Tomahawk RV Park – NEBRASKA (Broken Bow)

CAMPGROUND/RV PARK
REVIEW

Campground/RV Park:  Tomahawk RV Park – NEBRASKA
Location:  Broken Bow, NE
Date(s) Stayed: 7/28/14 – 8/2/15
Length of Stay:
 5 days
Site #: #13
Cost per night (with
taxes): $20/night (tents are less)
Discount Used: None
Connections:  FHU
Stars: 3.5
Tomahawk RV Park is a city/town managed RV Park is centrally located
within the town of Broken Bow, Nebraska
Broken Bow is located on the railroad and considered a farming/ranching
town.  The park has all the amenities one
could ask for; level gravel sites, easily in-easy out, children’s playground,
bath house, and within walking distance to the town square.  We gave this park a 3.5 due to
non-availability of a laundry facility (we had to go into town), no campfires
or grills provided at each site and the close approximity to the railroad
crossing.  However, recently within the
past couple years, Broken Bow has ‘quiet crossings’ (no whistle blows) except
for when signaled of impairment on the tracks. 
The sites also are close together but that didn’t bother us because we
were always out learning about the area. 
The park has a wonderful picnic pavilion with lots of picnic tables and
charcoal grills and lighting for evening dinners or picnics. The park was clean
and staff was minimal.  We called ahead
of time to insure availability which they seem to always have.  Their sites vary in size and is recommended
that you only use a site that coincides to your rig size; in other words, don’t
use the big rig sites if you have a small setup.
The town/city of Broken Bow is located on Route 2 in the heartland of farming
and ranching.  It is about an hour drive
to  Fort Hartstuff; a post Civil War
Cavalry Historic Park and a short drive to begin the Sand Hills Journey to
points west.  There are small businesses
and café’s however, there is no Walmart in the town.  There are two or three small grocery stores
that will meet your needs (they sell beer and wine in them!).  Since we ride motorcycles, it’s a nice town
to camp overnight if needed in a tent.
All in all, Tomahawk RV Park met our expectations and we will be back. We
stayed in a 5th Wheel Toyhauler.

A Ride up to Cripple Creek – Colorado

RV life just keeps us so so busy.  Who would have known that what was supposed to be a ‘relaxing’ life turned into a whirlwind of to-do’s, places to go, people to see, etc.  We are NOT complaining but geesh, there’s just only so many hours in a day, days in a week and weeks in a month…so on.

The cool thing about this lifestyle is we always make note of where we want to return.  Colorado is one of our favorites.  Such a diverse state, it just has so much cool and interesting things to see and do. So, here we are doing another blog entry for ‘Colorful Colorado’.

In 2015, we were parked in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy Peregrine Pines Campground.  We split our time between Denver, the Springs and Pueblo.

After only a few days of anchoring down at Peregrine Pines, Captain Dan had to fly home to Pennsylvania to attend a funeral and take care of family matters.  As much as I wanted to go, because of our lifestyle of unfamiliarities, I had to stay behind to take care of Liberty and our fuzzy crewmembers as well as help our son’s fiance get some much needed things done around their house before he came home from deployment.  Taking a break and since the weather was beautiful, I took a couple much needed wind therapy day trips on my Harley.

One of the days, I mapped out a route up to Cripple Creek; a former mining and now casino town.  We’d been there before and remembered what a beautiful ride it had been, so this was a no-brainer to ride up there again.

Starting at the USAF Academy, I rode I-25 South to Route 24 West through Manitou Springs, Cascade, Woodland Park to Divide.  The ride was a bit unnerving on I-25 and entering onto Route 24 but once I got through Manitou Springs, traffic thinned out and my ride began to take me through the twists and turns through huge red rock formations. Once I got past Woodlawn Park, I took a left onto Route 67 to Divide; filled my gas tank and proceeded onto Route 61 to Cripple Creek.  This part of the ride was most enjoyable because it was winding through the mountains past a couple old abandoned mines.

I stopped to stretch my legs at a pull-off to walk to this one however, it was closed to the public.  I noticed there were quite a few cars stopped as well; from what I gathered, there was some excellent hiking up the mountain.  Route 61 was a bit challenging.  It had breathtaking views but don’t get to mesmerized or you’ll end up going off the mountain.  Ack!  No guard rails.  Being a skilled rider, I just took my time; enjoying the scenery.

 

I stopped at this scenic overlook and learned a little about the Gold Belt Tour; a historic, narrow-gauge railroad bed, an old stage road, and county roads.  Designated a BLM back country byway, the route itself is often breathtaking, as are the views of Pikes Peak and other mountain scenery.  The byway retraces the historic travel routes connecting Cripple Creek and the Victor Mining District, site of the world’s largest Gold Rush.  You have to be on your game riding this road because depending on season, there could be quite a bit of fallen small rock, sand and dirt washed down onto the roadway which cold make for a challenging ride; especially through the twisties with no guard rails.  My only wish was that motorists in automobiles and pickup trucks would have stayed away from my tail.  Everyone seemed to be in a hurry coming and going.

Once I got to Cripple Creek, its never difficult to find a parking spot; especially for a motorcycle.  You just have to pay attention not to park on a hill; afterall, the town was built on a mountain.

I didn’t really have anything planned to do or see.  This one was just about the ride.  However, I did take a little time to grab some lunch at one of the casinos and walk around.  This time though, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the donkey’s in the streets; something Cripple Creek is noted for.

 

In one of the little shops, I picked up a little travel journal for RV Wanderlust friends…darn, I didn’t get a picture, but it was a small pocket notebook with the word ‘Wanderlust’ and a roadmap.  Just couldn’t resist buying it for our RV friends.

I was mesmerized by the old style buildings, sign graphics, window shopping and browsing in some shops.  It was ‘old meets new’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great day…beautiful 75 degrees up at Cripple Creek.  Though I love riding with Captain Dan, sometimes a solo ‘knees to the breeze’ ride is just what a girl needs while her land yacht sailor is away.

So, if you’re into a cool ride through some beautiful scenery with a few twisties, wildlife spottings, a little history lesson or even to throw a few quarters in some slots, a trek up to Cripple Creek is just the ticket, no matter what you ride or drive.

RIDE SAFE!

 

Lake Minatare State Recreation Area and Lighthouse – Minatare, Nebraska

AOL - Lake Minatare SRA Lighthouse

 

In the summer of 2015, we were driving around and visiting Chimney Rock, Courthouse and Jail Rocks in the North Platt River region, we happened upon a sign that directed us to the Lake Minatare Lighthouse. Of course, both of us being former mariners, we had to check why a lighthouse was needed in Nebraska. So, we took a drive down to Nebraska’s Lake Minatare State Recreation Area (SRA) to find it.

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado!!



Folk Singer John Denver and Mike Taylor described in their lyrics the beautiful and majestic towering rocks of aspens and pines “Rocky Mountain High” which is one of the two official state songs of Colorado recorded in 1972; we can see why!


“But the Colorado Rocky Mountain high, I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky.
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby.
Rocky Mountain high (Colorado)!  Rocky Mountain high (high in Colorado)!


This past August (2015), our travels we followed the sun to where it rests on the other side; west from Nebraska to “Colorful Colorado’ to see the Rockies.  We’ve been there before a few years ago, but just to pass through so we didn’t really get to feel the real sense of the beauty of these monstrous mounds.  Our re-visit was outstanding; taking the whole day driving through Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park.  We started early, leaving our campground in Golden in the morning.  We grabbed our jackets as we knew it was going to be a tad chilly up on the summits. Being East Coasters, we thought our beloved Appalacians were big however, the Rockies are ginormous!!  So big, there was still snow on some of them in August.  Before we went through the park, we made sure we got our National Park Passport stamped.  




 “He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below,
He saw everything as far as you can see.
And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun,
And he lost a friend but kept the memory….”


Once we finished there, we slowly drove our way through the park.  The further up we went, the views became more spectacular.  We have to note that the day we went, the park wasn’t so busy.  We like it that way so we can get spectacular photos.  Periodically, we ran into a couple of folks whom we traded opportunities to get themselves in their photos; likewise for us.




This blog entry is going to be more photos because, well, a picture truly IS worth a thousand words.   So enjoy our day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park!!



Now he walks in quiet solitude,  the forests and the streams,
Seeking grace in every step he takes.
His sight has turned himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake…”

And the Colorado Moutain high,
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky.
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply,
Rocky Moutain High…high in Colorado!
Rocky Moutain High…high in Colorado!”





We stopped at a scenic overlook and made a new friend!  He practically jumped in our laps looking for peanuts.  Evidentally, he’s been fed before (not good!).






Our tummies were grumbling just in time to stop for lunch at the summit restaurant and visitor center.  We had to laugh because all of the bags of chips looked like they were ready to explode because of the altitude.  Luckily, ours didn’t.  







It was also time to put our jackets on when we got back to the truck.  The thermometer read 32 degrees and it was a tad bit windy.  Oh yes, we also were beginning to lose our breaths, feeling lightheaded and getting slight headaches.  But all of that was forgotten because of the once-in-a-lifetime views of the majestic rock towers.



And the Colorado Moutain high,

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky.
I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly!
Rocky Mountain high!”

These were Lava Cliffs from a volcanic explosion that took place 12 miles away 28 million years ago.
Just some photos that don’t need captions.

Last but not least, at the other end of the Rocky Mountain National Park stood another information building.  There was a beautiful memory garden that honored the memory of National Park Rangers who lost their lives while on duty.  We close with this.  While we enjoy traveling our great Country and having privilege of visiting our National Parks, we give deep-hearted thanks to all of those who maintain our National Parks, fight fires, forestry preserve, wildlife management and education.  Without them, our Nation’s scenic gems would be no more.  THANK YOU NPS!! 


And the Colorado Moutain high,
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky.
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply,
Rocky Moutain High…high in Colorado!
Rocky Moutain High…high in Colorado!”

Ives Run COE Campground – PENNSYLVANIA (Tioga)

CAMPGROUND REVIEW


Campground/RV Park: Ives Run COE Campground (Corps of Engineers) – PENNSYLVANIA

Location: 710 Railroad Grade Trail (Ives Run), Tioga, PA 16946     (570) 835-0110
Date(s) Stayed: 6/13/15 – 6/20/15
Length of Stay: 1 week
Site #: 111 (Walk-in Site)
Cost per night (with taxes): $17 ($34 for others)
Discount Used:  50% National Park Access Pass (Disabled)
Connections: 30 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  4.5



Ives Run COE Campground sits on the eastern shore of Hammond Lake in north-central Pennsylvania. Surrounded by lush forested ridges, the lake offers recreation.  The campground is approximately 30 minutes to Mansfield and 30 minutes to Wellsboro and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  This campground is what all campgrounds should replicate!  Nicely manicured, staffed and managed by the Corps of Engineers proved its worthiness with cleanliness, ample spacing between sites, beautiful views of Hammond Lake and nice roads to walk or bicycle.  To reserve a site, you must be registered through Reserve America online.  Because of the popularity of this campground in the summer season, expecting to find a campsite during weekends or extended stays (14 day maximum) is difficult because PA and NY state residents have made their reservations a year ahead of time.  However, the campground has three ‘walk-in’ sites that are left vacant for RV’s and Campers that are passing through.  The three walk-in sites open at 10:00am when the office opens.  You can reserve for three days at a time before having to go and reserve again in person if you need another three days, but be sure to be at the office to do so at 10:00am (be first in line so no one bumps you).  The campground season begins May 1st and ends October 30th each year.  



The campground is absolutely gorgeous!!  Lots of gentle wildlife!!  We oftentimes took three walks a day/night. There is a separate swimming area from the boat ramp. Fishing is allowed with proper license.  We appreciated their rules of not allowing boats/trailers on the campsites.  They have overflow parking down at the boat ramp and elsewhere throughout the park.  The campground rules state that each outside guest that visits your site must pay $3 each.  There is a small campstore for basics (ie. hamburger/hotdog buns, hotdogs, chips, soda, water, etc.)  Quiet time is kindly adhered to.  A roving Park Ranger makes his rounds regularly noting safety issues and adherance to the campground rules. 



Make certain you bring extra leveling blocks; note that this site sits in the mountainous region of Pennsylvania. As with all campgrounds, we highly recommend filtering your water. The only drawback to Ives Run COE Campground is internet capability is seriously lacking because of its location in the mountains (AT&T and Verizon); spotty at best.



We WILL return!  We would have given it 5 stars if internet capability existed.