Tonight’s theme for Nebraska Stories is ways to “enjoy the ride” through Nebraska.  Starting tonight at 8:00 pm, you can watch Episode 804 on Nebraska Educational Television.  This show could almost be considered a “Best of” episode since the program is combining several past segments into a new one.  With the start of Nebraska’s sesquicentennial less than a month away, Nebraska Stories is joining in the on the fun.  Two segments relate to the equestrian aspect of Nebraska.  One tells about the local students who are a part of the arts in Nebraska.  The final three segments are about three Nebraska Panhandle places that all feature unique landscapes.  As always with these posts, the regular script are the program notes straight from NET.  In italics, I tell you my opinions on the show.  Whatever my insights might be worth. 🙂

 “Rodeo Bullfighter”  (archive Episode 701) Producer: Grant Gerlock

As the bucking bull successfully launches the rider from its back during the Plum Creek Rodeo, young Rowdy Moon (Sargent) quickly snares the attention of the 1600-pound beast. Before the cowboy lands, the athletic bullfighter rapidly steps across the arena expertly dodging the business end of an angry horn. Rowdy hopes to go professional, but it will have to wait until the college freshman finishes school.

At one point, these rodeo participants were called rodeo clowns for their seemingly silly antics.  I think everyone in the arena would agree that without these bullfighters, there would not be any bull riders.  This is not a job for the weak at heart.  One cannot help but be inspired by this brave young man.  I am quite certain that I would not enjoy riding or being that close to bulls.  Guess it is okay to leave some things to the experts.

“Nebraska Arts Awards” (archive Episode 706) Producer: Michele Wolford

We meet some of the most talented kids in Nebraska as two Nebraska schools, one urban and one rural, receive awards for best arts initiatives. We feature excerpts of performances in the Capitol rotunda and hear from participants about their achievements. Featured in this story are performances from the young students from Hyannis Area Schools and Lincoln High School.

I appreciate statewide school events that have students from both larger and smaller schools.  Performing inside of the Nebraska Capitol had to have been “quite the ride” for these students.  The audience must have felt privileged as well to see these students live and in person.

 “Agate Fossil Beds”  (archive episode 710) Producer: Kay Hall

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument may have just celebrated its 50th year as a national park, but its diverse history may make it among the most interesting parks in the nation.

This national park is about as far in the corner of Northwest Nebraska as you can get.  I must confess that I have not visited Agate Fossil Beds yet, but I really enjoyed learning more about this location when I was doing research for my book.  I definitely would enjoy seeing Cook’s collection someday.  Riding horses through this park would quite enjoyable.

 Toadstool”  (archive episode 604) Producer: Michele Wolford

Located within the Oglala National Grasslands, Toadstool Geologic Park is named for its unusual toadstool shape formations.   This arid sandstone badlands with it unworldly natural sculptures looks more like a moonscape than a serene corner of Nebraska.  

Dear Toadstool,

If I lived closer, I would visit you at least once a week.  Hiking your trails has been one of my favorite Nebraska experiences.  Thank you for the great photo opportunities.  Hope to see you in person again soon!

P.S. Riding horses through your park would quite enjoyable.  Oops – did I already say that about another place?

Carhenge for Sale”  (archive episode 401) Producer: Gavin Felix

It might be out of the way for many drivers, but it’s the mystery that draws them to it. Not Stonehenge, but Carhenge — its American-made brother.

When my family and I went up to Northwest Nebraska, we all enjoyed hiking around Carhenge.  There is so much more to this iconic landmark than what is commonly seen in pictures.  Last summer, when I was on my solo whirlwind Nebraska tour, I drove right by.  Of course, I had to stop.  What resulted is now one of my favorite pictures that will be in my book.  Obviously these cars would provided a completely different type of ride.  I wonder if there are any pictures of the former cars before they became a sculpture?

 “Trail Ride”  (archive episode 710) Producer: Kay Hall

Ride along with a group of horsewomen who appreciate the recreational trails that allow them to enjoy the beauty of western Nebraska.

I think I have mentioned before that when I was growing up, I really wanted my family to have horses.  Now I recognize that would have required more effort than I probably would have been willing to give.  But if I lived close enough to ride through these trails, I would definitely reconsider!

Remember if you are unable to watch the show “live,” you can watch the segments online!


Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.