A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Captain Meriwether Lewis


Brownville, Nebraska

I came here to see their campsite on the bank of the Missouri River.  As it so happens many times, the site was nearby, not actually right here.

As I walked around with bugs flying around my eyes and ears, my shirt sticking to my back, beads of perspiration building up underneath my hat, I thought of the boys out here one month shy of 217 years ago putting up with the same thing with no air conditioned camper filled with ice cold drinks to retreat to.

I didn’t expect to see this here though.  That was a surprise.

This is a steam powered paddle wheel dredge used to scoop out tons of mud from the Missouri River bottom to keep the river free flowing for boat travel.

It was in service from 1931 to 1976.  I found out it is now a museum and they give tours on Saturdays and Sundays.  Well I missed out on that opportunity.

Looking up river.  We almost went across the bridge into Missouri.  
We don’t want to go back into Missouri! and I made a quick U-turn.

Looking down river.  See that?

That is someone’s home.  Wouldn’t that be neat to live in?

Brownville population - 132, and they still have one of these.
This is why I love touring small towns of America

I have come across this several times before in other places.  You need a permit to camp, an additional fee over the regular camp fee.  If that isn’t enough if you are from out of state, you pay a few dollars more.  It is as if their thinking is Well we really don’t want you out of state people here using our resources but if you insist, it’s going to cost you extra.  That aside this, just like one other that comes to mind, I think it was in Wyoming, there is no information on where or how to obtain these permits.  That one instance I gave up at the third spot we tried and Sinbad and I just stayed there anyway.  I was so hoping some enforcement person of some kind would stop by so I could just show him how convoluted the online site was.  “You explain this to me and how it works and I’ll gladly buy the permit.”  No one ever showed up.

Anyway, this place wasn’t worth the bother and we left.
You would think they would like to have 15 or 25 dollars over nothing at all.


Shammickite said...

Rather expensive and far too many rules.
I would love to visit that steam powered paddle wheel dredge and see the inner workings.
No public phones left in my small town! Love the picture, perhaps there will be a public phone museum one day.

Laura Lee said...

My partner and I find this also. We have only been home-free for nearly 4 years, but in our travels we found quite quickly that some facilities extended the welcome mat, while others eyeballed us like teenage shoplifters at the Gap. We are mindful, clean, and very lightfooted, so it felt like what you mentioned, they must not like strangers...

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Thank you for the comment. I came across another thing today in that it is simply no more pulling into a state or federal campground pick a site and pay. NOooooo... you have to have previously made a reservation and if not call this number or go to this online site. I don’t need the added frustration of trying to figure out a reservation system online when I am hot, tired, hungry and want my cup of tea. I was going to do a blog post on this but think I’ll just save the rant for my journal and next eBook.