Fall trip watching changing colors and finding history | TheFencePost.com

Fall trip watching changing colors and finding history

Beth Gibbons
Crawford, Neb.

The historic Crow Butte is the site of a major 1849 battle between tribes and rises over the plains area.

A friend and I took a road trip down some back roads to see the changing colors of fall and scouting out history this week. We saw shades of colors as they fell and as the sun reflected on them. Twisty roads were often covered with a canopy of trees shading and coloring them as we rounded the curves. There were some interesting sites along the way.

The first picture I snapped was of historic Crow Butte. It never fails to impress and fascinate me as well as many others. The story behind it is: “Many moons ago,” some Indians stole horses from another tribe and were chased to the butte. They fought then climbed the accessible side and made lots of noises. When night fall came they escaped by tearing blankets into strips, tying their strips together and descended, climbing down a 70 foot drop, leaving a couple of old men to keep the campfires going and make noises. Legend says the old men were taken to heaven by some beautiful maidens. The basic story really happened in 1849 according to area historians.

A stop was made at the grave of Wanda Highway where there is another fascinating story. Road crews were digging, moving dirt for a road and discovered the bones of what was determined to be a young American Indian girl/woman. The bones were respectfully buried along side the road where they were found and named Wanda Highway. A stone was inscribed with the name, date and the county commissioners at that time.

We snapped pictures of the brightest and prettiest scenes and there were many. We traveled up one road and down the other skirting western Nebraska’s beautiful scenic buttes from both sides. We stopped and crossed a little creek on a shaky log and got a close-up of more beautiful scenery. We ate a simple picnic beside the stream as it continued moving steadily though quietly. The buttes overlooking the area provided a picturesque protection from wind.

An old long-abandoned house was also a photo opportunity. There hasn’t been any stirring around there for years. I wonder who lived there and when. Wildlife along the way were an interesting spectacle. A large herd of antelope stopped and looked until they heard a window lower then they took off at top speed. A flock of wild turkeys and one deer seemed to stop and pose. Most ran before the camera could be focused.

A very old schoolhouse no longer in use was another interesting picture. Those old school houses make me sad as they were the place of education for many young children in years past. Now they are abandoned and look so forlorn and lonesome.

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A stop to take pictures on a pigtail road and steep sides was scary. Oh, there were pretty trees on those steep switchback roads but they are breathtaking in ways other than beauty. A visit with a friend was the frosting on the day for making a special fall trip to see local sights and reminisce of history in our part of the county.

A friend and I took a road trip down some back roads to see the changing colors of fall and scouting out history this week. We saw shades of colors as they fell and as the sun reflected on them. Twisty roads were often covered with a canopy of trees shading and coloring them as we rounded the curves. There were some interesting sites along the way.

The first picture I snapped was of historic Crow Butte. It never fails to impress and fascinate me as well as many others. The story behind it is: “Many moons ago,” some Indians stole horses from another tribe and were chased to the butte. They fought then climbed the accessible side and made lots of noises. When night fall came they escaped by tearing blankets into strips, tying their strips together and descended, climbing down a 70 foot drop, leaving a couple of old men to keep the campfires going and make noises. Legend says the old men were taken to heaven by some beautiful maidens. The basic story really happened in 1849 according to area historians.

A stop was made at the grave of Wanda Highway where there is another fascinating story. Road crews were digging, moving dirt for a road and discovered the bones of what was determined to be a young American Indian girl/woman. The bones were respectfully buried along side the road where they were found and named Wanda Highway. A stone was inscribed with the name, date and the county commissioners at that time.

We snapped pictures of the brightest and prettiest scenes and there were many. We traveled up one road and down the other skirting western Nebraska’s beautiful scenic buttes from both sides. We stopped and crossed a little creek on a shaky log and got a close-up of more beautiful scenery. We ate a simple picnic beside the stream as it continued moving steadily though quietly. The buttes overlooking the area provided a picturesque protection from wind.

An old long-abandoned house was also a photo opportunity. There hasn’t been any stirring around there for years. I wonder who lived there and when. Wildlife along the way were an interesting spectacle. A large herd of antelope stopped and looked until they heard a window lower then they took off at top speed. A flock of wild turkeys and one deer seemed to stop and pose. Most ran before the camera could be focused.

A very old schoolhouse no longer in use was another interesting picture. Those old school houses make me sad as they were the place of education for many young children in years past. Now they are abandoned and look so forlorn and lonesome.

A stop to take pictures on a pigtail road and steep sides was scary. Oh, there were pretty trees on those steep switchback roads but they are breathtaking in ways other than beauty. A visit with a friend was the frosting on the day for making a special fall trip to see local sights and reminisce of history in our part of the county.