Lake McConaughy

Lake McConaughy

August 20th through September 3rd, 2023

We had both spent time in western Nebraska, so we knew what to expect. It's very much like eastern Colorado, of course! It's also very different than eastern Nebraska. We liked both sides of the state.

Our trip from Ashland to Ogallala would take us by Kearney and The Archway, an attraction we had never seen. We expected it to be touristy and a waste of money, but it was actually really cool. It is a big, two-story arch over the highway. You park on one end and get a ticket and audio device before you head up the escalator into the arch. The history is everything from the time before the homesteaders to now. You also get to look at a radar detector pointed at highway traffic, but we didn't catch any speeders.

The drive across Nebraska was interesting as we watched the deep green corn give way to light green corn. There were fewer stands of trees and more fields of hay. It was nice watching the highway miles go by.

Our site was as close to Lake McConaughy, or "Lake Mac," as you could get while still in a campground site. Still, we were almost a mile from the water. The view was nice, but it was hot and sunny so we never walked down to it.

We had a nice setup under some trees that gave us a break from the heat. Margot climbed a ladder to get Lacey's tree toy hung up, which she loves. It was a great campsite.

It was Margot's birthday, so we went out to Ole's Big Game Steakhouse not too far from Ogallala. It's an odd place, filled with the taxidermized heads of many animals hunted by the previous owner. It was a bit dated, and it would fall out of fashion soon enough. For us, it was a decent steak and a weird way to look at animals after our recent visit to the Omaha Zoo.

On the way home, we stopped next to a corn field in the middle of farmland to watch a distant thunderstorm. It was really cool to watch.

We were just four hours from Denver, so Allie came up to stay with us over the weekend. We didn't have our boat with us (it was still at mom's), so we rented a pontoon. That ended up being a great idea because we all had our own spaces and Lacey could roam around. We went all the way around the lake and pulled Allie and Margot on the tow toy, Super Mabel. Always a good time!

It was a sweet goodbye to the heat of the summer

Monica was sucking on a Jolly Rancher and chatting with Margot, and then she was chewing on it and half of her tooth. The rumors are true! You can pull your tooth out with a hard Jolly Rancher candy. It was in the middle of a big lake that is relatively isolated, but luckily it didn't hurt too much.

We rounded out our stay with a stop at the visitor center. They had a really cool movie that was coordinated with a big map with lights on it that showed where the water came from and where it went. It was dated, but really interesting and worth the stop. We also went down to the outlet at Lake Ogallala that was taking on lots of water from Lake Mac. Impressive!

There were always lots of RVs down by the water's edge, in the sand, but very few motor homes. We thought about it briefly and decided we'd stick to campgrounds. It was a great stay!

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