2020-09-04-Soldier Creek Camp, Nebraska
The Soldier Creek Campground near Fort Robinson, Nebraska, is one of my favorite stops on the trip. Nestled between rolling, quite barren hills, the slowly wandering, winding creek path is like an oasis. The creek trail is wonderfully shaded by what I guess are cottonwoods, and the grass is lush and green even this late in the season. Cattle are present in small numbers.
This is a rather primitive camp area with a number of dry campsites, but there are vault toilets, a pump-it-yourself well with great water, and 15 paddocks and one large corral. In the late 1800’s this area was used by the army to keep horses and cattle, and out along one of the trails is the remains of the “officer’s club.” It’s rumored that this is where they entertained the ladies, even with a swimming pool. Or perhaps it should be said the ladies entertained the officers.
As per the Forest Service website, “The Soldier Creek Campground is adjacent to Soldier Creek Wilderness to the south, Ft. Robinson State Park to the east and Forest Service non wilderness to the west and north. The 7,794 acre Soldier Creek Wilderness was used in conjunction with Fort Robinson Military Reservation as a wood reserve, horse & mule pasture. ” Apparently this whole area was a pine forest at one time, but there was a devastating fire in 1989 and now the area is mostly grasslands.
The nearest town is Crawford, Nebraska, and there we found the Tailgate Bar & Grill, a most welcome cool place (it was 95 degrees that day!) to go eat some great food and watch the Kentucky Derby! Yes, it was late this COVID year, as the Kentucky Derby is traditionally run the first Saturday in May. I had invested in one of the runners, Authentic, via the MyRacehorse.com program, and Kryss “let slip” to the folks present that we would be cheering for a good reason. That got the room all excited, even betting among themselves, and everyone was cheering our horse on, who won it handily, of course.
There are a number of nice trails in the area, and the creek trail does cross the creek many times. In September when we were there it wasn’t very deep, but I can imagine early in spring it can be quite full and fast.
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