Summer Staycation 2015 Stop #6: Hay Springs, NE

It’s official: I’m skipping Stop #5, Fort Robinson. I planned to go back there with students last weekend, but it turned out to be 105 degrees, so we returned to the Museum of the Fur Trade instead.

In the meantime/eight weeks ago, I thought I would participate in the Geocaching Road Trip 2015, so I went to Hay Springs, NE, 20 miles east of Chadron, for the webcam cache photo you see below. Many thanks to Jodi for snapping the pic.

hay springs webcam

I found all but one of the caches in Hay Springs, and I decided I could totally live there.

Hay Springs has a historical sign that brags of Camp Sheridan and Spotted Tail agency, ten miles north.

history sign for blog upload

The sign stands at the entrance to a large and lovely park where there are wooden sculptures like this one:

park art hay springs

There is another, smaller park (where there is coincidentally another cache) closer to downtown. The smaller park has a gazebo, bench, and willow tree.

bench and willow

The run-down state of the buildings in town is at once sad and really cool. Here’s a shot or two of the hotel, which I uploaded to NatGeo YourShot.

motel sign

nature reclaims hotel

All told, I ran into a total of four residents of Hay Springs (the total population of the town is 549), one of whom runs Sacker’s (?) gas station there. She says there are schools in town, that the schools are good, and that the community pool actually opens in the summertime.

There was a business space for rent in the downtown block that was advertised for $150/month. I thought of renting this space for a book exchange/journaling class space, but my assistant Ethan convinced me that I am once again chasing the wrong market. He’s right, of course. There are little free libraries already, on Main Street in Chadron.

So, while there is not much to do except cache in Hay Springs (or swim in the summer, I guess), there are some amazing opportunities to take really great pictures. When planning a trip to Hay Springs, I think it would be best to stay in one of the hotels in Chadron, rent a car, and drive the twenty miles to the hidden gem.

You can see the date stamp on the photograph is from June 20. Since I have students now (in a moment I’ll go to Safeway and buy some candy for the International Club Welcome Picnic tomorrow), I’d like to put this weird and wonderful summer behind me by posting more frequently and getting caught up to near the present time.

Look for Cheyenne, Denvers 1 and 2, and Sioux Falls, coming soon.

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