Apologies for the delay my chrome book “STB” (put fecal matter in the bed). I am now on this super new Apple iPad Air Pro with a keyboard. I love tech but I can’t get into typing on a screen. Having a touchscreen was enough of a challenge.
Nebraskas’ Ponca State Park is gorgeous a haven for campers! This was just what we needed after the debacle of Red Bluff MO, and the storms/ power outages of Nebraska Park Indian Caves. You enter the park on a hill with a monolithtelling the history of the site, they made me think of stone totem poles. On your right is the large swimming pool with water park type slides and a golf course on the left. We got checked in and defended the hill into the lush green forest below. The forest was dense with 2-3 foot undergrowth of spring green grasses and flowers. This park too was on the banks of the Missouri River. The park is spread out with many dips curves and “H” shaped intersections which for the road weary is somewhat challenging. The oaks intertwined their branches in the canopy which to me always feels like a warm embrace from the forest.The entry drive gave you sneak peaks of the beauty of the park from the high vistas and river views.
Our site was terrific facing the dense woods with our back to the rest of the campsites. There was a nice breeze and a Baltimore Oriole flew by. Best of all NO RAIN or should I say torrential downpours from severe thunderstorms and flash flood warnings. Maybe everything could dry out. For those non camping people, dampness is a battle from the environment and human created. Without sunny days to dry it all out things are moist and being the dismal path to mildew.
This park offers riverfront sites right on the banks of the Missouri where during our stroll we saw a Gold Finch couple and several Red-winged Blackbirds. This would have been a great place to camp but the off-putting post showing the flood level from 2011 (some 6 feet about the ground level) confirm my choice of the high elevation Oak Bluff Campground area.
The high rolling hills offer a fantastic viewof the river valley below. The Loees Loop offers a trip up to bluffs and cabin area where a deerand woodchuck made an appearance. A Wild Turkey and her 8 chicks also popped ought of the deep grass only to disappear again. In case you did not know Nebraska has mosquitos like hungry ones, more than MAINE! This was a shock to me, they also have the annoying “No-see-us” a vampire breed of gnat. Bugs also include Mayflies, standard house Flies, a cool iridescent green fly, horseflies, and a tiny green aphid looking thing that likes to land on you as often as possible. The white oaks are amazing with deeply grooved bark and great big scalloped deep green leaves. The branches remind me of our southern Live Oaks twisting up to gather sunlight.
This place is therapy, quentasential forest bathing.
Photos include a 360 degree view from the overlook and here is the Link to the Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/m7rF5tXXootfNjfS7
Off to the Badlands National Park next.