Ahhhhh…peace and quiet at Fort Kearny State Park, in Nebraska. I am less than 400 miles from home (where the deer and antelope play) but I am content to hang out here and test my dehydrated hash browns (tonight).

ft k

Today I will stretch out my travel kinks and then walk on a former rail trail. It’s about 1.8 miles one way, so I will get in about 4.5 miles of walking. The trail will take me across the Platte River and into wildlife preservation areas. Can’t wait.  I may find something funny to write about but it is not PC to make fun of birds..is it? If it is, I sure have something to say about the raucous red-winged blackbirds who seem to be following me back and forth on I-80.

This area has so much history and many museums, all related to the Oregon/Mormon/California Trails as well as the Pony Express. I love the stories of the westward migration and the homesteading history. I love the rivers and how they acted as “highways”.

ft k museum

Museum about travel over the Platte River (spans i-80 at Kearny, NE)

 Speaking of rivers, I have given considerable thought to the issue of naming rivers. I have corssed so many on this trip and noticed that many have such lame names (Muddy River). Who names rivers, anyway? And, weren’t they already named by the Native Americans when we got here?

After days of research here are my nominees for the worst river names in America:

  • Skunk River, Iowa (sounds stinky to me)
  • West Branch, several of these all over the country (most non-descript name ever)
  • John River—Alaska (hey kids, who wants to swim in the John River?)

My nominees for the best river names are:

  • Skookumchuck River, State of Washington
  • The Nemadji River, Minnesota
  • Firehole River, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park (been there, love this steamy river)
  • Queets River, State of Washington

I have also decided that it is time to change the names of some rivers. This first group have been renamed according to some of my most traumatic life moments.

  • Tick River, formally known as the Platte, where my dog was infested with ticks
  • Holy Poo River, formally the Hillsborough River in Tampa, FL, where my son and I were once kayaking and came across alligators
  • Fat Mama River, formally the American River, where I splattered around the day before Kerry was born
  • Lost Beer River, formally the Salt River in AZ, where we lost all our beer while tubing (in college)

I am renaming these rivers due to their endangered or less than “pristine” condition in modern times:

  • Dead Fish River,  formally Rio Grande
  • No Mo,  formally the Colorado River (According to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, there is not enough water in the Colorado River to meet  the basin’s current water demands, let alone support future demand increases. Scientists predict climate change will reduce the Colorado River’s flow by 10 to 30 percent by 2050).
  • SOL, formally the Niobrara River, WY
  • Sucked Dry – San Saba River, TX

And so,,,sob….a few days and I will be home. From what I can see at weather.com, it may be fine weather for gardening!

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