Road Trip 2002 : Iowa – Nebraska – Yellowstone

In 2002 our horse back riding instructor got married and moved to North Platte, Nebraska. My family decided to plan a trip out that way to visit her and see her new farm. Melissa and my new nephew Austin were going to drive with us to Nebraska and then fly home as the rest of us went on to Yellowstone National Park. We packed up the rental car crammed us all into the car and were off. On the way out of town we stopped at the farm to say hi to our horse Baby. Then were off to Iowa. However near Ridgeway (30 mins outside of Fitchburg)my dad noticed our rental car was over heating. We pulled over on a side highway, called the Rental company who said they would be sending a tow truck. We also called Melissa Boyfriend at the time who came and picked us up after what seemed like forever. My dad accompanied the car back to the rental area and the rest of us got dropped off at home. After this unwanted ‘Adventure’ Melissa decided she didn’t want to travel with a 5 month old in case anything similar happened again. So after Dad got a new car only my parents and me left for Iowa.

On the way we stopped at the Amana Colonies most of the places were closed so we only looked in a few places and I of course got a postcard.

August 18, 2002


      The Amana Woolen Mille, Amana IA

-Quality products since 1855-

The warping creel is the first step in producing quality Amana blankets 240 cones of yarn are meticulously set up on the creel depending on the style of blanket. The threads are then drawn together to check the pattern. Since each blanket has from 1160 to 1560 warp threads, one section of yarn is put on the creel at a time and wound into the warping wheel.

When we got to Nebraska we decided to go to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. We found out that it was a pretty fabulous zoo! They have the Desert Dome or the worlds largest indoor desert, they had jungles and aquariums and they add new things all the time it was a fantastic zoo to stumble upon!

August 19, 2002


Doorly’s Pride
Standing just inside the main zoo entrance, a bronze replica of a lion pride welcomes visitor and offers some unusual photo opportunities


The worlds largest glazed geodesic dome at the time of its construction. The Henry Doorly Zoo’s Desert Dome opened in the Spring of 2002. It houses exhibits of deserts from all over the world and is home to several species of desert plants and animals.

Now Nebraska is not the mos interesting state to drive though so we stopped at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument which is basically an arch like thing that goes over the highway. It is a museum about westward expansion pioneers, first railroad, first interstate it was an interesting unexpected stop.

August 19, 2002



Kearney, Nebraska
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is the only historic attraction spanning a US interstate highway. The immersive exhibit traces the history of the Great Platte River from the Pony Express to the first fiber-optic cable.

We finally made it to North Platte Nebraska. They made us beer butt chicken the first night. We were there for a few days and while we were there I helped with the horse chores, we went trail riding and jumped the horses and had fun around the farm. We did go and toured Buffalo Bills Ranch House and Barn.


Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
North Platte, Nebraska
In 1886 Cody contracted Patrick Walsh to build the two story, nine room house at a cost of $3,900. In 1990 the Cody’s remodeled the house, adding 9 rooms, electric lights,indoor plumbing and a furnace. Cody entertained friends from all across America at his ranch house.


Buffalo Bill’s Scout’s Rest Ranch Stat Historical Park
This barn on Buffalo Bill’s Scout Rest Ranch is 148 feet long and 70 feet wide, 40 feet high. It was built in 1887 and was used to winter the animals from Buffalo Bills World Famous Wild West Show. Posters from the show are still to be seen on the walls of the barn. The famous “gunstock” rafters are still under the eaves.

 She also took us to the largest Cabelas in the country (at the time). Now no one in my family hunts so I had no idea we were going to a hunting store. I honestly thought it was a tourist type trap of some sort. In fact I continued to to think this until college when I realized it was a hunting store chain. Probley why my parents thought it was weird that i got postcards from here. But to be fair this Cabelas had two huge mountains of dead animals over taking the whole store, Or we can just chop it up to me being blonde I will only post two of the postcards from here HAHA.


The last place the took us was to her husbands train. He was an engineer so he took us to the largest train transfer in Nebraska and showed us his train and told us about being an engineer. Afterwards we continued west and ended up in Yellowstone National Park. We stayed at Mammoth springs lodge we saw lots of Elk and Buffalo. We hiked to the springs and saw Old Faithful then waited around for other geysers. It was a pretty nice park. Nothing much happened the rest of the trip cause I have no other postcards Image

Old Faithful Geyser and People
The spectacular eruption of the parks most famous geyser, Old Faithful, had always thrilled Yellowstone visitors. The geyser was named for its consistency of eruption by member of the Washburn Expedition in 1870. Its pattern of eruption is as predictable now as it was a century ago.



Minerva Terrace was one of the most beautiful terraces in the early 1800’s, until it dried up in the 1960’s, It has recently started to regained its original color and form.


The Very First Road Trip

The start of 2000 marked a change in our family. Sarah graduated high school in 1999 and went off to college. So that summer was the first year Sarah did not go on our family vacation. It was the summer before 8th grade and my parents decided we would be taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon the last two weeks of August. They rented a car so that they didn’t put millage on our car and planed out the route started a home in Madison Wisconsin we would  go down through Illinois Missouri Kansas Colorado Utah to Arizona and back through New Mexico Texas Oklahoma Missouri Illinois back.

I don’t remember much of anything other than boredom through Illinois Missouri or Kansas. What I do remember is the excitement of seeing the Rocky Mountains for the very first time! I have lots and lots of pictures through the windows of the mountains along the road. (I still take pictures like that now but at least with digital you don’t waste film!) The first thing we did was head to Rocky Mountain National Park. Most of the park is Steep Winding roads with lots of Beautiful wildflowers and views of the mountains. Melissa and I took a trail ride through the park.

Visitors from all over the world come to Estes park to experience the natural beauty and awe of Rocky Mountain National Park.

That same day we also went to Golden Colorado home of the Coors brewery. We took the free? Brewery tour. It is a nice tour and the perk is they give the adults 4 free samples and 1 little shot of a flavored beer. Now at the time I was 13 and this was not a plus for me so I was impatient at my parents for just sitting at a table drinking beer. (On a side note I have taken this tour again of age and that was the BEST part of the tour and I feel a bit guilty for not letting my parents enjoy their beer!)

Colorado School of Mines- M in the foothills west of Golden Colorado stands for Mining. Insert shows the brightly illuminated "M."

After Colorado we moved west to Utah! Another absolutely beautiful state with fascinating land features and red dirt! We stopped at Arches National Park. Natural arches caused by erosion is one of the most fascinating wonders I think. We took a few hikes to different arches while here my favorite of course was Delicate arch which is the “icon” arch that is displayed on Utah’s state quarter and License plate. It is a pretty difficult hike to get to very steep almost doesn’t seem worth it until you get to the arch and realize just how AMAZING it is!

Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park, Utah, USA.
The Fiery Furnace, a maze of thin sandstone walls or "fins" glow fiery red simulating tongues of flame especially in the late afternoon sun, thus earning its name. Ranger guided walks are offered here to protect visitors from getting lost in unpredictable landscapes of spines, fins, chutes and arches and to protect the fragile environment from within the furnace.

We also went to Capitol Reef National Park  which is consider a Water Pocket fold a geologic wrinkle on the earth. Which you can learn about here All we did here was take the scenic drive though the park and we found some Volcano rocks!

Bryce Canyon which is  full of hoodoos which are formed when ice and rainwater wear away the weak limestone that makes up the Claron Formation. All very amazing and different in there own ways. We hiked the areas in these places and have lots of red dirt pictures. Here we also took a hike to the natural arch which is what my postcard is a picture of.

Natural bridge is actually an arch formed by erosional forces

 After much excitement we made it to the Grand Canyon just before sunset. We stared in ah at the giant ditch before us and felt very small. We stayed at a lodge in the Grand Canyon Village. The first day we were there we took the bus tour to the many stops in to different lookouts over the canyon. We were there for 3 days lots of pictures and hiking and other activities before we headed back on our way to Wisconsin.

Grand Canyon National Park
One of the Natural Wonders of the World
"Early this morning the coming of the sun people what do you think? What do you say? Shall we sit and sing?" -Havasupai

The only major things we went to on the way home was Petrified Forest National Park which is fossilized wood which has turned to a crystallized rock form. In the middle of the painted desert petrified wood is beautiful it sparkles in the sun light. The park has many paths to hike and explore. Also when you leave the rangers try to guilt you into returning any petrified wood you may have taken on your visit. This is actually the biggest threat to this National Park theft of the rocks. If you ever go here do not steal the wood!

Petrified Forest National Park
Large segments of petrified logs lie relatively in-place along the strategically placed trail at Crystal Forest. Erosion may eventually cause the logs to "tumble" out of place.

This was the start of my love of road trips and the major start of my postcard collection obsession. If you would like to see some family pictures from this trip click on this link:

1993 Florida trip and Postcards

1993 was the first time that my family went to Florida. It was the first time I was on a plane and can still remember that we got fed dinner. It is a little sad that all I remember now was how amazing it was that we got fed on an airplane something that will never happen again going from Wisconsin to Florida. We went to all the usual Florida destinations Disney world, Universal studios, and Sea World. I believe we drove to Tampa Bay and went to the gulf coast beach and Busch Gardens Roller Coaster Park and because my dad is crazy for space we went to the Johnson Space center. My postcard selection over the course of one year grew to picking out cards that actually said the place we went instead of just random animals.

I remember being so excited to go to Disney world and get autographs from all my favorite characters. I was so sad that after the Aladdin parade that we couldn’t catch up to Aladdin and Jasmine on the giant elephant. The Castle was glorious as a 6-year-old but I was disappointed when I found out that there was no way to go up it. We went to Epcot that night and I was chosen to do a Jamaican dance with the dancers because I was adorable at 6. The only thing I remember about Universal studios is I refused to go on Jaws ride and the hanging shark outside made me cry. Most of been traumatic to remember it so clearly.

Walt Disney World - Fairy Tale Castle with its golden spires and fairy-tale turrets reaching toward the clouds, Cinderella Castle marks the entrance to Fantasy land

When we went to Busch Gardens I refused to go on any of the roller coasters they were big and scary looking for a 6-year-old luckily it didn’t stop my sisters from enjoying the roller coasters. I was very afraid of the roller coasters when they flew over head. They did convince me to go on one ride and to date it is the only roller coaster I have ever been on and all it did was do one upside down loop and then back.

Busch Gardens - Tampa, Florida - Challenge the thrilling, steely "Python" roller coaster as it steaks down a 70-foot drop and through a spiral at G-force speeds.

I remember when we went to sea world my sisters and I thought it was a great idea to go sit in the splash zone of the whale show. It was so much fun to get splashed by the whales. At the time though I wondered why my parents wanted to stay in the bleachers because it was so awesome upfront but now I understand for adults it is not as fun to walk around drenched in whale water as it is for kids.

Sea World - Only in the waters at Sea World can you see a killer whale that was born and thrives in the care of man.

When we went to the Johnson Space center we took a Bus tour that took us to the launch pad basically it drove us right to the gate of the space shuttle. I believe that the space shuttle that was on the launch pad was Columbia. We went on this bus tour again in 2001 and we were so far away from the shuttle that it wasn’t even worth going on. It is amazing to see the difference 8 short years make in tour standards. Although I will admit we went the second time only a month after the 9/11 attacks and everyone was hyper paranoid at that time.

This Link brings you to a few Family pictures of Florida Trip 1993.

It must have been during this visit that my parents decided to purchase a time share in Florida that we could use for one week every November.  We returned to Florida in 1996 and 2001 which I will chat about in the next entry as we went to different places and they have different postcards.

Postcards of a 5 year old

After much delay I am finally posting some postcards for you!

These postcards are from 1992 when I was 5 years old. I don’t remember much about the trip other than we drove and went to Mount Rushmore and Crazy horse. From family pictures I also know we went horseback riding in the black hills, stopped at an open range to feed donkeys, and got stuck in a Buffalo heard walking down the highway. Traffic jam like no other as in hundreds of them everywhere weaving in and out of the cars, in the ditch, next to the road the pictures are amazing.

My taste in postcards as a 5 year old revolved around animals. I have no idea where these postcards are from other than somewhere in South Dakota. But the next 5 pictures are the scanned postcards from 1992. So old they are yellowing and have copyright dates of 1988. The descriptions under the postcard is what the back tells me about the animal.

If you go to this Link you can see some pictures from the South Dakota trip.

Fawn (Odocoileus Virginianus)

Prairie DogsPrairie Dogs are interesting little animals and get quite tame for tourists to feed them goodies, such as this little fellow. Praire dog towns can be found all over the western praires, and are inhabited by hundreds of dogs.

Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) - The edge that bighorns claim over predators is mastery of sheep slopes. They may browse on level ground, but within an easy bound of safety of a cliff. Hunters exterminated them here early _____________ but the park service reintroduced them____

Bison (Buffalo) - The Great buffalo herds that once roamed the West in the days of Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Bozeman and Buffalo bull are seen no more, although a few, now protected, are found in parts of Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, with several herds in Yellowstone National Park. The average adult bull weights 1,800 pounds, with a record 2,800 pounds reported.

Still Waiting

Well, Amazon seems to suck at life my Scanner still has not been shipped. So in all of my free time, yes I have a lot these days, I have made a road trip map! I have also come to the conclusion I have not been to North and South Carolina, much sadness. Anyway below is said road trip map with the next planned trip happening at the end of June added!  Postcards will hopefully be a part of the next post!

Key in case you can not read text:

Black: 2000 Family Trip

(Side note 2001 Family Trip we flew to Florida a month after 9/11)

Pink: 2002 Family trip

Brownish Orange: 2003 Family Trip

Yellow: 2004 Family Trip

Gray: 2005 Family Trip

Purple: 2008 Texas Trip

Light Blue: 2009 John Trip

Dark Blue:2009 Texas Trip

Orange: 2010 Spring Break

Dark Pink: 2010 John Trip

Green: 2011 Spring Break

Red: 2011 Planned John Trip

So it begins

I have just purchased a scanner and am waiting for it to be delivered. Until I do get it I can not post any postcards. But I can share with you where the postcard collection started.

If you actually know me you would know that I have a foggy memory. For instance things like my entire middle school experience  I do not remember, high school is also slowly disappearing. But the things I do remember are the many trips I have taken with my family and more recently with John.

The collection originally started on the first family vacation  I remember in 1993, we went to South Dakota and I remember my dad letting me pick out 5 postcards. Since I was 6, I of course picked out postcards that had animals on them. Nothing about these animals screams South Dakota but I was none the less happy. They asked me if I wanted to send one to my grandma and I said no we can use one of your cards (my mom also bought postcards).  Since that trip I have had a love of buying postcards. They are all now of the actural places we have gone instead of just some random animals.

When I get my scanner and scan my animal postcards I will tell you of my 1993 South Dakota adventure. Or as much as I can remember with the assistance of my families photo album.

And just for fun the blue are the states I have been too and the gray are the states I hope to see soon

Collections in a Nutshell!


I have been collecting postcards for as long as I can remember. I have acquired a very large stack and I have always wondered what the heck I am going to do with them. My dear friend Sean, gave me the idea to make them in to a blog . It is a sort of spin off from his blog “going postal” but while his blog is about sending and receiving postcards mine will be about archiving the postcards and remembering the trip they were bought on.

I am a really big sucker for the 5 for $1.00 postcard deals and I generally do not send any of the post cards to people.  So some places have a large number of cards from the same place.  I do have a dozen or so received postcards that may also join the mix but that is minor.

This Blog is mostly for me to archive my postcards and trips but if you find amusement reading about my past travels all the power to you!