Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jazz and Cornhuskers

Welcome to Fort Morgan, CO!...

...the childhood home of Glenn Miller *cue band*

Like the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings trilogy we continued to travel eastward today. There is an assumption across the nation that Colorado is filled with majestic, jagged peaks that brush the heavens. This was not so in eastern Colorado. Eastern Colorado was as flat as its neighbors Kansas and Nebraska.
While traveling across the Colorado farmlands, Christopher and I spotted the town of Fort Morgan. Fort Morgan was the childhood home of the renowned big band composer Glenn Miller. The town was adorable and we enjoyed dawdling in the museum and library. The museum had dinosaur bones from nearby excavations, Native American shoes and clothing, souvenirs from the American Civil War and battles against Plains Native Americans, objects from the local Free Mason headquarters, a timeline of Girl Scout uniforms and of course an exhibit dedicated to Glenn Miller. One of my favorite parts of the museum featured the history of German and Russian immigrants to Fort Morgan. Prior to the First World War, certain religious groups in Germany were persecuted and fled to Russia. When it became evident that they were not welcome in Russia either, the groups immigrated to the United States. The immigrant’s knowledge of wheat and sugar farming was of infinite use to the farmers in Colorado and they quickly became integrated into Eastern Colorado society. I have studied quite a bit of German history during my undergraduate work, so this part of the museum was fascinating to me. The curator was even kind enough to show me copies of the passports and other documents of the earliest immigrants.
The Nebraskan border soon followed our adventure in Fort Morgan. Christopher and I were not entirely pleased with our drive through Western Nebraska. The weather was poor, there was a lot of construction and the scenery was rather dull. We were even treated quite rudely by the local Nebraskans when we stopped for lunch.  The only kind person we met in the area was an Australian motorcyclist from California who seemed eager for conversation. I personally have preferred Eastern Nebraska where our campsite is currently located. Every few miles there is a large corn field, a classic white farmhouse and a picturesque, red barn. Eastern Nebraska is what people picture when they think of the Midwest.
Tune in tomorrow when we conquer Iowa, Illinois and especially Chicago!

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