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Our trip to Sunset, Utah - 2010

Our first day began with a departure from home at 6:00 AM and we pushed hard for 9-hours to make it to Ogallala, Nebraska for the first night. Our route was down I-35 to Des Moines and then across on I-80.

Route from Mason City to Ogallala, NE

There is little for us to do on this first leg of the trip as we have followed this route many times so we left our sight seeing to the Ogallala area. We found a listing for a pertirfied Wood Gallery in Ogallala so decided to make it our first stop.

Petrified Wood Gallery

This gallery is simply unbelievable! The Petrefied Wood Gallery is the personal collection of Howard and Harvey Kenfield and offers the best examples of petrified wood we have ever seen. Most of the pieces are slices of the stones and are highly polished to reveal all the detail of the original piece of wood.

Polished slice of a petrified oak log.

If this was all that was on display it would have been amazing, but there is also a collection of music boxes and other display items made by the collection owners. The small house shown below, like all the other collection pieces, are made from actual petrified wood pieces.

Those Were The Days music box

We spent over an hour looking over the diplays and would suggest this as a stop for anyone travelling through Nebraska. Ogallala is just a couple miles off I-80 and the gallery is right down town. It is supported by donations as well as sales from their gift shop.

View from visitor's center at Lake McConaughy

Our next stop was about 8-miles outside of Ogallala. We stopped at Lake McConaughy, a man made lake formed by a 3-mile long dam across the North Platte River. The view above is from the visitors center and the view below is the control towers near the spillway.

Spillway towers

Right across the road is Lake Ogallala and it is supported by the discharge from the spillway of Lake McConaughy. We were very amazed by the amount of water leaving the spillway, which is also a hydroelectric generator.

Spillway and Lake Ogallala

The image below shows a little closer view of the spillway.


Before heading back to the motel we spotted this sign and felt that we needed to share this western advice.

Lazy J Liquor sign

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