Whoa, what’s up there?

For folks that are in a hurry, we give a simple answer to briefly explain the journey “up there.” It’s 170 years of history that details the stories of the millions of travelers who journeyed along what we call the Great Platte River Road. But is what’s “up there” that simple?

The reality of what’s “up there” is very complicated and can’t adequately be conveyed in a few words. Why? Because the stories you experience aren’t from your average person.  They’re the stories of pioneers who had the courage to start a journey down a path with little information but immense amounts of hope. A hope that helped so many overcome innumerable obstacles and improbable odds. All in hopes of finding a better life.


Leisure, commerce, religious freedom and new opportunities helped set the blistering pace of America’s westward expansion. New lands were opening up out west that promised new fortunes. Little was actually known about the new frontier, but hope overcame that. The dangers of settling lands that were new to them led to the demise of some and ended the dreams of many. But those who survived embodied the American spirit and made America what it is today.


Of course, as time passed, new technology made the journey easier and more comfortable. A months-long journey by wagon turned into a weeks-long trip by stagecoach. That turned into a days-long adventure by train and soon folks could travel all the way west in a few days by automobile.

From the Mormon, Oregon and California trails starting in the 1840s to the Transcontinental Railroad, the Lincoln Highway and Interstate 80, The Archway is at the heart of many of the most important routes in American history.



Superheroes leap over tall buildings in a single bound. They save the world from impending destruction by the hands (or tentacles) of invading aliens bent on taking over Earth and enslaving the human race. Superheroes stop villains from robbing banks, kidnapping children and assist the general public in any way possible. They wear capes, masks or have the ability to don an iron suit in a snap.

Thankfully, the always present danger of losing Earth to aliens is only an old Hollywood storyline that’s struck fear into moviegoers for decades. But I’m here to tell you superheroes really do exist. And not just on the big screen.

The Archway is very fortunate to work with two groups in hosting their fundraising events during our #archwaysummeroffun. Compass Nebraska’s Superhero Dash on July 4 is a day full of everyday superheroes, dressed up as Hollywood superheroes, helping to become a foster child’s superhero. By supporting Compass, you’re helping foster families guide children with difficult pasts into a promising future.


Concrete Cares is another organization of superheroes. It was born to help expand the awareness of the need for cancer research and fundraising by the concrete industry. Their event on September 27 will be an afternoon of family fun, working to raise funds to paint their trucks pink as well as create new, awesome concrete projects to help raise cancer awareness.


You don’t have to be a Hollywood superhero to be a superhero. Anyone can be a superhero and there’s so many ways you can be one. But my hope is that you’ll join us this summer to support these two amazing organizations reach their goals so we can all be #superheroes!



Get ready folks, the summer of 2015 is going down at The Archway as the #archwaysummeroffun. We’ve had some pretty fun summers over our last 15 years, but I have a feeling this summer is going to be over the top.


Not only will The Archway be hosting some fun community events again, but we’ll also be celebrating our 15th birthday on July 11! That means celebrating #15yearsofmemories made by the over 1.5 million visitors who have gone through The Archway’s award-winning exhibit. Numerous schools, motorcoaches, tourists and community members have immersed themselves in the stories of those who traveled along the Great Platte River Road and we appreciate every one of you. And our birthday will be our way of saying “thanks” for all of your support.


We’re looking forward to again being the site of some of the events we enjoyed so much last year, such as Compass Nebraska’s Superhero Dash, Kearney Cruise Nite Friday night show n’ shine, Concrete Cares and more. But we’re also putting together some events we hope can further benefit the community.

So, with all the excitement of summer just around the corner, I hope you take time every once in a while to check The Archway’s website calendar as well as our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be in the know on Archway events. I can’t put into words how excited I am for this summer. It’s going to be a blast out here at The Archway and we’d love nothing more than to have you be a part of it!



The Archway is home to an award-winning and unique exhibit that details the stories of the thousands of fearless pioneers who traveled the Oregon, Mormon and California trails. It continues through the age of the Iron Horse on the first transcontinental railroad, the telegraph and the Pony Express while ending with the stories of the millions who moseyed down the Lincoln Highway and interstate along what we call the Great Platte River Road.

But just as important as the stories of the original trailblazers are, there’s another story being told around the world of a creature that’s been migrating through Central Nebraska for millions of years. It’s the story of the sandhill crane.


No amount of words can accurately convey the beauty of the annual migration of the sandhill cranes across Central Nebraska. Having traveled through the region for millions of years, sandhill cranes have found safety in the shallow waters and sandbars of the relatively young Platte River and a steady food supply in the nearby harvested grain fields.

The awe-inspiring story of these birds lures thousands of visitors from around the world to experience their arrival along a small stretch of the Platte River. It has also brought journalists from across the country who have written numerous articles that amount to millions of dollars in free advertising shining the spotlight on the amazing sandhill crane journey and the beautiful geography of the place we call home.


The tens of thousands of sandhill cranes that pass through Central Nebraska undoubtedly have little idea of their popularity. They also won’t understand that their migration through the area has led to the creation of beautiful nature preserves like The Archway sponsored Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary south of Gibbon and  the Crane Trust near Alda.

With the continued success of these sanctuaries, the sandhill cranes will be able to do what they’ve been doing for thousands of years, finding refuge on the banks of a river that’s guided millions along an often arduous journey.



#archiesadventures is an all-encompassing social media hashtag that brings together my fun experiences whether they’re at The Archway or from one my world travels. My blog will give you an inside look into events at The Archway and help you share in all of my adventures here and abroad!

I’ve already met fantastic people in my short time as The Archway spokesanimal, traveled to destinations like the Panama Canal, experienced a South African safari and visited a few of the hallowed battlegrounds of the American Civil War. I’ve also been lucky enough to experience community events hosted at The Archway, such as the Compass Supehero Dash, Kearney Cruise Nites, Concrete Cares and Crane River Theater’s ‘Zombies Attack! A Run for Your Life.’


With your help, my adventures can take me anywhere in the world. I love to have fun, I love to learn and I love to meet new people. When you take me somewhere, take pictures with me and share them on The Archway’s social media using #archiesadventures. That will make it easy for me to share our experience with the rest of the social media world!


My adventures will also help The Archway achieve its mission of educating. With an award-winning display that highlights the stories of the pioneers who traveled along the Oregon, Mormon and California trails, transcontinental railroad, Lincoln Highway and the Interstate highway system,  The Archway covers 170 years of history of what we call the Great Platte River Road. So, from time to time I’ll take you further into the stories of the travelers along the road as well as a behind-the-scenes look into what makes The Archway exhibit work.

Like I said, I love to have fun, and I plan to have fun with this blog. Enjoy!