Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Midwestern Roadtrip 2013- Part 2

Day 3- This morning we headed over to the ranger station and museum at Ponca State Park.  It was raining, but the kids got to explore the kids area of the museum with turtles and toads and puzzles.  We made plans for our time here.  After lunch and naps we headed over to the West Shelter for a Critter Connection- the kids got to hold a snake (Flower's new necklace of choice and the beginning of her begging us for a pet) and a box turtle, and see furs and antlers.  Then we went into the town of Ponca and found the most wonderful treasure- an old soda fountain counter at the back of the local pharmacy.  They offered sodas and phosphates, floats and ice cream.  The woman who worked there could not have been nicer (her grandson was there enjoying a cone of his own) and we all enjoyed the treats. Then we set out on a geocaching adventure and found 3 caches...and didn't find one, but did find a neat beaver-gnawed tree after trekking through some LOOONG grass.  

Great ranger station at Ponca State Park

Check out this cabin- luxury accommodations!

Nebraska- also not flat!

ranger talk 

finding some geocaches

She found one in a tree!

This old fashioned soda counter in the drugstore was AWESOME!

Searching for the elusive geocache

Didn't find it, but do you see where a beaver gnawed at the tree?

Day 4- Today we started off by moving to our tent site...goodbye wonderful cabin.  The site was incredibly sunny to start off, but huge.  It ended up nice and shady in the afternoon.  After getting hot and sweaty moving sites, we went into town to Outlaw's Pizza for lunch.  It was awesome and the kind of small business you just have to root for.  Then we came back and Hubby took the big kids fishing while Little Bee napped.  They both caught a Blue Gill.  The park provided all the equipment!  Then we roasted hot dogs and s'mores for dinner before heading into Ponca for the Days of 56 Rodeo.  It was an awesome, local culture type of thing.  The kids really liked seeing the horses.  Lego made friends with the couple sitting behind us and he traded them state information for rodeo information.  The highlight of the event was the "Critter Catch" which Flower decided to do.  Essentially, they released dozens of adorable pets (bunnies, chickens, pigs, ducklings) into the area at the same time they released about 200 children.  Anyone who caught an animal got to keep it as a pet (or it could be returned to the hospitality desk, as the announcer said)  Luckily, Flower didn't catch anything (I'd say there was more than one 4H ringer in there...any kid who knows how to carry a chicken by its feet has done this before) but she did spend the rest of the evening asking us why SHE doesn't have a pet.  Lots of fun, and right to bed when we got home!
Our cabin

Outlaw Pizza...so good!

Hotdogs for dinner

At the rodeo

Waiting for the hot sun to go down!

The rodeo queens and princesses

Even Little Bee liked it.

But nobody liked it more than this little lady

She's out there somewhere doing the critter catch...poor pets!

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