WHERE ON EARTH?
Weird and Dead Stuff

       

WHERE ON EARTH?
Weird and Dead Stuff

       

You are on Page 2 (2013 Travel America)

Contents: DAY 5-6 (July 1-2); Omaha, Union Station/Durham Museum (Sue the T-Rex), Johnny's Cafe, The Corn Palace, and other sights in Nebraska and South Dakota

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DAY 5, July 1
OMAHA, NEBRASKA
View of downtown Omaha

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We tried to eat at Gerda's Bakery the night before (not open even though the hotel brochure said they should be), then this morning (found out they don't serve anything but sweet rolls & coffee in the morning).  Disappointed to say the least, as we love German food

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Historic area of Omaha, great shops with ivy-covered brick storefronts including a candy store for Heidi

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OVERLAND LEATHER

We can't resist trying on hats, and we are serious customers too.  Glenn did buy the Dorfman Pacific Co. (Scala) off-white Panama hat.  They sold whole cow hides, jackets and many other great leather products.

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The restaurant & clothing storefronts were completely shrouded in ivy.  Cool.

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UNION STATION, Omaha

Now the Durham Museum

Union Station operated the railroad from 1931-1971.  It served countless American servicemen during WWII, with a 24 hour restaurant, news & magazine stand, barbershop, taxi stand, telegraph office, hospital and traveler's aid office.  The Durham Museum undertook the renovation of the building to its former glory, re-opening in 1997.  The building is considered the Museum's largest artifact.

Historic building, great to view inside & out.  "Dedicated by the railways of Omaha to the service, comfort and convenience of the people".  We are glad they have renovated this beautiful building.

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Displays of Railroad memorabilia and traveling exhibit Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue made it doubly interesting

ARCHITECTURE INSIDE UNION STATION

Phenomenal, words do not describe the art deco motif and grandeur of this place.  Photos of ceilings, walls and grand spaces in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall.  Each lighting fixture weighs more than a ton.

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Cast figures (local sculptor John Labja, made of clay then hard resin) make the building come alive...with a little help from Glenn

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In 1946, 64 steam engines huged through the station, transporting 10,000 passengers daily

TICKET OFFICE

For show only, with sculpted figures

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Hilarious, HALF A MAN! - guess they saved on this statue, since most people viewed it from the other side

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SODA FOUNTAIN

 At the old-fashioned counter right in the main hall of Union Station, Heidi had a Chocolate Egg Cream soda (seltzer with milk & chocolate syrup), yum!

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T-REX NAMED SUE

Glenn had always wanted to see the exhibit, and we happened to miss it in numerous cities in the past.  Now, we've done it!  Sue is 42 feet long and 12 feet tall at the hips.  From the Cretaceous strata in South Dakota to the U.S. Courts, and finally to the world.  This cast was created by the Field Museum in Chicago.

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UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD 

MODEL TRAINS, HISTORIC COLLECTION

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MODEL TRAIN DIORAMA, this was absolutely huge.

O Scale Model train has layout with a depot and diorama that represents Union Pacific's double track main line from Omaha to Ogden during the 1950's.

The Outdoor theater section was my favorite.

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SOUTHERN LINES PACIFIC

FULL SIZE RAILROAD CARS, ALL INDOORS.

We walked through the restored train cars, it was like we could sit down and just ride off.  Beautiful dining car.  1st class and coach cars, sleeping berths.  Amazing.

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These are the train cars & locomotives on display:

Union Pacific 1243 Steam Locomotive (c1890)

Union Pacific 25559 Caboose (1962)

Pullman Cornhuster Club Observation Car (1924)

Union Pacific 1202 Pullman National Command Sleeper (1956)

Southern Pacific 2986 Lounge Car (1949)

Omaha & Council Bluffs Railway & Bridge Co. Streetcar (1940's)

 

 

HERITAGE SCULPTURE (Herb Mignery)

A gift to the people of Omaha from the Mid-America Council - Boy Scouts of America, Heritage Patrons, 1984.  "Tomorrow's heritage of leadership is planted today in the minds of our young people, through the ideals of scouting".

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JOHNNY'S CAFE

Steaks, Prime Rib & Seafood 

(BEEF is KING - all parts of the cow including oxtail and tongue)

OMAHA'S ORIGINAL STEAKHOUSE SINCE 1922

Classic charm & ambience thanks to the Frank Kawa family

 

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Leather map of U.S. showing location of Johnny's Cafe

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Calming interior, lovely mural

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Using a $100 bill we won at the casino.  Sweet.

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"About Schmidt" with Jack Nicholson- there is a scene in the film of this restaurant of Warren Schmidt's retirement dinner.

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Beautiful exit doors with bronze of

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We stayed at Harrah's in Omaha NE this night

 

DAY 6, July 2
Giant "STOCKYARDS" facility with iron cows running out front

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KING KONG 

Burgers, Steaks, Phillies, Gyros

Across from the zoo was his wonderful signage & gorilla  family

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HENRY DOORLY ZOO & AQUARIUM

We were curious what this huge dome was.  It is part of a Zoo Park in Omaha on 10th Street.  We admit we were tired and did not go in, though after reading about it, we wish we had.

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This Desert Dome is the largest indoor desert, also the largest glazed geodesic dome in the world.  It is Omaha's #1 attraction.

 

TEKAMAH, NE

DISCOVER NEBRASKA

 Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery

Map Mural on side of the Veteran's building (13th & L Streets) in Tekamah NE

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FISHING POLE TO LURE MAILBOX

The Kellogg's Farm, North of Tekamah NE

Roadside Americana at its best

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"VETS THANKS" 

against a boat, in the front yard of a home on Highway 20 East, near Jackson NE

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Lots of interesting WINDMILLS

in a yard near Willis NE

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PONCA, NE

"PROUD TO BE AMERICAN" Mural on side of building

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KELLER PHARMACY & SODA FOUNTAIN (circa 1870's)

"Flavor Burst" soft serve ice cream, new to us!  The flavor edges the outside of the ice cream.  We enjoyed the historic building & old fashioned atmosphere.  More on the business here, including "goop" sundaes, also known as "scum sundaes" invented here though no longer made (too bad, I would be their first customer):

siouxcityjournal.com

 

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The history of Ponca is interesting.  Founded in 1856, development slowed during the Civil War and the grasshopper plague in the 1870's.  Once the railroad was established, it flourished again.  In the 1890's, it was known for one of the finest one-mile thoroughbred racetracks in the Midwest.

 

MASKELL, NE

Home of the smallest City Hall in the U.S.

Great Statue of Liberty and American flag at the turnoff for Maskell

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Flagstones leading to the City Hall, "Mayor Wally Benson & Linda", and "John Maskell Homestead, 1874"

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MASKELL CITY HALL

Yup, sure is small.  67 Residents.

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SOUTH DAKOTA !
YANKTON, SD

Bridge to Yankton SD.  The Missouri River is the reason Yankton is in existence, as the town thrived due to the steamboat industry, then waned due to the railroads and then a flood in 1881.  Yankton history includes ties to Lewis & Clark, General Custer, "the Culligan Man" was born here, and NBC Anchorman Tom Brokaw went to high school here.  Now a huge dam controls the waters and has generated plenty of tourism dollars.

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The main road is named "Tom Brokaw Blvd" 

Great historic buildings.

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cityofyankton.org

 

Heidi always laughs to see these tall sprayers on the road

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This is hay & corn country.  We were amazed that the farmers are allowed to bale the grass growing right next to the highways and in the medians as well.  Good use of space!

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TABOR, SD

Historic church St. Wenceslaus Parish,  in the town of Tabor SD.  "Vitame vas" is Czech for "We Welcome You".  This is known as a predominantly Czech populated town. 

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 We would have loved to have been there in time for their festival in June.

http://www.taborczechdays.com/

 

Religious Grotto on the grounds of the St. Wenceslaus church, is 

"Our Lady Fatima Shrine" 

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Great information on the meaning of this and the other shrines and windows on the church & property:

http://www.stwenceslaus-tabor.com/Statues_Symbols.php

 

Funny chicken statue in Parkston SD

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(Restaurant) Chef Louie's

in Mitchell SD, huge steer statue

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Glenn loves those Budweiser murals!  He used to own 11 Clydesdales.

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The world's only

CORN PALACE

Mitchell, SD

A real tourist attraction we couldn't resist (and to keep a promise to friend Kathy).  Besides the spectacular onion dome style and being folk art, it is an amazing building because the walls of all parts of it are made with real CORN and GRAINS. 

CORN-BY-NUMBER DECORATING

They strip & rebuild the murals every year with new corn and a different theme.  Over the summer, 3,000 bushels of rye, oat heads and sour dock are tied in bundles & attached.  When the new crop is ready, about 275,000 ears of corn are sawed in half lengthwise & nailed to the building following patterns created by local artists.  So, it is always a work in progress.  You can watch this redecorating process being completed.You can see a side view where the sheaves make the walls 3D.  It is a folk art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota.

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Even the interior amphitheater is decorated with murals using corn.  Today there was a craft show on the main floor, which can also be used for basketball games, etc.  The smell of popcorn is all through the building as they sell it right at the diner.  Irresistable.

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The building above is actually the 3rd Corn Palace.  Here's a vintage photo of the Corn Palace which is  inside the lobby

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The first building was built in 1892.  It was meant to display the settlers' agricultural bounty to prove the fertility of the soil and attract immigrant farmers to settle here.

For more info, visit their website

wikipedia.org

 

Oacoma, SD

Bridge over the Missouri River, a welcome sight after not seeing water or many hills across the plains states

(PHOTO COMING!)

VINTAGE CARS

MURDO, SD

(PHOTOS COMING)

We spent the night in Murdo, SD

 

DAY 7 (July 3)

(PHOTOS COMING)

BADLANDS
MOUNT  RUSHMORE
CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL
THE MAMMOTH SITE
THE WOOD CARVING MUSEUM
We spent the night in Sturgis SD

 

 

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