34 west..and then there's Omaha

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Boondox, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Traveling west next summer. Taking 224/24 as far as Peoria then 34 which leads right to the sort of Big City I try to avoid at all costs. So...should I bypass it to the north and take 20 in the general direction of Badlands NP or to the south to pick up 2 till I cut up to the Badlands?

    Traveling with a dog in my hack, so bonus points for shady spots to play and rest in, and running water to cool off.

    Pete and Barley
    #1
  2. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    If you stay on 34 to the NE/IA border, you can cross at Plattsmouth and head west on NE 66. I would take NE66 or NE92 west to St. Paul, NE. Continue from there on NE92 until it meets NE2. Take NE2 all the way to Thedford. From Thedford, go north on US83.

    The Nebraska Sandhills are quite an interesting experience. I'd suggest you include them, which is why I'm advocating for the NE2/US83 routing.

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=plattsmouth,+ne&daddr=41.0152269,-96.339535+to:41.0602918,-96.7362295+to:41.0758378,-97.2496525+to:41.07589,-97.480316+to:41.2209914,-98.4791598+to:valentine,+ne&hl=en&geocode=FRy7cQIdy7lI-impdGhGgHqUhzFaUMwd_72lGw%3BFbrXcQIdsflB-ilJYOxK7wOUhzGUDNxqejREZw%3BFcOHcgIdG-w7-inHu9A9abWWhzGjWLISvw-wJA%3BFX3EcgIdjBY0-imbADcnldKQhzE3HsaRj34r5w%3BFbLEcgIdhJEw-imrrF75BrWQhzGl11_uRsk_5g%3BFX_7dAIdyVMh-ikbcnVcsDSahzEPktnvPW8Blw%3BFc8vjgIdybYB-ilRoUwgGXeChzEHz6R1JwI_qg&aq=&sll=41.063822,-96.965332&sspn=0.623329,1.288147&mra=dpe&mrsp=3&sz=10&via=1,2,3,4,5&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=41.754922,-98.063965&spn=3.933828,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameborder="0" height="480" scrolling="no" width="640"></iframe>
    <small>View Larger Map</small>

    If, when in the Sandhills, you find you are enjoying yourself, you'd get some bonus points for detouring off US83 and onto the Brownlee Road.

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=plattsmouth,+ne&daddr=41.0152269,-96.339535+to:41.0602918,-96.7362295+to:41.0758378,-97.2496525+to:41.07589,-97.480316+to:41.2209914,-98.4791598+to:42.349972,-100.7197501+to:42.6493734,-100.923894+to:Front+St&hl=en&geocode=FRy7cQIdy7lI-impdGhGgHqUhzFaUMwd_72lGw%3BFbrXcQIdsflB-ilJYOxK7wOUhzGUDNxqejREZw%3BFcOHcgIdG-w7-inHu9A9abWWhzGjWLISvw-wJA%3BFX3EcgIdjBY0-imbADcnldKQhzE3HsaRj34r5w%3BFbLEcgIdhJEw-imrrF75BrWQhzGl11_uRsk_5g%3BFX_7dAIdyVMh-ikbcnVcsDSahzEPktnvPW8Blw%3BFZQ1hgIdeiP_-Smj3liVrwx4hzHF8NcUp8SLHA%3BFR3HigIdCgb8-SllPWD2gIp4hzGhaI4wWcYbGg%3BFUoGjwIdkkv5-Q&aq=&sll=42.704641,-100.887451&sspn=1.215045,2.576294&mra=dme&mrsp=8&sz=9&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=42.644061,-100.813293&spn=0.969752,1.757813&z=9&output=embed" frameborder="0" height="480" scrolling="no" width="640"></iframe>
    <small>View Larger Map</small>
    <small>View Larger Map

    [​IMG]
    </small>
    #2
  3. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Fantastic feedback! Thanks!

    So that Natl Forest your route passes thru...camping okay?
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  4. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    Yes, there is.

    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/mckinfo.htm
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nebraska/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=10611&actid=29

    There is also camping available in the Nat'l Forest that is on the south side of NE2.

    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/nebcmp.htm
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nebraska/recreation/picnickinginfo/recarea/?recid=10605&actid=71


    I'd be happy to provide you with details along whatever route you decide, and if by some unfortunate circumstance you find yourself needing assistance near Omaha, I would be happy to lend a hand.
    #4
  5. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Long timer

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    Yeah, skip the Omaha thing. 92 is DESOLATE past St Paul. Interesting little towns from Omaha burbs to there.

    So if you do the 92 route, drop south through Ansley and pick up NE 2, you'll pass through the "Gateway to the Sandhills" Broken Bow. Be sure to stop at the Sandhills visitor center barn on the way into town.

    Yes, good camping at Halsey Natl forest and at the NE Natl Forest further along. Don't know how you feel about grasslands, but the Ogallala National Grassland and Toadstool park is its own sort of badlands if you 're going that far.

    Yes, us flatlanders do love our flatlands. Mountains and trees are OK, but there's something about watching the flow of life clear from the horizon.:clap
    #5
  6. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    IA34 is only about 15-20 miles south of me, if you need any info on this area, place to camp what have you give me a shout. Feel free to send me a pm...I'll probably forget to check back in.:norton. If the time lines up, I'd be up for tagging along for a day ride perhaps. I'm in Melcher, IA if you're looking at 34 there is a town call Chariton, IA that has a decent size multi brand dealership right on 34 and there is also a state park just a mile or two east of chariton.
    #6
  7. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Moved to Trip Planning.
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  8. fifthcircle

    fifthcircle Beer Knurd

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    Do what Yossarian says. Hwy 2 is not bad at all. The Nebraska National Forest is a neat stop, and there is good food on the East side of Thedford. Brownlee Rd is a must do if you are heading that way.

    Lots of places to camp, and most small towns have camping available in parks or fairgrounds. I know there are some off the beaten path campgrounds that are almost never occupied, but I can't remember who has posted them... boy, I'm lots of help :lol3
    #8
  9. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Okay guys, thanks. This is what I have...

    34 across the river, pick up 66. It looks like this is well south of the congestion of Omaha and Bellevue which works for me especially since my timeline for that day had me reaching the area around 5pm - just in time for rush hour!

    Zig up to 92 and continue west picking up 2 several miles past St Paul. Check things out at the visitor center in Broken Bow. Continue to 87, north to Brownlee Road. Camp in Sam McKelvie NF. Press on along State Spur 16F to 20. Then on to the Badlands.

    I hear you about the endless horizons. I never really thought about it till we were riding through northern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana two years ago. I could see forever, unlike Vermont where you can only see across the valley to the next mountain. It was very different...
    #9
  10. autolycos

    autolycos True vulgarian

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    A bit of a recommendation to that route, Hook up with NE 2, but when you get to Merna, stay on NE92 west to Arnold, then turn north on the Dunning road to get back to NE2.
    #10
  11. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    Yay, Brownlee Road:clap

    After getting back on NE2 head West to Merriman, NE. Go North on 73 to Martin, SD. Go West on SD18 to Cr-10, follow Cr-10 it will turn into BIA-2 & go through Potato Creek on Big Foot road. It will intersect with SD-44. Take 44 to Interior, SD. There is an entrance to the National Badlands park there.

    [​IMG]

    There is primitive camping (A few shelters & picnic tables are available) at Sage Creek Campground in the North West corner of the Park. The Sunrises & Sunsets are worth seeing!

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Thanks, Sleddog. I checked my maps after reading your response and as luck would have it, that's exactly how I laid out that leg of the trip. Unless I'm exhausted by the previous day I plan on hitting the Badlands in the early morning light, and Rushmore close to sunset.

    I really appreciate all the help getting me around Omaha and lined up not just to cross Nebraska, but to actually see part of what makes your state special! :D
    #12
  13. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Long timer

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    I'll volunteer to ride it with you when you get here. Might even be able to get you breakfast when you're here.:D
    #13
  14. flyrodder

    flyrodder Donny, please.

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    There is a primitive campground on the SW corner of McKelvie National Forest (on 16F just as it leaves the SW corner). Big pine trees, and usually deserted. Pretty sure there is a water pump there (really good Sand Hills water).

    Nearest gas is probably at Merritt Trading Post (near the Merritt Reservoir dam) SE of the Forest.
    #14
  15. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Yep, that's Steer Creek, more info in the first link Yossarian posted.
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  16. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Primitive camp sounds good. Can't find Steer Creek though, even zooming all the way in on Google Maps. I'm assuming if I turn just past the Merritt Reservoir and take 16F, somewhere between the north shore of the lake and where it connects to NE20 I'll find the campground..?

    Tmaximusv -- Your 92 to Dunning Rd back to 2 route has been marked on the map. Barley loves meeting new people, but we'd be a bit late for breakfast. :D I'll be starting in Red Oak IA that morning, so would probably pass thru your neck of the woods (Plains?) early to mid-afternoon.
    #16
  17. flyrodder

    flyrodder Donny, please.

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    If you go north over the Merritt dam road then into McKelvie NF, you will eventually come to a "T" intersection (State Spur 16F), go south at the intersection. The campground is on the north side of the road; at most 2 miles.

    Some explanation of McKelvie National Forest might be in order -- not really much "forest" there. Maybe 3000 total acres of trees out of about 116,000 acres. The areas with trees were largely, if not completely, planted. The campground has big ponderosa pines etc. But it is an excellent example of the unique Nebraska Sand Hills region where you can wander around.
    #17
  18. autolycos

    autolycos True vulgarian

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    One thing to be aware of: last I knew there is no reliable 24 hr gas between Arnold and Thedford. Anyone know of the current fueling status in Dunning and Halsey?
    #18
  19. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Funny - on my way up to the Black Hills in May '09 I ran out of gas on my KLR in Halsey, thought there was an open station there. Had to buy gas from the nice fella at the little motel there, out of his mower jug.

    I think there was a nice new-ish BP in Dunning where 91 hits 2 ( which I rode right by :huh )

    4 year-old info, but I doubt things have changed in Halsey.
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  20. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    There is a full service (as far as that goes in today's world) station at Dunning.
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