Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fuzzy Visits Nebraska

Hi Kids,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Fuzzy and I am a Traveling Teddy -- part of the geography education program of the Society of American Travel Writers. My bear mom, Miss Elaine, writes stories for magazines and newspapers about places people might want to visit.

She brought me on a trip to Nebraska and we met your teacher, Mr England. He told us you might be interested in our adventures. If you want to be a traveler, too, you can. You can start right in your own hometown. I'm going to show you some of the things we saw when we visited Ogallala. I bet you've seen a lot of these things.

The first place we stopped was Boot Hill. That's where we met Mr. England. He told us about the cowboys who drove cattle up from Texas to Ogallala. And he told us about a lot of the people who were buried in this old cemetery. I really liked this cowboy sculpture but Miss Elaine was too short to put me up in the saddle so I had to sit on the cowboy's boot!

Our next stop was at the Petrified Wood and Art Gallery downtown. There were many beautiful paintings and sculptures there but I liked the rocks and wood best. The owners, Mr. Howard and Mr. Harvey Kenfield spent many hours shaping these rocks into spheres (a fancy word for "ball") and polishing them. Aren't they pretty?

Next we visited the Mansion on the Hill. This house is over 100 years old! It has been decorated inside so that it looks like it would have looked a hundred years ago. This is the children's bedroom.

If you had lived back then, you wouldn't have television or Nintendo or cell phones. But children back then had books, just like you do. I love to read. I hope you enjoy it, too

After lunch, we took a hike up Windlass Hill to see where pioneers going west on the Oregon Trail traveled. Miss Elaine carried me up the steep hill. She needed someone to carry her, too! Her legs were really tired by the time we got to the top!

Our guide explained how thousands of wagons traveled on this trail. No, not the little walking path we were on, but the area around it. Where the wagon wheels traveled, they packed down the dirt and kicked up a lot of dust. A particular kind of brown grass grows well in this kind of soil. If you look at the colors of the grass, you can see where those wagons passed over 150 years ago. Travel was hard and slow. It probably took them a day to get from where your school is now to Windlass Hill. We traveled that distance by car in about half an hour.

Look at the picture below and see if you can tell which way the wagons went.

If you enjoyed reading about my adventure, please let me know. I would love to write you about other places I travel. You can also look at some of my earlier adventures when I was writing to a 3rd grade class here in Oklahoma. I would like to be your friend this year.