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Topic: Horse Creek Road in Wyoming [mostly photographs]  (Read 1188 times)

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Daniel Kalal
It's pronounced Goot-see

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Years Contributed: '07, '08, '09, '10
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: Guzzi Daytona, Guzzi Stelvio
GPS: Kansas
Miles Typed: 1001

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« on: August 10, 2017, 07:31:40 pm »

If you need to go north out of Cheyenne as directly as possible, the route of  I-25 is what you'll want.  But, a 19th century railroad surveyor would need  to be more careful with grades and available water.  That's why the tracks  follow a valley to the west following Horse Creek, Sand Creek and then Chugwater  Creek.  This is a trip to Horse Creek Road to follow that original route.
Just south of Sterling, Kansas (on the south side of the Arkansas River) is a  side road that will take you due west.  It's not likely you'll have any  traffic, and the road is pretty good.
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
Just about anything that flies between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico will  rest at the Quivira wetlands.  While there has been some water  management, it is largely unchanged from what has been here for hundreds of  years.

Great Bend has a heritage that predates the railroad, so the town isn't  actually hugging the tracks as would be the case for most all the other towns  that were founded entirely because of the railroad.  I do not know if that  was the old passenger station, or if it was a shipping station.  In any  event, it's not used now.

Great Bend, Kansas.

Dighton, Kansas.

Scott City, Kansas.

The grain elevators west of Tribune, Kansas.

Almost any route is as good as the next.  You can ride west for a  few miles and then north along a zig-zag path, or you can ride west for a  couple hundred miles and then north.  It adds up the same.
Brandon, Colorado is down the hill.

Eads, Colorado.

Otis, Colorado.  Occasionally, these little-used roads will start out  paved, but then let you down after twenty miles.  The road to Otis stayed  paved.


There's not much untouched land around here.

New Ramer, Colorado.

There's a diagonal road that runs northwest from New Ramer through Keota  and then into Wyoming.  It's only partially paved, so this thunderstorm  gave me some concern.
Do you see that opening in the clouds?  That's where the road that  runs due west is heading.  The (unpaved) road to Keota is to the right.   I'll not be going to Keota, today.

Cheyenne, Wyoming and a very wet evening.  Lots more rain fell  overnight.

I'm here.  I'm northwest of Cheyenne, riding along Horse Creek Road.

Once you get beyond all the new oversized “ranch” houses that are along  either side of the road for a few miles from I-25, things open up.


Considering that that hill is called Iron Mountain, I'm going to guess  that there had been an attempt at mining years ago.  You can see some  evidence of it.

The sign says “Chugwater 21.”  Probably around fifteen of those  miles are dirt while the last bit into Chugwater is paved.  This would  have been fine just two days ago, but the heavy rain of last night means  that this road is going to be a muddy mess.  I'm not up for that; let's  turn around.

Back to Cheyenne and then north on I-25 to Chugwater, Wyoming.

As soon as practical, I'll turn onto something more interesting than a  freeway.  This is the back-way to Guernsey.  I like red roads.



Sunrise, Wyoming is an old historic company-town for one of the large iron  mines in the area that has been shut for years.  I'm not sure of its  ownership, but it seems to be prepared for the  eclipse in the next few days.  I saw this road and wondered where it went.   Here is where it stops.  Turn around.

Hartville, Wyoming is on a road between US-26 and US-20 through some  beautiful Wyoming hills.



Even though this is the Sturgis Bike Week, there wasn't much motorcycle  traffic (or any other traffic) on this road.


Manville, Wyoming.

Turning east to follow US-20.

Van Tassell, Wyoming  is just on the Nebraska line.

With the Buffalo Gap Grassland to the north in South Dakota and the  Oglala Grassland adjacent in Nebraska, you can expect miles and miles of  open prairie.

Oglala  National Grassland

Rushville, Nebraska.  I'll be turning south on NE-250.

The Rushville Public Library.  I like their fence.

I've stopped at the crest of the hill and am looking back north towards  Rushville on the horizon.

Nebraska 358th Trail.  It's a single-lane paved road that connects  NE-250 and NE-27.  This is one of best roads in all of Nebraska.  It's  almost a guarantee that you will not see any traffic.  It's a gorgeous  area.

Look very close and you'll see pronghorn near the windmill.

We're in the Sand Hills of Nebraska--a beautiful area and unique in the whole  country.

You'll pass dozens--hundreds--of small lakes like this.  In addition to  the usual ducks and geese and herons, I saw a couple of white swans.  Shut  down the engine, take your helmet off, you won't hear anything but the birds.

Real hay stacks!  You don't see this too often.

The Sand Hills are one of my favorite places to ride.

The BN&SF Railroad that follows NE-2 is a very busy route.   Sometimes it seemed the trains were following every couple of miles in both  direction.  Mostly coal (both full and empty), with some grain.

Hyannis, Nebraska.  It's time for lunch

With all the train traffic, it's pretty noisy.  I guess residents  soon enough learn to ignore the crossing-horn (but, I hope they remember to  look both ways).
The Middle Loup River would have been a steady supply of water to the steam  engines that pulled the first trains along this route.


Pauline, Nebraska.  We're riding south along roads that don't have  highway numbers.

Guide Rock, Nebraska.

This isn't the sort of place you might stumble on; you'll need  to be looking for it. This hill (as it is today) doesn't look like much, but  it once was significant beyond most everything else.
In the Pawnee traditional religion, the supreme  being Tirawa allots supernatural powers to certain animals. These animals,  the nahurac, act as Tirawa's servants and messengers, and intercede for the  Pawnee with Tirawa. The nahurac had five lodges:
1) The foremost  among them was Pahuk, usually translated “hill island”, a bluff on the south  side of the Platte River, near the town of Cedar Bluffs in present-day  Saunders County, Nebraska.
2) Lalawakohtito, or “dark island”, was an  island in the Platte near Central City, Nebraska
3) Ahkawitakol, or  “white bank”, was on the Loup River opposite the mouth of the Cedar River in  what is now Nance County, Nebraska.
4) Kitzawitzuk, translated  “water on a bank”, also known to the Pawnee as Pahowa, was a spring on the  Solomon River near Glen Elder, Kansas.
5) The fifth lodge of the  nahurac was known to the Pawnee as , a  name translated as “hill that points the way”.  It is on the Republican  River, south  Guide Rock, Nebraska.
--Excerpted from Wikipedia

Walking through the brush, I came on this sign that was flat on the  ground.  I propped it up.  It identifies the hill as Pahur.   I saw what seemed to be an old foot-path, but gave up before making it to  the top.  Remember that before the coming of the settlers, there would  have been no trees on this hill--and it was likely taller and more  distinctive.
Burr Oak, Kansas.

Beloit, Kansas.  This area is known for its distinctive creme colored  stone used for buildings as well as for making fence posts.



Lincoln, Kansas.

Ellsworth, Kansas.


A good trip.

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 07:55:25 pm »

Beautiful as always Daniel but where are those great food picks?  Bigok
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