle egret, mantled guerezas, Red River hogs, western lowland gorillas and Wolf's mona monkeys. The Hubbard Orangutan Forest was opened in 2005, part in May and the rest in the later summer, and cost $8.5 million. The Cat Complex was opened in 1977, costing $2.5 million, with 11 enclosures inside and 10 out; and able to contain 100 cats. It is the biggest breeding and management complex in North America and has become famous worldwide for its artificial insemination program of the big cats. Inside are Siberian tigers, amur leopards, Indochinese tiger, cougar, jaguar, fishing cat, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and African lions.  The Durham Family Bear Canyon opened in 1989 and cost $1.4 million, has a huge 30,000 gallons polar bear tank; plus there were sun bears, grizzly bears and American black bears. The Exploration Station at the Wild Kingdom Pavilion was just changed into a state of the art habitat, and is now the trail head for the safari. There is so much more to see at the world class magnificent zoo in Omaha. Always a fantastic day for the whole family to enjoy and learn about all the many creatures that we share this beautiful earth with.

  • Durham Western Heritage Museum
    In the downtown area of Omaha, Nebraska, you will find the Durham Museum that was once called the Durham Western Heritage Museum devoted to showcasing the history of this country's western areas; and now housed in the historical Union Station. When Amtrak, or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation first started, in 1971, the Union Pacific Railroad closed down the Union Station in Omaha. It was given to the city in 1973, and within two years, the museum was started. The Durham was closed in 1995 until 1996 for a major $22 million restoration project that was mostly funded by Marge and Charles Durham. Because of their magnanimous donation, it was renamed in their honor in 1997, in 2008, was changed again to the Durham Museum. This all came about because the museum had obtained partnerships with the National Archives, Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute. Bryon Reed was considered by many as the biggest collector of the 19th century, especially in the field of numismatics, without being really known or recognized as such. This fabulous collection has been displayed as if they were walking into Reed's private library where the magnificent coins could be seen in their dark wood cases.

  • Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center
    The Ford Conservation Center is found in the northwest corner of the Hanscom Park area in Omaha, Nebraska where the examining, evaluating and preservation of textiles, ceramics, metals, wooden artifacts, glass, books, ceramics, paintings, ethnographic materials, photographs, documents, works of art on paper and archival materials by state-of-the-art labs are used. Conservation services are given for corporate, historical, private, cultural and educational clients that are located around the area. The services include workshops, assessments of conservation treatment needs, conservation of collection materials, assessment of collection management needs, consultation and education or training. They have a wonderful library of reference works related to conservation and collection care, secured storage, x-radiography room, microscopy lab, receiving docks, air abrasive area, and workroom supporting the many actions. They also have a marvelous digital imaging lab that will render the best imaging for the collections with excellent security and safety. There is so much more located here and it is an interesting time for any visitor.

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  • Great Plains Black MuseumGreat Plains Black Museum Omaha, Nebraska
    The museum is in the north side of North Omaha, Nebraska, in the old Webster Telephone Exchange Building that is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It has become a national known organization in the last three decades and contains over 10,000 exhibits. In fact it has become the biggest museum dedicated to black history that is west of the Mississippi River. Bertha Calloway started the Negro Historical Society back in 1962, and opened the museum in 1976, in the great exchange building. In the early 1900s, it had been used as the community center for those affected by the destructive tornado of 1913, and from 1933 until 1952, it was used by the Urban League with a number of services like medical, library and other venues. Bertha then spend the next quarter of a century informing Nebraskans and others who came here about the many contributions and sacrifices that the African-American people gave in the Midwest. She gave an interview in 1996, where she said that all those coming here and in the community had to realize that the African-American people did a lot so that their image might be seen in better light. Bertha wanted all America to see that her people had done a lot for this country, without ever having been told. She was able to open the museum with a grant from the Bicentennial commission in 1976. Ever since the opening, the museum has showcased photographs, rare books, films and paintings about the African-American life in the Midwest. The majority of these people came to the area during the Great Migrations of the early 20th century leaving the south. It explains their wonderful adaption from farm laborers to urban workers, churches being started and other community organizations and other cultural endeavors including music and literature.

  •  Museum of Natural History
    The Museum of Natural History in Lincoln, Nebraska, sits on the campus of the University of Nebraska, and contains some fantastic treasures. Presently they are showcasing an exhibit called "weapons throughout Time", that spans over 9000 years of history. The display is showing in the Cooper Gallery that is located on the third floor and highlights many special relics from this exciting collection of weapons used in defense, offense, ceremony and survival. You will be able to get a close and personal look at all the cultural and technological influences that have been discovered in the weapons used in all ages, and every country in the world, from Samurai swords to WWI automatic weapons. These tools of destruction will be shown in such a way as to inform the public about their multi-uses, as instruments of hunting, sports, fishing, combat and ceremonial. Some of the most primitive examples include prehistoric stone arrow points that have been used in the region, Zulu hunting spears, Samoan and Japanese armor, Amazonian blow darts and Middle Eastern, Western and Asian firearms. Those weapons that are more ceremonial include; spears, clubs, shields and swords; while other items included are boomerangs, knives, bayonets, crossbows, helmets and more. According to the associate director, Mark Harris, many people don't expect to see weapons at a state museum, but theirs is so diversified, and are more than instruments of survival and warfare, they are exquisite works of art.  The museum staff states that the weapons inform us about the culture producing it, including their artistic styles, use - whether for hunting, ceremony or fighting, and technology. This particular display is able to be shown by wonderful help from the community, in this case, from the Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, and Gary Muckel; supporting the museum by allowing the anthropology department to savekeep these marvelous treasures. In the division of vertebrate paleontology, the world's biggest displayed elephant skeleton, is shown in all his 14 foot glory in Morrill Hall, after being discovered in the Lincoln County area of Nebraska in 1922. The skeleton is of a male mammoth, from the late Pleistocene period and found by a local rancher and his wife; donating the fossil to the college for display and research. In the ornithology collection of zoology, a rare white-winged crossbill came too far south in the winter of 2001 and 2002, and died when it flew into a window in Bassett, Nebraska. A perfect specimen, it is the first since the winter of 1886 and 1887. Anther fascinating specimen is the painted muslin panel in the Native American ethnographic collection of the anthropology division. It is a spectacular panel showing the Lakota attacking the Pawnee in Massacre Canyon in 1873, in the southwestern region of the state. The panel depicts a Sioux (Lakota) hanging over the side of his horse trying to protect himself from the flying bullets. In his left hand, he carries a curved lance, much like the shepard's staff, that had been used as an emblem in may Lakota societies. It is believed to have been painted in or around 1900. Also in the ornithology collection are two taxidermy specimens of ivory-billed woodpeckers, and when one was recently discovered in Arkansas, the museum wanted to re-study their specimens. When and where they came from wasn't documented, but it is believed to have come to the museum in the early 20th century. The two woodpeckers, one female and the other male, were shown on display in 2003, and used in an exhibit at the Star of the Republic Museum in Brazos, Texas in 1989.

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Local Restaurants in Nebraska
  • Dusters Restaurant
    Dusters is a great American family style restaurant that brews its own beer, adding to the excellent cuisine and great service. Appetizers include; sausage grinder is Italian sausage, spicy pepperoni, fresh marinara, sweet onion and provolone cheese; four cheesy is provolone, cheddar, Monterey Jack and parmesan cheeses baked with marinara sauce to gooey goodness; red brick chicken is mild ancho chili rubbed chicken diced red onion, poblano pepper, marinara and Monterey Jack cheese finished with parmesan and parsley; chicken spinach & artichoke is layer of spinach & artichoke dip topped with oven-roasted all-white meat chicken, Monterey Jack and parmesan cheeses and fresh chopped parsley; shrimp & cilantro scampi is gulf shrimp and key lime garlic butter baked with fresh cilantro and provolone; BLT deluxe is Canadian style and hickory smoked bacon, jack and cheddar cheese, chopped lettuce and fresh diced tomato with drizzle of ranch; calamari is tender strips, thick cut & crispy breaded sided with cocktail sauce; jalopy wings is house version of buffalo wings, mildly spicy with touch of sweet and bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks; red brick quesadilla is grilled tortilla folded around red chili rubbed chicken, diced onion, fresh cilantro, melted Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses served with side of salsa and sour cream; onion ring basked is small or large; spinach & artichoke dip is creamy baked combination served with tortilla chips; Italian stuffed mushrooms is fennel laced Italian sausage spooned atop button mushrooms, then baked with provolone cheese; chips & housemade salsa is crispy tortilla chips and bowl of fresh and flavorful salsa. Steak entrees; slow roasted prime rib is overnight slow roasting in 8, 12 or 16 ounce cuts; bison ribeye steak is 11 ounce cut of Nebraska-raised bison, charbroiled to own tastes; flat iron steak is 8 ounce sirloin; filet of tenderloin is 7 ounce & fat free; Nebraska strip steak is 12 ounces aged and center cut. Entrees served with cup of soup, dinner salad, choice of potato, seasoned veggies and dinner roll; Dusters surf & turf is 7 ounce beef tenderloin filet, broiled to own tastes and paired with 10 ounce cold water lobster tail oven-broiled in the shell served with drawn pesto butter and fresh lemon; sirloin steak Diane is 6 ounce aged top sirloin pan-seared with onions, garlic, capers and brandy then finished with beef stock, Worcestershire and chive butter; sautéed shrimp scampi is six gulf shrimp pan-sautéed in fresh garlic, lime and white wine butter; Gottberg surf & turf is 12 cut of slow roasted prime rib with three crispy hand breaded shrimp served with tangy cocktail sauce and fresh lemon; broiled pork medallions is two 5 ounce broiled pork loin medallions, seasoned and broiled; chicken Tuscany is pan-seared breast with sweet onion, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, orange liquor and lemon butter sauce; blackened jerk pork medallions is two 5 ounce medallions dry rubbed with Jamaican spices and cast iron seared, served topped with fresh cilantro and side of sour cream; flat iron au poivre is 8 ounce flat iron steak seasoned in cracked black pepper and pan-seared in lemon, Worcestershire, garlic, onion and cognac; broiled salmon is 8 ounce broiled filet sided with hollandaise sauce and fresh lemon; jumbo fried shrimp is six house breaded prawns, quick fried and served with cocktail sauce and fresh lemon; artichoke chicken grigio is boneless breast pan-seared with artichoke hearts, yellow onion, capers and pinot grigio white wine; broiled mahi mahi steak with key lime butter is 8 ounce filet, steak seasoned and broiled sided with fresh garlic, lime and chive butter; blackened salmon or chicken is your choice of heavily seasoned in Cajun spices and cast iron seared, served topped with fresh cilantro and side of sour cream; North Atlantic lobster tail is 10 cold water delicacy oven-broiled, sided with fresh lime, garlic and chive butter.

  • The Alley Rose
    The Alley Rose in Kearney, Nebraska is where elegant dining and fine memories happen. The menu begins with appetizers; beer battered onion rings that are made to order with house beer batter, lightly seasoned and fried golden, served with horseradish dipping sauce; fried mozzarella with sun-dried tomato ragu is Italian herb crusted mozzarella cheese fried golden, served with slowly simmered sun-dried tomato ragu; crab stuffed mushroom is mushroom of the season stuffed with crab pate topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and baked tender then finished with creamy hollandaise sauce; tequila lime shrimp is five jumbo gulf shrimp sautéed in clarified butter with fresh garlic and creaced pepper, flashed with tequila and fresh lime; calamari is tender strips of young squid hand breaded and fried golden served with house zesty bourbon cocktail sauce; spinach artichoke dip bruschetta is perfect blend of spices, spinach, artichoke hearts and cream cheese liberally spread on toasted Tuscan flat bread, topped with parmesan cheese then broiled to finish; shrimp cocktail is five jumbo shrimp lightly seasoned, broiled and chilled served with house zesty bourbon cocktail sauce; crab cakes is original recipe house made crab cakes golden crisp on outside and abounding with crab on inside, served with combination of honey mustard and berry sauce. Entrees include; garlic shrimp sauté is five jumbo shrimp sautéed with virgin olive oil, creamy butter, mushrooms, diced tomato and roasted garlic; black cherry pork chops is French cut pork chops grilled and served with black and blue berry reduction; chicken marsala is breast of chicken sautéed with mushrooms, red onion, garlic and marsala wine reduction tossed with fettuccine pasta; white seafood fettuccine is rich dairy cream with shrimp, scallops, crab & lobster, & hickory smoked bacon tossed with fettuccine pasta; pepper steak & mushroom is peppercorn sirloin steak pan seared with mushrooms, red onions, red and green bell peppers, garlic and beef bouillon demi-glace tossed with fettuccine pasta; chicken cordon bleu is tender breast of chicken stuffed with smoked ham, mozzarella cheese, fresh herbs and spices, delicately breaded and baked, finished with creamy hollandaise sauce; pork so-so bucco is braised pork shank with mushroom of the season demi-glace; NY strip steak is grilled to your taste; crab legs is 18 ounces of king crab legs served with lemon and drawn butter; sirloin steak is Creek Stone top sirloin full of flavor grilled to your tastes; lobster is served with lemon and clarified butter; prime rib au jus is slowly roasted prime ribeye served with steaming hot bay leaf au jus; ribeye steak is marbled ribeye grilled to your tastes; grilled salmon is fresh salmon basted with olive oil, flame grilled and served with fresh lemon; butterfly shrimp is five jumbo shrimp house breaded and served with zesty bourbon cocktail sauce; champagne salmon is salmon stuffed with crab pate baked in pastry topped with champagne brut cream sauce; herb crusted halibut is herb crusted halibut steak pan seared in virgin olive oil finished with capers and herbal butter; almond crusted salmon is salmon steak baked with sweet almond crust served on bed of seasoned field greens.


Bison Ribeye Dusters Columbus, Nebraska


Nebraska Strip Steak Dusters Columbus, Nebraska


Sauteed Shrimp Scampi Dusters Columbus, Nebraska


Broiled Salmon Dusters Columbus, Nebraska


Fried Shrimp Dusters Columbus, Nebraska


Broiled Mahi Mahi Dusters Columbus, Nebraska



 Garlic Shrimp Alley Rose Kearney, Nebraska

Chicken Marsala Alley Rose Kearney, Nebraska

Creek Stone Top Sirloin Alley Rose Kearney, Nebraska

King Crab Legs Alley Rose Kearney, Nebraska





Hertz Car Rental Nebraska and Hertz Rental Cars have joined to give their customers the BIGGEST discounts in the car rental  business.  Hertz Coupon Codes can offer you the best deal in the Nebraska area and will help you chose the BEST vehicle to make your vacation more enjoyable.

Hertz Rental Cars Lincoln Municipal Apt- 2400 W. Adams St.
Hertz Car Rental Omaha Eppley Apt- 4501 Abbott Dr. NE
Hertz Rental Car Fremont- 2445 N. Broad St.

  • Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park North Platte, Nebraska
    In 1877, the famous and world renowned Buffalo Bill Cody decided to settle down on a ranch north of North Platte, Nebraska, still in the middle of his Wild West Show career. This show included many of the beautiful scenes from the west, and Buffalo Bill had been in many occupations before and after the show. Starting out as a pony express rider, it was said that he rode 322 miles in last than a day and went through 20 horses. When the Civil War started, Bill was still too young to join, so instead he became a ranger, then dispatch bearer and finally scout in Missouri, the Santa Fe trail and Kansas. Young Bill earned his nickname when he won a buffalo hunting contest. The historical park contains 16 acres of the original 4000 acres of his ranch or Scout's Rest. House, outbuildings and barn are still preserved, and many artifacts from Chief Sitting Bull. It is a three story Victorian built in 1886, and was where Buffalo Bill rested his last years. It showcases the various events during his era, and what it was like for the most famous western man ever. Set in a state recreation area, there are camping grounds and horseback riding. William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was born in the Iowa territory in 1846, and was without a doubt, an American soldier, buffalo hunter and world class showman. Considered one of the most colorful people of the American Old West, Bill was most famous for his cowboy themed shows that he took around the world. He received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for his gallantry in action when he was a scout for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Bill got his nickname when he was working for the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1867 and 1868, by killing 4860 American buffalo or bison in eight months. At first, the nickname belonged to Bill Comestock, but after having a shooting match, Cody won the exclusive rights to the name. When Bill was just a youngster, his father was giving an anti-slavery speech in the local trading post when someone came up and stabbed him. Young Bill helped drag his father to a safe place, but he didn't fully recover from his wound. His family was always being harassed because of his father's beliefs about slavery, and Isaac Cody spent much of his time traveling around and away from his house. One time, some of them heard he was on his way home, when they let it be known that they were going to kill him; Bill heard about it and though he was sick and young, he rode 30 miles to warn his dad. Isaac finally passed on in 1857, with complications from his stabbing and after his dad was gone, the family had many financial troubles. At the age of 11, young Bill went to work on a wagon train, as a boy extra, running messages up and down the train. After that he joined Johnston's army as part of the scouting team helping the army in Utah, where a rebellion had been rumored to be starting with the Mormons. It was here that Bill became involved in Indian fighting, according to his own account. When he was 14, he got the gold fever, and was headed west when he met someone from the Pony Express, which he signed up for and after building numerous way stations and corrals became a rider. He did that until he found out his mother was in dire shape and went home. She got better and then Bill wanted to enlist in the army as a soldier but was told he was too young. He started working with a freight caravan delivering supplies to Fort Laramie and in 1863 joined the army as a teamster with the rank of private in Company H of the 7th Kansas Cavalry and served until 1865. During the next few years, he was a scout for the US Army, and part of his time was spent looking for Indians and the other was killing the buffalo for the army to eat and for the railroad as well. In 1872, Bill became the scout for Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia when he came here to hunt the great beasts.

  • Fort Robinson
    DDuring August of 1873, the Red Cloud Agency, the Indian agency for the Oglala Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho, moved from North Platter river to White River, close to what is now Crawford, Nebraska. The next March, the government started a military installation at the agency site, which was where some 13,000 Lakotas were interned. The agency wasn't well liked by the Native Americans, and this new camp was named after Lt. Levi H. Robinson, who had been killed the month before while getting wood. In May it was move a mile and a half from the agency to where it now sits, and was renamed from Camp Robinson to Fort Robinson in 1878. The fort was very important in the Sioux Wars that ran from 1876 until 1890, and the Battle of Warbonnet Creek was fought nearby in July of 1876. Crazy Horse surrendered on May 6, 1877, and was then fatally wounded on September 5th that same year. January, 1879 had Chief Dull Knife leading the Cheyenne away, after having spent the winter without food, water or heat; hoping to escape, but only ended up being massacred. That was the finale of the Sioux Wars in the state.  The museum is in the 1905 post headquarters building and has many displays about the fort's history, up to the housing of the German POWs from 1943 until 1946. Included in the site are the 1875 guardhouse and adjutant's office, post cemetery, 1904 blacksmith shop, 1887 officers' quarters, and the 1908 veterinary's hospital. A library is located here also that stores and preserves the many materials about the fort, the military and western history. A granite tombstone set in stones marks the spot where Chief Crazy Horse was killed.

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  • Agate Fossil Beds National MonumentAgate Fossil Beds National Monument Harrison, Nebraska
    TThe Agate Fossil Beds near Harrison, Nebraska are found in the grass covered landscape mainly in the valley of the Niobrara River; most especially on the University and Carnegie Hills area. The plants found here are sunflowers, little bluestem, blue grama, lupin, western wallflower, prairie sandreed and spiderwort. It is famous for its big amounts of beautifully preserved Miocene fossils, found at the University and Carnegie sites, more than anywhere else in the region. These spectacular fossils have been dated back 20 million years and are the finest examples of Miocene mammals in the world. These include palaeocastors, which were something like land beavers digging big corkscrew shaped burrows, the Miohippus, an ancestor of the horse, stenomylus which resemble the gazelle-like camelid, menoceras was a pony-sized rhinoceros, daedon which was the biggest entelodont (huge pig resembling ungulates), and the amphicyon, a strange bear dog like creature. The Agate Springs Ranch was owned by Captain James Cook, who ran the cattle ranch and had collected over 500 artifacts that made up his collection of plains Indian relics. The monument was initialized in 1965, but wasn't established until 1997. The beds are maintained by the park service, and the Harold J. Cook homestead is on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was in the 1890s that scientists first came to notice the massive site of bones, that had been magnificently preserved through the millennia in the most complete Miocene mammal sites in the globe. But it is more than just a repository of fantastic fossils, it is where the plains Indians called their home and the thousands of settlers that passed this way going west or those that saw a irresistible beauty in the stark grasslands that lie here. Trails abound here, some more magnificent than others, but all traverse the land that has become so special to America. The trails are open year round allowing people to see the tracks of numerous animals and the winter wonder that occurs around here. In the western Nebraska and South Dakota region, the tremendous amounts of fossils that have been found here have created what many now call the fossil freeway. In this region they have found fossils of mammoths, ancient rhinos and other varieties of long extinct species covering millions of years; many that appeared after the dinosaurs. The fossils bed monument is more than just the plethora of bones from long dead animals and mammals, it is home to the Cook Collection about the Native Americans that lived here a couple of hundred years ago. In the visitor center, you can see the wonderful artifacts that were saved by James Cook. James was fortunate enough to meet Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux, when he first came to the region, and they communicated through sign language, although James did learn some of the tongue over the years. This acquaintance soon grew into a lasting friendship that had Red Cloud and his clan visiting many times. Red Cloud was the most photographed Native American ever, and one of his images is hung in the Cook homestead. The Sioux had to travel 150 miles from their Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to visit James at his ranch in the Niobrara River area. The Indians would need a pass to visit James and his ranch and one to return to the reservation. Once at the ranch, they settled in and became more at ease, doing odd jobs for James, hunting, fishing and often dancing by the light of the moon, almost going back to another time when they were in their own village; when they did dance, hunt, track the game and gather native plants that were so vital to their well being; plus trading with other tribes. When the Lakota and Cheyenne came to the Agate Springs Ranch to visit James, they would always bring gifts, and in return, James and his family would give the visitors beef and hides for their use in creating native clothes. Many times the family would receive specific gifts for them like beautiful buckskin shirts, gloves and suits. Some of this gifts were so rare as to be unmatched or irreplaceable, like the shirt that belonged to Red Cloud, one of Crazy Horse's whetstones and 3 generations of pipebags, one that was Red Cloud's, his father's and his son's. James and his following generations knew the value of these magnificent gifts and kept them preserved at the ranch house. The National Park Service build the present visitor center in the early 1990s, and two of the new rooms were for the James H. Cook Collection. The first room gives information about the history of the ranch and the culture of the Lakotas, with the second containing a lot of the most prominent relics. There are wonderful photographs that share the story of the exciting friendship and the marvelous acts of giving gifts. The name for the national monument came from James' Agate Ranch and those coming to the ranch back then would say they were on their way to Agate; and everyone knew they were going to the Agate Springs Ranch.

  • Arbor Lodge State Historical Parking Arbor Lodge State National Park Nebraska City, Nebraska
    This state historical park and arboretum contains a magnificent mansion, pictured to the right, the state park and arboretum; which is plainly put, a collection of beautiful trees. It is located in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and the spectacular 52 room neocolonial home was constructed in 1855, for Julius Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day and later the Secretary of Agriculture for President Grover Cleveland in the 1890s. At first the home was only 4 rooms of wooden structure set on 160 acres, the size of homesteads in those early days. It grew over the years into the awesome structure it is today, the most recent extension being done in 1903, and became the summer home of Joy Morton, Julius' son, also the man who started the Morton Salt Company in Chicago, Illinois. Featuring Empire and Victorian furnishings, most owned or purchased by the Morton family, the fantastic house contains a sun room with an exquisite Tiffany skylight with a grape wreath design. Today it is a museum of antiquities that pertain to the history of the state, the Otoe County and the city that was started in 1854. One of the outbuildings holds early carriages, fire wagons, steam driven vehicles and also gas driven vehicles. Trees had always been an interest to Julius, importing the saplings from around the world so that he could see if they might be suitable for the climate in hopes of creating windbreakers from the winds that often ravaged across the plains, and to change the landscape of the monotonous plains. 270 varieties of shrubs and trees surround the house, with gardens, apple orchards and pines, maples, chestnuts and oaks. There are at least 10 state champion trees located here and they all have some kind of engraved bronze plaques telling visitors about them. Over the years, the apple orchards had deteriorated and in the 1990s, rejuvenation of the orchards began with Jonadels, red delicious, winesaps, golden delicious and Jonathans.

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  • Indian Cave State ParkIndian Cave State Park Nebraska
    Along the Nemaha and Richardson County Line, in Nebraska, the park became the state's in 1962, and the 3000 acres have over 2300 acres in magnificent woods. Running along the eastern side of the park, the Missouri River enhances the beautiful area with more scenic sights and wonders. Many believe that this area has been around for millennia, and the natural rock formations have marvelous images carved by ancient Indians on the walls. Although no one knows the exact nature of these peoples, or what period that they lived here, but the etchings have been preserved by nature so that we would know that people had been here long ago. A wonderful historic 19th century settlement has been reconstructed, called St. Deroin, the first village in the county of Nemaha. Horseback riding is fantastic here, with another 20 miles of hiking trails. Camping here is more of the modern type with laundry, showers and bathrooms. Picnic areas can be found around the park, as well as great fishing for sturgeon, carp, bass, bullhead and catfish. There isn't any boat ramps in the park, but the Brownsville State Recreation area has one. In the winter months, cross country skiing is a favorite, as is the sledding. As the Missouri River flowed along the plains, carving new channels and leaving others, the deciduous trees in the area, cottonwoods, elms and willows, would last only a few years or depending on where they were located in relation to the water, decades. Paintings and various writings of this period tell of a different landscape than the one seen today. In 1804, Captain William Clark told about the rich and well timbered bottomland by the Missouri and towards the west, the high prairies were covered almost completely by grasslands where no trees grew. Many of the native trees were gone by the 1900s thanks to the cutting done by those needing the fuel for the steamboats going and coming on the Missouri.

  • Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical ParkAshfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park Nebraska
    The Ashfall fossil beds are in Antelope County, Nebraska and belong to the rare preservation sites that are called "lagerstatten"; that have saved the ecological snapshots of time, all because of the special local conditions that saved the precious fossilized organisms. Lagerstatten is a German word meaning "place of storage". The beds are most famous for the fossils of mammals that lived during the middle Miocene period. The picture to the right is of a
    rhino that was caught in volcanic ash. The reason the park is named ashfall is because it is where a huge and thick volcanic ashfall occurred here in the Miocene period over 12 million years ago; and has subsequently preserved the fossilized remains of many ancient animals that were killed during the ashfall. This fall came from the Bruneau-Jarbidge supervolcano that was over a 1000 miles away in what is today, Idaho. Many perfectly preserved rhinos, camels, birds and small three-toed horses have been uncovered, with one rhino still carrying her unborn fetus, and some their last meals. The remains of some animals have indicated that they died of lung failure due to the inhalation of volcanic ash, with the smaller animals dying first since their lungs would be smaller, then the bigger going last, although some bones show the bite marks that would indicate that predators, like the carnivorous bone-crunching dog Aelurodon, had been chewing on the remains, but none of their cadavers have been discovered. Many clues as to the area's ecology can be seen, showing that a vast savanna of grasses covered the region with some intersperement of trees; in a milder and somewhat warmer climate than is now the case. The ash came at a tremendous rate, causing drifts to form at the lower areas, like waterholes, and this created a softer medium to preserve the fossils. This saved the bones in three dimensional state, as was seen by the birds and turtles' carapaces that were intact. Over time, the upper layers of the earth were covered by sandstone, and this caprock was the reason that these fossils were so perfectly preserved. The first indication that there
    were any fossils here, was in 1971, when a skull of a young rhino was seen sticking out of the ground in a gully by the edge of a cornfield. The site became the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park in 1991, and now whenever a fossil is uncovered, it stays there so that visitors can go along a special walkway and see them, as well as working paleontologists that are here in the summer months excavating. It became a National Natural Landmark in 2006. Since there have been so many teleoceras found here, it has been nicknamed the Rhino Barn. Other fossils include the horses and camels, with some taxa that include two kinds of turtle, five genera of horses, three of camel, three of birds, three of dog, one of rhino and one; a saber-toothed deer.

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  • Chimney Rock National Historic SiteChimney Rock National Historic Park Nebraska
    Chimney Rock has been well known as a natural geological rock formation that rises from the prairie in Morrill County, Nebraska, to over 300 feet above the North Platte River Valley. It was a welcome sight along the California trail, Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail in the 19th century telling the traveling wagons and settlers heading west that they were half way to their destination. It can be seen for many miles in any direction, but if you are traveling in an auto on US 26, it would be on your right. The first time anyone ever heard of this natural phenomenon, was in 1827, when Joshua Pilcher was going up the Platter River Valley to a rendezvous in Salt Lake City of the Rocky Mountain fur trappers. The first white men to see the sight might have been the Astorians of Robert Stuart going east from the Pacific Ocean in 1813. It was mentioned in many journals about those traveling to the west from the east in hopes of making a better life. With the paintings, sketches and written records of the formation, and a 1897 photograph by Darton, the rock was much higher than today. It has been surmised by many that with the usual erosion and occasional lightning had shortened it, since one tourist with a video camera did take videos of lightning striking the spire's top and rocks tumbling down. It is made of Brule clay with layers of volcanic ash and Arikaree sandstone and the tougher sandstone layers close to the top have preserved it from further breakage. It was made a National Historic Site and the visitor center has many displays and video telling about the migration and pioneers going west; and a gift shop. The new 2006 Nebraska state quarter shows a covered wagon going past the Chimney Rock.    

  • Nebraska Sports
    Sports are a big deal in the state of Nebraska, with the Nebraska Storm in the CFC, the University of Nebraska Huskers, and the UNO Mavericks. In baseball, the Omaha Royals are a triple A team, the University of Nebraska Huskers team, and the men and women of the UNO Mavericks. Basketball has the University's men and women's Huskers and UNO Mavericks. Hockey has the Lincoln Stars, Omaha the Lancers, and UNO Mavericks. The is horse racing at numerous venues, as well as motor sports tracks. The University of Nebraska has women soccer, as does the UNO Mavericks. The University of Nebraska has had a spectacular time with their sports teams. They have won 24 national titles in 5 sports, with 5 national titles in football, three of those within a four year period in the mid 1990s. The gymnastics team has won 8 national titles, the women's bowling team has won 5 national titles, and the women have won three national titles in volleyball and indoor track and field. The cornhuskers football team won the 1970 national championship, and linebacker Jerry Murtaugh predicted it, and why not, the team went 11-0-1 for the season, and beat Georgia 45-6. The next year was another spectacular one for the team, when it all came down to the wire with the number one rated Huskers playing number two Oklahoma at Owen Field in Norman, Ok. on Thanksgiving Day. It became what many call the game of the century, with both teams undefeated and untied; and together had 17 out of 22 first team All-Big Eight players. Nebraska had the best defense and Oklahoma the best offense. The game was one of the most exciting college football games ever played, but the cornhuskers just won 35-31, with great thanks to middle guard Rich Glover who had deflected Jack Mildren's fourth down pass with a minute left. The Huskers won again in 1994, 1995, and 1997.

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