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Afield and Afloat

Looking Back on the Cowboy Trail

It’s Tuesday and I think my butt has decided to forgive me. Besides some odd tan lines and bug bites, I’m feeling pretty good. I think my head and body is still in the process of digesting the whole thing, of trying to come up with some grand conclusion of what it meant. I know it’ll mean more to me later, but for right now,  I’ll admire the numbers: 195 miles on two wheels, with only my legs to pedal …

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Update from the Cowboy Trail

To all following the Cowboy Trail cycling tour with Regional Editor Jenny Nguyen, she will post a recap of her biking adventure with Outdoor Educator Jamie Bachmann and fellow cyclists who have joined them as they complete the entire 195 miles of the trail. Sore muscles aside, they are enjoying nice weather, lovely scenery and amazing Dutch oven cooking. They have also found wild asparagus and mushrooms, camped out along the trail and made some new friends on their way. Tomorrow …

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Panhandle Passages: Dreaming of a White … Mother’s Day

My friends, family and other followers know that I try to post one nature photo each weekday to Facebook and Twitter. It’s a fun exercise, and I’m sometimes surprised to discover which photos generate the most reaction among friends on followers on social media. It seems some photos that get the best response take the least amount of work. Others, of which I’ve forged an emotional attachment because of their technical difficulty or the hike and planning involved to get …

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Cowboy Trail Tour Itinerary

Our tour is only 9 days away! For those joining us, we hope your training is going well and that you’re getting things together for this adventure. Jamie and I scouted out the trail on Monday, and we’re so glad we did because we’ve made one change: we are no longer stopping at Plum Creek Valley Wildlife Management Area on May 22. We found Plum Creek to be inadequate for camping, and it’s also difficult to get to by bike. …

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Cowboy Trail Tour 2014

Update (5/7/2013): After scouting out the trail on Monday, Jamie and I are making one change. On May 22, we will not be stopping at Plum Creek WMA. Instead, we will ride on another 10 miles to stay at the town of Wood Lake. We have found Plum Creek WMA to be too far from the trail, inaccessible by bike, and it’s also not suitable for camping. Wood Lake has a nice park for camping, food and water. With that …

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Panhandle Passages: Taking Root

Every little bit helps, and every little bit has a way of turning into a big bit. Such is the case with the Boy Scouts’ annual tree planting event at Fort Robinson State Park, which I enjoyed photographing Saturday. The process of getting hundreds of scouts and volunteers into the field to plant ponderosa pine seedlings in the yearly reforestation effort has been honed to near perfection and is a sight to see. It was a bittersweet day, though, for …

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Great Plains Connections: Much to do in southwest Nebraska

If you live in southwest Nebraska there is no way that you should ever say you are bored. Our glorious state has never-ending outdoor experiences that everyone can take part in. There is so much to do in southwest Nebraska like viewing the vast number of birds migrating through our state at this very moment. Get out and enjoy hiking, biking, tours, chickens on the leks, the return of the cranes and of course fishing on open water and who …

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Panhandle Passages: Soldier Creek Runs Through It

Some of western Nebraska’s most enjoyable fishing can be found at the ponds on the 22,000 acres of Fort Robinson State Park. Count me among the anglers who have long enjoyed dropping a line at the Carter P. Johnson Lake, Ice House Ponds and Grabel Ponds. Whether from the bank, through the ice, or atop kayaks and jon boats, the ponds serve as a great fishing destination. The scenery is great and the whopper largemouth bass and other species are …

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Burning Cedar Tree Piles at Grove Lake WMA

In an effort to reclaim native grassland ridges and openings, biologists at Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area near Royal have been cutting down eastern red cedar trees that have overrun many parts of the WMA. Although native to Nebraska, cedar trees are often invasive. They thrive and spread quickly, and if left unchecked, cedars can take over a piece of ground in just a few years, choking out more desirable vegetation and wildlife species that depend on open grassland. Like …

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Snow Goose Recipe From New York

As a writer, getting letters from readers can be one of the most rewarding things that can happen. It lets me know that my work is interesting and engaging to at least one person out there, and it has me on cloud nine for the rest of the day. This morning, I received a snow goose recipe all the way from New York! It was in response to a snow goose recipe I offered in our March 2014 NEBRASKAland Magazine. …

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