A Week in Kearney

We’ve spent the past week here at Kearney RV Park and Campground in Kearney, Nebraska. By the way, the local pronunciation is KAR-nee. I always thought of Fort Kearney – Kerr-nee. It turns out that Fort Kearney was named after General Stephen Watts Kearny – no “e” before the “y”. So his name was pronounced Kar-nee but the town and sometimes the fort were mispelled so often that the post office resigned itself to the spelling “Kearney.”

Donna really enjoyed the bicycling in the area and found a few routes on dedicated bike trails. Yesterday she hiked one of the trails to the Great Platte River Road Archway and museum. The archway is a structure spanning 310 feet across I-80. It marks the area where the old western Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and California Trail converged near Fort Kearney. From here they split off to the Willamette Valley of Oregon, Salt Lake City and the Sacramento Valley respectively.

Trail to archway

Great Platte River Road Archway

Tuesday afternoon we rode the Spyder into town for a few groceries. While we were there we checked out a local brewery – Thunderhead Brewing Company. The ambiance of the place was lacking and the brews we tried weren’t much better. Oh well, I guess you can’t find great brew in every small town in America.

Thunderhead Brewing Company

Not so special IPA

I did a little fishing in the pond here but didn’t have much luck. I took advantage of the quiet park to catch up on a few maintenance items. I washed out our wet bay – dirt and grime seems to accumulate there and a lot of parks prohibit washing. I also cleaned our battery banks – another area where road grime seems to accumulate.

I did some reorganizing in the trailer and made it easier to find and access a few items that were too deeply packed away. I cleaned and lubed the rams on our HWH leveling jacks. Most importantly, I changed the oil and filter on our Onan 7.5kW Quiet Diesel generator. I try to maintain a 150-hour oil service interval on the Kubota diesel engine powering the generator. I was about seven hours overdue.

The days have been warm and breezy – temperatures reached the mid-80s most days and winds were 15 mph with gusts over 20. We’ve had thundershowers more often than not around sundown or in the night. I’ll remove our windshield cover and pack it this evening so I won’t have to worry about packing a wet cover away.

This morning, Donna rode the Spyder 14 miles south to Axtell, Nebraska to be a guest on a local ABC TV station. This scheduled appearance was the reason we chose to make a stop in Kearney. I stayed home to record the show for her. You can view the program here.

Tomorrow we’ll head out for parts unknown. Call us crazy, but we plan to more or less follow the track of the upcoming complete solar eclipse and hope to catch it on Monday. This is a big deal for a lot of the towns along the narrow geographical band that will experience the total eclipse. Most RV parks are full with exorbitant rates for those that want to be in the path of total darkness at mid-day – something that will last about two minutes. The partial eclipse with the skies turning to twilight at mid-day will last around two hours.

We have a few options to explore, but our loose plan is to follow the path and boondock along the way. We’ll have full fresh water and empty holding tanks – and we’ve had our special eclipse viewing glasses for months! We’ll let you know how it all works out.

4 thoughts on “A Week in Kearney

  1. Hans Kohls

    Enjoy the Eclipse. We are taking it in from the Oregon Coast just south of Lincoln City, Oregon. Will see if we have sun or clouds? Who knows on the coast! 🙂

  2. esta gardberg

    Hi Mike and Donna. I was sorry to hear you weren’t well. When I was in arizona and oregon I came down with a low grade fever, that just kept coming and going. Didn’t make for a fun trip. Two months later I end up in Palm Desert, Ca. I go to the eisenhower urgent care center and find out that I have a raging urinary infection. I have to be careful because I lost a kidney to cancer and now I have chronic bladder cancer, but still doing my thing. So they put me on strong antibiotics. Dr. said it was a good thing that I came in because I could have gone to sepsis. Never underestimate a low grade fever. I went through chemo and that killed my immune system so please be careful. Think of you guys often. We have put down roots in central florida, Leesburg, country town and have a new manufactured home on the water, chain of lakes, in an over 55 development with all the fun we had at the rv parks we have stayed in. Could’nt sell the rig, so first made a deal with some people to take it and pay the monthly payment. They went broke after four months and had to return it. Put it in an rv dealer on consignment but the market just isn’t here right now. So we found a place that puts together folks who want one on a lease to own deal. So we went for it. They have had it for four months now and we get the money right away and it is a five year deal, and then they have to get aloan or a balloon payment. I hope I live that long, ha ha. We hope this will work out. Believe it or not, we used to have a big popup, with ac and porti poti many years ago, and went to all the state parks in florida and we even took it to tennessee, north carolina and all the way to chicago and cleveland ohio. Some of my best memories were in that popup, no internet, no tv, we had cd’s and books and we loved it. Sorry I am talking so much. Give regards to Donna and take care of yourself. Esta and Joel.


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