The Route Less Traveled…

There is a stretch of road in between Arnold and Dunning Nebraska that is a little slice of heaven.  It is 29 miles of rolling hills, canyons, and grazing animals.  I think of it as truly The Route Less Traveled, but I have to admit that it is a place that brings me great peace.

A special place...

A special place…

The drive is a solitary trip, and rarely do I encounter another human being while traveling along this route.  I have the pleasure of taking this road a half a dozen times a year when I trek north to the Nebraska Sandhills to move cattle off of home ranches and into my feed yard.

A marriage of man-made technology and beautiful prairie land...

A marriage of man-made technology and beautiful prairie land…

Perhaps it is because I love the wide open spaces—Perhaps it is because my cell phone doesn’t work so I have the choice of opening the window and listening to the silence or cranking up the radio and singing to my favorite songs.

The blend of open grassland and canyons makes this a truly unique place...

The blend of open grassland and canyons makes this a truly unique place…

Regardless, I know that I look forward to the drive that seems to soothe my soul.

In addition to cattle and horses, I have seen many deer, ducks, turkeys, pheasant, and grouse along the way.  It is beautiful the way that livestock live in harmony with the wild animals of the prairie.

Mallard ducks enjoying the open water that has not yet frozen with the promise of winter...

Mallard ducks enjoying the open water that has not yet frozen under winter’s spell…

I am often reminded as I head north on this road the importance of environmental stewardship and what a pivotal role ranchers play in maintaining the balance of life in the rural areas of our country.

They play several important roles...

The great converters…

These cattle thrive amongst the natural wildlife of Nebraska while also converting forage into an iron rich protein source that fuels both my family and yours.

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The healthy balance of mankind and nature speaks to me even in the winter months when the grasses turn brown…

The Nebraska Sandhills’ grasslands are a perfect blend of Mother Nature’s gifts and the tender loving care of the cattlemen and women who tend to them amongst the routes less traveled…

14 Comments

Filed under Environmental Stewardship, General

14 responses to “The Route Less Traveled…

  1. Ann

    I take this road once or twice a year, awesome beauty , one year the turtles were on the move and all over the highway.

    • I imagine that the turtles crossing the highway slowed you down a bit! I bet that it was a wonderful site to see. I have never made the trip up the road when I have not seen something inspiring.

      It is good to hear from you, Ann. Did you all get snow today? Our world is cold, windy, and slightly white.

      Anne

  2. Kathy Bottrell

    I used to travel these “routes less traveled” for my job. I loved every minute of the travel time.

    • I am really not usually one who enjoys travel, but routes like these are special :) I am glad that you can empathize and find peace on those country roads as well.

      Great to hear from you!
      Anne

  3. Jeff

    One of the things I miss most about Nebraska. We have similar roads here, but they are also quite different. Those trips were even better on 2 wheels, and I remember leaving in the morning and coming home in the evening after nothing more than cruising around the rolling hills, and sand hills of that part of the state. Then I had kids and got somewhat responsible and the 2 wheelers were gone.

    • Glad to hear that you are entertaining the notion of responsibility, Jeff :) I am sure that Gus and Silas will continue to keep you entertained until you can join the “2 wheeler club” again!

      Good to hear from you–hope that you are all doing well.

      Anne

      • Jeff

        Let’s not get too carried away with the responsibility word shall we.

        You going to be around at Christmas?

      • We are going to Florida Dec. 22-27, but will be around other than that. Hope to be able to see you all. We are home for Thanksgiving if you all head this direction then…

  4. Bobbi

    There is a spot in our calving pasture along the creek where I had my husband hang a tree stand for me to hunt deer from. Don’t tell him but the main reason I picked this spot and that tree was not for the “good spot for hunting” reason. The main reason is because it is quiet, peaceful, and protected from the wind. My cell phone only has enough service to send text messages, which I only use to tell my husband if I have added venison to the freezer. It is a great spot for hunting deer, but I spend most of my time there watching the squirrels, birds and the occas. nal bob cat.

  5. Carol

    Anne,
    That road and the Ryno Table road are two of Jim’s and my favorites, especially on motorcycle.

    Jeff,
    After the kids are grown, you can become irresponsible again. My husband and I are 63. We rode before we were married and then started again when we were 49.

    • I was pretty sure that you and Jim would know the route, Carol. I imagine that you all have had some wonderful rides there :)

      I am pretty sure that Jeff will “ride again” just as you all have.

      Good to hear from you–
      Anne

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