Not Getting Buffaloed in North Platte

Earlier in our Summer adventure after driving past miles of cornfields and grain elevators from Sterling, Colorado, we crossed the southwest border of Nebraska and arrived in North Platte. We spent the night at an RV campsite by a lake on I 80. It was a welcome relief after two nights with no showers and no water!

The next morning we packed up and headed into the City of North Platte to visit a historical landmark—the home of the famous showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Three years earlier we had visited the museum that bore his name in the City of Cody, Wyoming, and had viewed many posters and historical artifacts from his traveling road shows and I was really enchanted. Since we were in the right place at the right time why not visit his home and ranch too?

As we drove down the main street in North Platte we got fuel and then looked for a latte to share. The Yelp app lead us to a part of town known as the Canteen District. The name came from WW II when it was a favorite train stop for service people en route to their postings to refuel and relax. This area was the commercial downtown of North Platte during the early to mid 20th century and many of the wonderful old buildings remained-some in better states of preservation than others. 

I was especially interested in the 1940’s-50’s vintage neon store signs.

We located the Espresso Shop by Caravan and sat outside to sip our latte and talked to some of the locals. We then went on to find Buffalo Bill’s home. It was located on a huge farm outside of town that now is part of a large state park and recreation area. To get to the farm you passed the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Arena located on Buffalo Bill Drive(do you think they liked their native son)? The farm and house, built as a rest home in between his Wild West shows, is called Scout’s Rest Ranch. There is a large horse barn for his show horses

…And a 1887 2nd Empire style 2 story mansion- the largest and grandest house in the area for its time! 

When we arrived we found out the house and barn were closed—they were short handed due to several staffers contracting Covid. Very disappointing! We walked the grounds and were able to see their small resident herd of Buffalo—mamma and calf were real cute!

Leaving the ranch we headed south then east to the Golden Spike Tower—One of the locals we had spoken with at coffee had recommended it to us. This 8 story observation tower was built overlooking the Bailey Yard and services Union Pacific rail cars. You pay admission on the ground floor and the elevator will take you to the 8th floor viewing area or the 7th floor open air observation deck. Each floor has exhibits chronicling the history of rail cars and their role in the development of the West.

This 2850 acre area is the largest rail yard in the world, with over 12,000 railroad cars handled daily as well as 125 trains! Their service facilities take care of 9,000 locomotives serviced plus 1200 locomotives repaired monthly. Retired railroad volunteers were there to answer our questions regarding train maintenance and management.  Did you know their locomotive fleet burns 18 million gallons of diesel fuel a month? There were at least 750 locomotives on site in various states of condition. It was quite a sight and well worth visiting if you are in the area as you will not see anything like this elsewhere!

We were sad to leave North Platte as we would have liked to have spent more time there, but we shall return!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr

Pining for a getaway on Pine Island

Back in October we attended a charity auction at The Alliance for the Arts in Ft Myers, Florida. One of our bids successfully purchased a two night getaway at the Tarpon Lodge in Pineland, Florida. This last week we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate my recent birthday so I made a reservation and off we went.

Read More »

Lights Aglow in the Garden

Every year the Naples Botanical Garden has had their “Johnsonville Night Lights in The Garden” event. I had not attended for many years as it had always quickly sold out. I almost didn’t go this year but after a friend showed me a picture she had taken that was full of color and vibrancy, I managed to get a last minute opening on New Year’s Day.

Read More »

Holiday in the Hammock

After focusing for the last few weeks on art marketing, working with several art organizations and somewhere in between a batik and a portrait commission, I was tired. My husband and I needed a holiday getaway. As it is snowbird season (a term local Floridians call their visiting guest tourists), I was lucky to book us a campsite at one of my favorite Florida parks and Florida’s oldest state park, Highlands Hammock.

Read More »

One Day Getaway

I have been really focused for the last few weeks on getting my online Basic Batik workshop ready for showtime.(see below if you are interested in joining me). In between meetings on Zoom ( one day I had five one hour plus meetings-whew!) and trying to work on my recent projects, I was exhausted.

Read More »

Experiencing Miami Art Week

After a 2 year absence Art Basel Miami and some of the international satellite art fairs returned this last week. I always love attending these shows because they give me inspiration for new artwork to create. Snagging a VIP pass I attended two of the smaller but mighty fairs: Art Miami and Context. These sister fairs share a beautiful location alongside Biscayne Bay on the site of the former Miami Herald building.

Read More »


Get 20% Off Your First Order At