Although many of the museums were closed in Omaha, Lee was able to visit the Strategic Air Command Museum. It was inside a huge building with hangers and since it was a Friday morning hardly anyone was there. He’s going to do a separate post on that. (No, really, I will. I promise. – Lee) Since I had the day off I took the opportunity to get a haircut and a pedicure. Lee said he was comfortable with it because there are so few cases in Nebraska, but even I was thrilled with all the precautions they took. Everyone was masked, and at Great Clips the stylist cleaned the chair, work station, and all of her tools before I got my hair cut. It felt absolutely wonderful to do something so normal again, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
We were planning on going to dinner with his friend Jane later in the evening, but since we had some time after lunch we ran downtown to see an outdoor sculpture called Pioneer Courage Park. The downtown was deserted so we had the sculptures to ourselves. The neat thing about them is they are in several places in the downtown and the overall scene is a wagon train departing for the west from Omaha, with hunters driving a herd of bison, which startles a flock of geese into flight.
The wagon train consists of four pioneer families and their covered wagons. Each wagon is 12′ high and more than 40′ long including the oxen, horses or mules. Individual people range in height from 3′ to 7 1/2′. As you approach it, it really doesn’t look like much.
But then when you get close, they are really amazing.
As you can see the wagon train sits right downtown with the skyline in the back
(This guy reminds me of the young version of Ed Harris in West World. – Lee)
This little girl was probably my favorite
There is also a Wagon Master that stands at 11′ tall and weighs approximately 2,000 pounds. The Wagon Master served as a crucial element to wagon trains, guiding their members west and looking after the families and their supplies.
The Hunter Group portrays the constant need to provide additional nourishment and supplement the families’ meals with meat.
The wagon train is at 14th & Capitol St., along a dry creek bed, and the hunter group is driving a herd of five bison, scattering from the Pioneer Courage site and headed down 15th Street, traversing sidewalks, public planters and buildings…….
Eventually the bison before stampede onto the Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness Park on the Southeast corner of 16th & Dodge, startling a huge flock of geese into flight. In tandem with Pioneer Courage Park, this park features over 50 Canada geese, larger than life size, weighing approximately 200 lbs. each. The geese are cast in bronze and stainless steel – bronze alluding to Nebraska’s history and stainless steel (the metal of modernity) pointing to the future. The flight of these magnificent creatures represents the flight of geese from the industrial age to the information age.
(In the photo below, you can see how the thinner end of the “pond” is level with the ground, and the land slowly slopes away to nearly 6 feet at the other end. The effect of this is that as you walk from the small end to the large end, the geese that are fully in flight get higher and higher. It’s a great optical illusion. – Lee)
I absolutely loved how the sculptors placed little fountains at the wingtips of the geese to replicate the way the water sprays when they drag along the surface as they take off and to hide the supports holding up the geese already out of the water. Genius.
There are also geese on the closes light post to the water, which draws the eye, which further draws the eye across the street to other geese on other posts, and then to the ones going into and inside the atrium. It’s excellent theater. – Lee)
The flock continues across the street….
The geese take flight in and around the intersection of 16th and Dodge Streets, and the sculpture narrative concludes with them flying into and through the First National Tower Winter Garden Atrium.
(This is definitely in my top 5 things we’ve seen hitting the road. If it hadn’t been sooooo hot I think I would have wanted to spend a lot more time really looking at these sculptures. As it is, I would like to go back again and photograph them at night. – Lee)
Yes it was dog friendly and Jack had a great time!
(Before anyone gets upset, Jack was on leash the entire time, I just cleaned the leash out of some of the pictures because they look better that way. – Lee)
After the sculpture we headed over to Jane’s house and I absolutely loved it. They are remodeling a really cool 1960’s house and it has so much potential. It also has a LARGE fenced in yard and Jack and Gilligan (their labradoodle) really enjoyed it. Gilligan wore Jack out which was really great.
We really enjoyed seeing Jane and John and their three daughters, and learning about Jane’s charity venture. She was volunteering at the school to deliver meals and wanted to make sure their minds got fed as well. Single-handledly she started a donation program where books can be picked up for kids along with the meals. 100% of the donations go to purchasing books, and she has had wonderful success with the program throughout the summer. I know many of us wish we could do more to help during these troubled times, so please check out the Westside Foundation if you are interesting in helping. There’s a lot on that site to look at, but you can click here to go straight to the donation page. On that page, the very fist selection field is “SOLICIT CODE”. Select “Brook Brigade” and 100% of the money will go to buying books for kids.
We really appreciate seeing her and the dinner, and hope we get back that way soon when we can spend a little more time, and it’s not quite as hot and the virus is gone!
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I really enjoyed these pics. Looks like a great place.
Amazing! If you ever get up close to Deadwood, SD go to Tatanka. Kevin Costner bought land there for a resort but ended up creating an educational center dedicated to the Lakota Native Americans. Very cool life-size sculptures there as well. Thanks for the write-up!
Thanks for the suggestion!
Amazing sculptures! Appreciate all the pictures! FYI: My hubby and I love how you and Lee “tag team” with your posts (your post with his commentary in italics). Your partnership shines through!
Thanks Shelly! I love that too
What awesome sculptures! Fun!
Your pictures are awesome.
Thanks the really good ones are usually Lees. He did all the close up stuff
Love the haircut…Oh, I love short hair😍😍 Love the sculpture…Your photos are amazing!!! If you ever get near Baker City, Oregon….check out the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center!!! Your photos made me think of it.
Lee went there and he really loved it!
We’ve been to Omaha so many times, but never downtown. Thanks for adding this awesome park to our travels this fall. We have family around the area so we get there frequently. You did such wonderful pictures of the sculptures. Thanks again and keep it coming!