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Campsite Photo Trip - 2013

Honka if you like Ponca/Bill and Meri Revisited

Our intrepid photographer pushes on through Nebraska to Iowa, and is hopeful that spring is just around the corner.

The day I left Eugene T. Mahoney the sun came out. That was OK as I was travelling just a few miles down the road to Louisville SRA. A very busy week was ahead of me.


In fact, I was so excited to see that star that I made a batch of food. Nope, not tacos (thanks for asking Danny), but sandwiches.


The key to making yourself think that the sandwiches are big is to add lots of lettuce.


It's all good.


Yummy. Louisville SRA is only about 12 miles SW of Omaha where the Oracle lives. Or at least where he resides some of the time. I am talking about Warren Buffet. The local paper even has a column devoted to his activities.

I am still staying in the trailer as I don't trust the weather enough to pitch my tent.


The campground is on the banks of the Platte River, but mainly spread around five sandpit lakes. I still do not know what that means, the sandpit part. Did someone dig a hole in the sand that just filled in?


Here is a photo of the river.


There are several fishing areas on the lakes.


This is a big place with 236 developed campsites and a bunch of primitive tent spots. It even has a cafe/bait shop. Just don't get confused with your order.


The sites are nice and big and just looked good in the sun. The trees were starting to bud. Maybe spring will start soon.

Louisville_154 Louisville-Campground-Road

Nope, a storm showed up.



Rained that night and continued as I drove across the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

I planned on staying here.


This State Park was one of the worst I've seen. No maintenance done in the last century, derelict vehicles, etc. I continued onward. Took the scenic route.


Which wasn't the best choice. I had also planned on staying at Wilson Island.


But there was major flooding in 2011 on the Missouri River. I have proof. And I would have known that the campground was still under repair if I had taken Interstate 29. There were signs on the freeway. The first sign I saw was this one.


I checked it out anyway, the persistent guy that I am. Nope. Nothing good here.


I found out later that the whole place was under six feet of water for three months. Killed a lot of trees and swept the campground away.

So I am 0 for 2 in Iowa. Continued driving north to Lewis and Clark State Park.


Very nice campground.


In 1804 Bill and Meri stopped here for two nights, August 9th and 10th. I looked up the distance to Astoria Oregon and Cape Disappointment Washington. About 1400 miles on roads, probably over 2000 the way they went.

The skies started to clear Wednesday night.


Followed by rain on Thursday.


Alrighty then. I continued north to Sioux City, Iowa and stopped briefly at Stone State Park. It has coolest campground sign I have seen yet.


There are only 30 campsites and plenty of hiking trails. Also a nature center next door.


No, you are not getting the bird. But it looks like it.

I stayed two nights at Ponca State Park back in Nebraska.


Yeah, I am doing a slight western swing along the Missouri River. Blame it on the weather. I'm ahead of my schedule.


Spring might of finally sprung because I finally broke out the camp kitchen. Not the tent yet, but soon.

Situated along the Missouri River Bluffs, Ponca is the eastern gateway to The Missouri National Recreational River. There are 73 sites here with power, half of them being reservable. And five double handfuls of primitive tent sites.

There is also a really old oak tree.

Big-Oak-Sign Big-Oak

There are cabins as well as something called mini-lodges. For $250 per night you get four bedrooms and a little lake. Quite a few of these are scattered around the park. Some without the lake.


If you do not mind heights there is an overlook that you can check out.


I dislike heights so this view is all you get.


Squint and you can see Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa. Well, Iowa is off to the right. Squint harder and pretend.

I took a bizarre sunrise photo here. All chromatic aberration. Look it up on Google.


Oh, there is also a golf course and a neat Education Center.

Ponca-Golf-Course Education-Center-Sign Education-Center

Here is the the proof about the flooding in 2011.


It pretty much decimated lowland areas from Yankton to Omaha. I was in the mountains of Colorado and really did not notice it.

From Ponca I continued west to Lewis and Clark Lake.


This is the Big Kahuna recreation area for the Great Plains. 100's of campsites on both sides of the lake. Nebraska and South Dakota. After another slight westward detour to Niobrara, I will visit the South Dakota side. Which is on the northern side of the lake.

That will be in the next blog post. But here is a sunrise photo from this morning on the Nebraska side.


I get up early. 3:30am California time.

Regards, Park Ranger


A beautiful sunrise makes it all worth while!

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