The next morning, July 24, we were off to have the oil changed -- albeit at nine o'clock instead of eight. When we arrived, we were told it would be an hour-and-a-half wait -- OH WELL. We waited -- by eleven o'clock, we were back on the road. Our destination was Gering, Nebraska. Our friends, Paul and Margery, were already there and we were excited we were going to spend some time with them.
We couldn't help but notice the hay -- it was golden in color -- alfalfa we believe. Nebraska alfalfa producers annually harvest approximately five million tons of alfalfa hay on 1.5 million acres. WOW, that's a lot of hay.
We also drove through the small town of Dalton -- again, not too quick with the camera, but Dalton...this is for you... Dalton, Nebraska -- that's what it said on the red water tank.
And did you notice the bank said 78 degrees -- in the middle of the afternoon -- WOO-HOO!!
We have since learned that the State of Wyoming is the nation's largest coal producer, with over 400 million tons of low sulphur coal produced each year. The coal is shipped to at least 37 states to produce electricity. The coal is shipped by trains, which explains why there are so many train tracks in this area. The typical coal train is 100 to 110 cars and each car holds 100 tons of coal, which only lasts 20 minutes in fueling a power plant. Over 80 trains leave Wyoming each day with coal.
And Eagle Rock was on the right
There is a 1.6 mile trail -- Saddle Rock Trail -- that leads from the visitors center to the top of Scotts Bluff. You can walk the trail or drive through three tunnels on Summit Road to the top. It was hot, so we opted to drive. Alan videotaped a panoramic view from the top, but unfortunately, I was unable to post it here, so we have no pictures from the top. However, when leaving the area, we took some pictures of the tunnels. Can you see the small holes in the rock -- those are the tunnels we drove through to reach the top of Scotts Bluff. We also learned that the Summit Road is believed to be the oldest concrete road in Nebraska.
We enjoyed our visit to Scotts Bluff and learned a lot about the early settlers who traveled 2000 miles across treacherous, rugged ground in covered wagons for whatever reason -- to find wealth, religious freedom, cheap land -- whatever the reason. I personally came away with a new admiration of the thousands of Emigrants who traveled the Oregon, California, Morman Trail and the adverse conditions they ewere face with every day. We are thankful we can see this great land and relearn all the history we had forgotten, or never knew, in our modern wagon-on-wheels with all the luxuries we have become accustomed to. We are truly spoiled.
Several nights Paul and Margery joined us for a game of bowling, boxing, baseball, etc, on Wii. Some may think playing Wii is not as physically challenging as playing the "real" games, but I would disagree. It depends on how much effort one puts into it. One thing for sure, it gets you off the couch and moving.
We also made the drive to Cheyenne, WY, approximately an hour and a half to two hours West. We hoped to find a camera at F.E. Warren AFB's BX, but their BX was much smaller than Little Rock's. We also checked out their FamCamp, which was full. It's good F.E. Warren doesn't have airplanes, we saw lots of free-roaming antelope around the base property. F.E. Warren has 150 Minuteman III ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missles).
We did attend church on Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The pastor presented the message from Philippians 3:12-14 -- (1) Never think you have reached perfection; (2) Never quit progressing and (3) Never stop pressing on. He also led the singing. It was a nice size church building, but we did notice in the bulletin that the week before they only had 33 in Sunday School and 89 in church service. They were starting VBS this week. We also saw they were leading a mission trip to Deadwood, South Dakota, on the same week as the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis. That should be a very interesting mission trip. We have added this church to our prayer list.
We have much more to tell everyone, so stay tuned to see where we go next and what we see and learn. This is definitely a learning experience. I know I say this all the time, but we are so blessed to have the opportunity to travel and see this great land we live in called America. We don't know how long we will actually be on the road -- right now, we pray it's a long time -- but we, like everyone else, have no idea what tomorrow may bring or what God has planned for us.
May God continue to bless our voyage and my God bless our family and friends everywhere. Don't forget to come back now to see where we are and what we are doing.