Aug 21st, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Enjoy Western Nebraska

This senior citizen admits upfront that I had never heard of Scottsbluff, NE until a teaching assistant from Spain was moved to that city on the second half of a teaching assistantship. Juan fell in love with the city and found it to be “his second home” before he returned to Bilboa in northern Spain.

The Early History of Scottsbluff

In 1828, a fur trapper by the name of Hiram Scott was wounded and deserted by his companions. He gained a certain immortality by making his way to a magnificent formation of bluffs along the North Platte River before succumbing to his wounds. It was for Hiram Scott that Scottsbluff National Monument, Scottsbluff County, and the city of Scottsbluff have been named. My wife and I would not miss this one… a museum telling the story of the Plains Indians, fur traders, immigrant trails and early settlers.

Nice Size City

Scottsbluff is a city in Scottsbluff County with a population of just over 15,000. The entire county only has 37,000 people.  Scottsbluff is the largest city in the Nebraska Panhandle, and the 13th largest city in Nebraska. Scottsbluff was founded in 1900 across the North Platte River from its namesake, a bluff which is now a National Park called Scottsbluff National Monument.

Some highlights not to be missed

Scottsbluff National Monument in western Nebraska includes an important 19th century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The National Monument contains multiple bluffs (steep hills) located on the south side of the North Platte River is named for one prominent bluff called Scotts Bluff, which rises over 830 feet  above the plains at its highest point. The local  “Things” link is interesting as well and has information senior visitors might find interesting.

Several more “Biggies”

Two towering landmarks and national historic sites, Scottsbluff National Monument and Chimney Rock stand silent guard over the Westward Migration Trails just as they did for the thousands who migrated west in their wagons. The North Platte National Wildlife Refuge is located near Scotts Bluff and includes 5,047 acres.  The Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is just north of the city and senior rock-hounds and ersatz archeologists find it fascinating. During the 1890s, scientists discovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew – bones preserved in one of the most complete Miocene mammal sites in the world. This place called “Agate” is a landscape that reflects many players – from early animals roaming the valleys and hills, to tribal nations calling the High Plains home, to explorers passing through or settling in the American West. The mammal fossils found at this site come from the early Miocene Epoch some 19-21 million years ago.

Senior Western History Buffs Love This Area

I always feel that the local newspaper is a great means to have a “feel” for the area and the Star-Herald is no exception. Making big news is the new French Café that is opening in downtown Scottsbluff. Located next door to L’Chic Salon, Café de Paris is serving up its first lattes at 15 W. 16th St. in downtown Scottsbluff. There, do check it out for this old French prof.

You will note that Gering is the next door neighbor to Scotts Bluff and an integral part of the community.  If you enjoy western history, then you will enjoy Scotts Bluff and this site will help to fill your itinerary with a list of sites, maps, history and culture. Learn about, visit, and explore the authentic historic places that illustrate the history and development of Nebraska’s Scottsbluff region from its earliest settlement to modern times and have fun out there seniors. jeb

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