GPT Photo of the Week

The view from near the top of Scott’s Bluff in Scottsbluff, NE – also the southern terminus for the 250 mile GPT Pilot Trail.

Photo: Luke Jordan

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GPT Photo of the Week

Great Presidential Plains

Teddy Roosevelt in his younger days in North Dakota.

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GPT Photo of the Week

Dinosaur tracks in the Purgatoire Canyon, southeast Colorado.

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first person to walk Canada’s Great Trail — besthike.com

Great Trail was formerly called the Trans-Canada Trail. (TheGreat Trail.ca) Completing this hike makes Dana Meise @TheHikingFool the first person to touch all three coasts on the Trans Canada Trail. … Thursday evening he made it to Tuktoyaktuk, completing his lifelong dream; and it’s in part thanks to the community. … “As much as I’m super excited […]

via first person to walk Canada’s Great Trail — besthike.com

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Hospitality on the prairie

A couple of generations ago, municipal parks were generally open to camping. We had a tradition of caring for travelers, particularly in the West. After all, everyone (with the exception of the natives of course), had come from somewhere else, and most had suffered privations along the way. A remembrance of hard times made it a civic duty to provide for strangers: a place to rest, to refresh oneself – this was merely common decency, and for many, a religious duty.

We are much more fearful of strangers now, of course, and the municipal campground has mostly gone the way of the buffalo. But like the buffalo, it still exists in some of the more out of the way places in the West.

One of these is Scottsbluff. Right across the Platte River from the bluffs themselves sits a lovely city campground, open to tenters (that is, hikers) and RVers alike. For a few dollars you get shade, a picnic table and a fire ring, a water spigot, and a bathroom with showers.

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Riverwalk along the N Platte River next to the campground

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Tent sites in the campground

Grocery stores and restaurants are within walking distance, making it an ideal resupply stop for GPT hikers. And…the Scottsbluff City Zoo is directly adjacent. What’s not to like?

Municipal campgrounds are mostly a thing of the past. But some places don’t care so much about staying up to date. The High Plains are a place where traditions of hospitality and a welcoming attitude to travelers have not been completely forgotten.

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GPT Photo of the Week

Photo: Luke Jordan

The trail to Bear Butte with Lakota prayer flags in attendance – Bear Butte State Park, South Dakota

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GPT Photo of the Week

Photo: Luke Jordan

Near the summit tower of Harney Peak or Black Elk Peak if you prefer. For what it’s worth, what we humans call it is meaningless. The mountain has been there since long before human beings, and will remain there long after humans have left the scene. Climb the mountain and gain wisdom from it, but call it whatever you choose.

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