Monday, August 25, 2014

Wyoming - Summit Visitor Center

Traveling across Wyoming on the Lincoln Highway, Lil Dude Troll came across a really nice rest area called the Summit Visitor Center. Interesting displays inside and great views outside. There is a nice monument to Henry B. Joy, the man who was the driving force pushing for an improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the first president of the Lincoln Highway Association. 

What really grabbed Lil Dude's attention though was a huge rock head of America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Weighing over 2 tons and 13 1/2 feet tall, it sits atop a 30-foot granite pedestal. Robert Russin, a University of Wyoming Art Professor carved the over-sized head to honor Lincoln's 150th birthday. When Russin died in in 2007, his ashes were placed inside the hollow monument.

The monument to Henry B. Joy, proponent of the
Lincoln Highway which became the first
Atlantic-to-Pacific improved highway.

Abe Lincoln's giant head

Calla, the super nice attendant at the visitor center
took a liking to Lil Dude!

Monday, August 11, 2014


Nebraska became a state in 1867. Before 1848, it was populated mostly by Native Americans, but then the gold rush hit and thousands of Anglo's crossed the territory traveling to California. Some of them got as far as Nebraska and, tiring of the journey, simply quit and settled down where they stopped.

The first Arbor Day in America took place in Nebraska City on April 10, 1872. Nebraska citizens and groups were encouraged to plant trees and they responded by planting an estimated 1 million on that one day. The idea eventually spread through America and now all states annually participate.

Another notable that happened in Nebraska was the invention in 1927 of Kool-Aid by Edwin Perkins in the city of Hastings. Kool-Aid is the official state drink. Also, CliffsNotes were developed in Rising City by Clifton Hillegass. He "adopted" his notes from the similar Canadian publications named ColesNotes.

Entering this breadbasket state, Little Dude Troll stopped in a visitor center for a state map. The nice older lady manning the counter was asked, "What is the state motto of Nebraska?" She replied, "Well, the official motto is 'Where the West Begins,' but I think it should be 'Nebraska, more interesting than Kansas.'" Bless that sweet lady for her honesty!