Africa and “The Road Taken”

August 23, 2017

Originally posted July 10, 2013

We’ve put up a new photo on the website, “The Road Taken,” which captures what to me is so fascinating about visual Nebraska. Those who contend we don’t have any beaches or mountains here are, of course, quite right. But what we do have, and what really does stir my soul, are the huge vistas we enjoy out here on the Northern Plains. Places where you can see forever…all the way out to where the sky meets the ground. When I’m in Florida, where it’s usually about ten yards to where trees and other flora limit your view, I so miss being able to see the horizon.

Willa Cather intriguingly captured that type of landscape with her sunset scene in My Antonia, where, at the sun’s sinking finally out of sight across the prairie, the shadow of a plow was silhouetted in heroic proportions just for an instant. I frequently think of that scene, when I get to a good lookout point from which to watch the day fade away on the far Nebraska horizon. I’ve never caught the shadow of a plow flashing on the landscape, but I do frequently notice how vividly the setting sun outlines features that are miles away and makes them easily recognizable.

The photo we’re adding to this site isn’t of a sunset but nevertheless, to my mind at least, captures vividly the expanse of the Great Plains landscape in northwestern Nebraska, my own favorite area of the state. It’s actually a photo of a stretch of state highway #250, about half-way between Lakeside and Rushville, taken on a trip out that way the third week of June. For once, I had the opportunity of driving through that country and stopping to admire and photograph vistas that appealed to me. On that trip, I wanted to get up to the Ogallala National Grassland, where there are many such scenes, but the weather turned wet, the skies dark, which kind of trashed my intentions to come home with a flash card full of such scenes.

That full card will have to wait for another trip on another day, but for the time being, I hope you’ll enjoy “The Road Taken,” which of course is for sale here.

Now, about Africa. I received our “Final Itinerary” this morning from Safari 365, the agency we are using in South Africa to arrange the land portion of our trip. Here’s the “typical day on safari” at each of the two lodgers where we’ll be staying, according to Safari 365:

  • Early morning wake up with tea and coffee
  • Morning Game Drive and a chance to watch the sun rise
  • Breakfast at the lodge
  • Optional Bush Walk
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon tea
  • Afternoon Game drive with sundowner drinks & snacks
  • Boma dinner under the stars

AfricaSundownerAfricaSundowner

When I observed this unfortunate schedule to my good friend Keith Wood, who has himself made three trips to South Africa, he offered this photo of the typical safari setup for “sundowner drinks & snacks” out in the bush.

 

Yes, I know I’m just going to detest this – you betcha.  (23 more sleeps until gateway day).

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