Thursday, August 14, 2014


We've been hold up in a really nice city campground in Papillion, Nebraska called Walnut Creek. Papillion is a fast growing city just south of Omaha. The city campground is in a large park with walking and biking paths around a small lake. The campground portion as 40+ sites all with electric hookups for $16 a night. Lots of grass and room between campsites.

We discovered Papillion and it's campground when we were in the area in 2011. With bike paths leading all the way into the city of Omaha, all of which paved and separated from the roadway, it is a great place to ride. Many of the trails are on the top of creek and river levees and have mileage markers embedded in the pavement every 1/10 of a mile. So, I get up early and sneak out while Cathie sleeps and explore the trails, usually finding a place for coffee along the way.

Of course with a with all the bike riding one must regain their strength, so it was off to Big Mama's Kitchefor lunch. Located in what was once the cafeteria at the Nebraska School for the Deaf, Big Mama's has been a tremendous success. It's been featured on several programs on the Food Network including, Diner, Drive-ins and Dives.  It's become so popular that it is a stop for many tour bus companies.  When they arrive, Big Mama comes out of the kitchen and gives the group some details about how she started her restaurant.


I had the oven fried chicken, while Cathie opted for the same, but hers came smothered in country gravy. Now for more miles on the bike.

We took the short drive down to Lincoln, the state capitol, for a look at the capitol building.  Started in 1922 and completed 10 years later, the building came in just under the budget of 10 million.  We took a short guided tour and learned a very interesting fact about Nebraska's state government.

Nebraska's government started out much like any other state newly joined, in 1867 with the American union of states.  But, unlike all the others, it hasn't remained that way.  Following a referendum vote in 1934, Nebraska became the only state to operate with only one legislative body.  The 49 Senators who carry out the lawmaking duties are elected on a non-partisan basis.  There were arguments on both sides before and during the election, but today the general agreement is that the system is less expensive to operate, and that it more responsive to the needs and wants of the state's citizens.  Now, wouldn't it be something is the Federal Government operated in the same fashion.


Behind the Judges bench in the Supreme Court is the following inscription:

Since I had been riding so many miles on my bike, Cathie figured we could afford another lunch at Big Mama's Kitchen, as Friday's special was Chicken Fried Steak.  I reluctantly agreed.  We both agreed however that the Friday Special was much better than the Oven Fried Chicken that we had on our first visit.

To prevent any more meals with Big Mama and after a week in Papillion it was time to move on.  We our way back to the Lincoln Highway and headed into Iowa.  Our first stop and where we currently are for the next 3 nights is Saylorville Lake, just north of Des Moines.  We are in a very nice Army Corps of Engineers Campground.  Since it's a Federal Campground the Geezer Pass comes into play and we get to stay for $10 a night, with electrical hook-up. Once again there bike trails abound and it looks like a ride into the city is in the works.

1 comment:

Nick Saraceni said...

Things always taste better when you smother it with gravy.