City Social Magazine

SEP 2014

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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18 A s the sun descended into the horizon, it set the western Nebraska sky ablaze, while storm clouds cre- ated a double rainbow to the east. As we made our way down dirt roads through cow pastures and grasslands, we couldn't help sticking our heads outside the car window, while being heckled with rain, to try to capture the magnificent colors stretching across the sky. We were on our way to Our Heritage Guest Ranch outside of Crawford, Nebraska, a working ranch owned by Jean Norman, who rents out two apartments in her barn and a small house to guests. Jean operates the ranch like a bed and breakfast, but she also hosts retreats, trail rides, fossil hunts and more. The ranch exists in a lonely section of western Nebraska, with no civilization to spot in any direction except for the 100 trains that pass daily, carrying coal from Wyoming eastward to eventually light up the East Coast. Getting away from it all is why you stay at Our Heritage Guest Ranch, although there are plenty of great attrac- tions nearby, such as historic Fort Robinson State Park, the Agate Fossil Beds, the fascinating Hudson-Meng where hundreds of ancient bison bones have been unearthed, and the Fur Trade Museum in Chadron offering a comprehensive history of both the North American fur trade that started New World development and a his- tory of the area. Points further afield are the natural landmarks greeting participants on the Oregon Trail— Scottsbluff National Monument, Chimney Rock, Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock. The first two include museums giving information on the trail and its citizens, and all offer opportunities to step on the original trail that led westward for thousands of American pioneers. To the north lies the Black Hills of South Dakota, where the discovery of gold forced conflicts with the Sioux; visitors can learn more about this Native American history at the Fort Robinson Museum. So much history, from prehistoric times to the twentieth century, in a small corner of Nebraska, and yet, it was the early mornings at Our Heritage Guest Ranch that thrilled me the most. I was awakened by a peacock 18 Nebraska A Feast for the Senses r e A d u S o n l i n e A t w w w . C i t y S o C i A l . C o m So much history, from prehistoric times to the twentieth century, in a small corner of Nebraska, and yet, it was the early mornings at Our Heritage Guest Ranch that thrilled me the most. Stories and photos by Cheré Coen Harvey and Howard Kenfield create works of art from miniature pieces of petrified wood.

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