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4 Reasons Why Nebraska is a Premier Bird Watching Destination

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on 4 Reasons Why Nebraska is a Premier Bird Watching Destination

Spring is in the air, which can only mean one thing – prime bird watching is upon us here in Nebraska. The area is home to a couple of unique birding opportunities, including the chance to witness the fantastic courtship ritual between the sharp-tail grouse and prairie chicken. To help you in deciding your spring vacation destination, we’ve outlined the four biggest reasons why bird watching in the spring in Nebraska is an activity you need to put on your bucket list.

 The animated Grassland Dance

 Starting as early as February, and in full-swing by April, is the yearly Grassland Dance between the sharp-tail grouse and prairie chicken. Presented by The Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental since 2011, the courtship ritual is held on a “lek”, which are special grounds in which the dance takes place. The sharp-tail grouse produces a deep booming sound while he runs, stomps, and whirls around with erect tail feathers to attract the female prairie chicken. In response, the female also clomps and leaps around and inflates her orange neck sacs. Viewing this event is stunning, and a school bus is used as a viewing blind in order to provide for the best photo opportunities.

The Great Sandhill Crane migration

 Every year between February and early April, over 80 percent of the world’s Sandhill Crane population stop at Nebraska’s Platte River on their way north from Texas, Oklahoma or Mexico. The phenomenon brings those from all over the world looking to take amazing bird photos, hear the crane’s melodic sounds and just take in the beauty of nature.

 A variety of outdoor fun

 Although getting in plenty of once-in-a-lifetime bird watching may be your number one goal during your spring visit to Nebraska, there are other entertaining ways to spend your time in the area to round out your trip. Take an action-packed canoe or kayak trip down the winding Dismal River, or kick back and bask in the sunshine during a stock-tank ride down the Middle Loup River. A drive down “one of America’s 10 most beautiful highways”, may also be in order during your trip, on the Sandhills Scenic Byway. There are many things to do in Nebraska during your spring retreat.

Comfortable accommodations

 Enjoy the serenity of lodging in the countryside, where you can take advantage of some prime birding, while still relishing in all of the comforts of staying in a bustling city.  The Sandhills Motel offers 19 rooms that feature air conditioning, DirecTV, laundry facilities, RV hookups and in-room telephones. Our picnic area is the perfect place for your group to relax while you grill some burgers. If you don’t feel like cooking, visit nearby eatery Red’s, which offers classic diner favorites. After a day of taking part in some exciting bird watching and other Nebraska outdoor fun, a soft, cozy bed awaits you at The Sandhills Motel.

So, grab your binoculars and bird identification guide, pack a picnic and head out for a springtime afternoon of some of the most amazing bird watching you’ve ever experienced. Reserve you stay at The Sandhills Motel today!

Fun and Unique Polar Bear Tank Race Theme Ideas

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Fun and Unique Polar Bear Tank Race Theme Ideas

The end to another frosty winter is within sight, which can only mean one thing – it’s time for the 11th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race! Join in the excitement by gathering a team of four to take part in this year’s rush down the Middle Loup River to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Highway. Register today to take part in this end of winter event, as space is limited.

To add to the fun, teams can pick a unique theme from which to make team costumes, as well as decorate the team’s tank as it races down the river. If you haven’t yet come up with an awesome theme for this year’s Polar Bear Tank Race, don’t fret! Use the following ideas to help you choose a theme that embodies the spirit of you and your group.

  • Wet your whiskers – Bringing the mustache trend to the Polar Bear Tank Races is simple: each person dons a false ‘stache in the style of their choosing (the bigger and wackier, the better!), wears bowties and mustache-themed clothing, and decorates the team’s tank with enormous moustaches, sideburns and wigs! Get ready to laugh because this theme is sure to bring out everyone’s silly side!

 

  • Troll your competition – This colorful theme easily comes together with the help of neon-tinted troll wigs and matching attire. With each person sporting a different color, your tank will look like a rainbow racing down the river. Mini trolls, brightly-colored balloons and streamers are just the beginning of the fun items you can use to troll-ify your tank.

 

  • Save the day – Marvel and DC fans alike can get inspired by the protectors of justice while preparing for this year’s tank race. A cape, tights and a mask go a long way in turning you into the caped crusader or Superman, and it will be fun converting your tank into a vessel fit for the fastest, strongest superheroes.

 

  • “We’re kind of a big dill” – Take your love for pickles to the next level with this unique theme. All-green clothing for each team member and a banner replicating a pickle jar’s label to put on the tank will help transform your team into a container of the beloved, crunchy snacks. Not a big fan of pickles? Turn your crew into a container of jelly beans, M&Ms or Nerds (complete with pocket protectors and Coke-bottle glasses) to represent your favorite snack.

 

  • Tank of the undead – Scare away the competition by masquerading as a staggering zombie and decking your tank out with smears of fake blood and ‘Danger!’ warning signs. It’s cheap and easy to put this look together, with old, torn clothing being ideal. Bring along plenty of brains, caution tape and homemade severed limbs to bring your undead theme to life.

 

  • Pick your decade – Are you a fan of bell-bottoms and paisley shirts? Put together some 60’s outfits for your team and adorn your tank with peace signs to celebrate the decade of love. Or if the 70’s are more your thing, grab a polyester suit or anything with fringe, and don’t forget to bring a disco ball along for your tank. Whether you decide to go way back in time or put together a futuristic design, the possibilities are virtually endless.

 

  • Build ‘em up – Creating a Lego universe with your team is easier with the help of online tutorials on how to build a Lego costume. Most guides utilize only boxes, paint and paper bowls to construct a realistic Lego big enough to wear. Use mini-Legos, lots of glue and blue, green and red streamers to embellish your tank in keeping with the vibrant theme.

 

  • Live the mer-life – What better way to spend some time in the water than by transforming into a mermaid or merman for the day? A mermaid tail is a must and pretty effortless to put together at home, and seashells make a great addition to your outfit, as well as decorations to put on your tank. Turn to the sea for inspiration when putting together your team’s “under the sea” look.

All decorations must be attached while you are racing down the river in your tank. Team members must all be 21 years of age or older, and registration is $200 per person. Teams must have a minimum of four participants, and team members must all be 21 years of age or older. Registration is $200 a person and includes:

  • One racing tank per team
  • One life jacket, paddle, and Polar Bear Tank Race t-shirt for each participant
  • Two nights of accommodations (double occupancy) on March 2-3 in Thedford or Mullen
  • Welcome reception and soup cook-off
  • Breakfast before the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race
  • Lunch following the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet – prime rib dinner
  • Team trophies for the top 3 men’s and women’s teams

Register today to take part in this unique event that is the perfect good-bye to winter! After you register, make sure to contact us for more information on staying at The Sandhills Motel, or give us a call at (308) 546-2206 to book your stay. We look forward to another action-packed Polar Bear Tank Race!

Join the Annual Polar Bear Tank Race to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Join the Annual Polar Bear Tank Race to benefit the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Join in the end of winter fun at the 11th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race, an exciting Nebraska event benefitting the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway.

The time has come yet again to emerge from your snug winter cocoon and gear up for the upcoming spring season. The Polar Bear Tank Race is a fitting way to celebrate the transition from the freezing temperatures of winter to the balmy weather ahead. Although tank racing is typically a popular summer activity, those brave enough to face the sometimes frigid early March air get a head start in perfecting their tank racing skills.

Since registration is on a first come, first serve basis and race capacity is limited, registering as soon as possible ensures your team’s spot at this year’s race held March 2-3, 2018.

Registration Information:

  • Must be 21 to enter
  • There is a non-refundable $200 registration fee per person
  • A minimum of four people are required for each tank racing team
  • When registering your team, please submit a team name. If a name is not submitted, the team name will be the last name of the team captain or registrant.

Registration Includes:

  • One racing tank per team
  • One life jacket, paddle, and Polar Bear Tank Race t-shirt for each participant
  • Two nights of accommodations (double occupancy) on March 2-3 in Thedford or Mullen
  • Welcome reception and soup cook-off
  • Breakfast before the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race
  • Lunch following the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet – prime rib dinner
  • Team trophies for the top 3 men’s and women’s teams

After your registration is received, you will be sent a complete informational packet that includes maps, lodging details and a complete schedule of events.

Make your team’s racing tank one-of-a-kind! Bring along decorations of any kind to embellish your tank while you are speeding down Nebraska’s Middle Loup River.

2018 Polar Bear Tank Race Agenda:

(All times – Mountain Time)

Friday, March 2nd

  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Registration of Teams & Welcome Reception

Location: Mullen Event Center, fairgrounds west of Mullen on the north side of Highway 2.

You must attend the registration and the welcome reception in order to be a qualified racing team.

  • 5:00 p.m.

Soup Cook-Off

Various soups from Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway Communities are available to sample.

Stay after the soup cook-off for the drawings to determine race departure times that will immediately follow.

Saturday, March 3rd

  • 8:00 a.m.

Meet in Mullen for Breakfast

Location: Mullen Event Center

After breakfast, transportation will be provided to the launch site on the Middle Loup River.

  • 9:00 a.m.

First Bus Leaves Mullen, Race Begins

Tanks will be launched in short intervals according to the draw order.

Warm up and kick up your feet after the race with the provided hot lunch.

Transportation is conveniently provided for travel from the finish line back to the Mullen Event Center.

  • 5:00 p.m.

11th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet

Location: Mullen Event Center

So, gather some teammates, bundle up, and head out to this year’s 11th Annual Polar Bear Tank Races for an action-packed farewell to winter!

Ice Fishing Tips

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Ice Fishing Tips

Ice Fishing Tips

Nebraska winters are cold and snowy, but that doesn’t stop the fish from biting! Out of all the great places to visit in Nebraska, a river or lake during the winter months needs to be at the top of your list. When the cold weather seals the water, the challenge of catching fish does not change; but, with these ice fishing tips you are sure to reel in a keeper!

Ice Safety. This is one of the most dangerous types of fishing, so it is important to follow all safety precautions to ensure that you will make it home safe and warm. The recommended thickness for walking on frozen water is 4 inches. Ensure that you take extra safety measures by always keeping a charged cell phone and update friends or family where you’re fishing and when they can expect you back. Always be aware of your surroundings and watch out for ice rot during warmer temperatures. Find the Nebraska ice map here:

Hypothermia Safety. You may assume that most ice fishing related deaths are due to drowning, but they are actually due to hypothermia. Make certain that you have done research on what to do if you or a fellow fishermen fall into icy cold water. Again, always ensure that you have a fully-charged cell phone in case of emergencies and keep a spare set of winter clothes with you.

Know the depth. Typically, fish will generally stay at a specific depth during the cold winter months. This makes it much easier to find fish, if you have done your research. Make certain that you are educated on what depth the species of fish you are trying to catch stay at.

Stay Moving. Moving around while you’re fishing is the key to a successful day. When fishing in a boat, you typically tend to move around when you are not getting a bite. Thanks to more advanced ice fishing technology, it is much easier to pick up and your ice fishing gear.

Have patience. During the colder months, fish don’t have as much energy. If you move your bait around too much or jig too fast, a fish might let it go to save energy. This can be a big problem that unexperienced fishermen face. Avoid this problem by having patience and keeping the movements deliberate.

Fish during prime times. Of all the ice fishing tips out there, fishing during the prime times is the most common. Many fish species’ energy peaks during the early morning and late in the afternoon. Take advantage of these times to have a more successful fishing trip. On the upside, this will give you a better chance to catch your daily limit early so you can spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Cover the hole. If you are fishing in a more shallow area without an ice fishing hut, keep ice shavings in the hole to prevent light from hitting the surface of the water. This will help keep fish from avoiding the area where you are fishing.

Chum the hole. Chumming the ice fishing hole can sometimes bring more fish to the area. Although fish conserve their energy during the winter, they can still be easily attracted by food. Try to attract a lot of fish by grinding up minnows or dropping in wax worms.

By utilizing these ice fishing tips, you are sure to catch some keepers! The Sandhills of Nebraska is one of the greatest places to visit in Nebraska during the winter months. There are many winter activities such as camping or ice fishing. By following our ice fishing tips, you’re sure to have an ice fishing adventure you’ll remember for ages. The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental offers your perfect escape to enjoy the Sandhills of Nebraska for your winter hunting and fishing trips. Give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us online. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and we hope to see you soon!

Tips for Winterizing Your Camping Gear

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips for Winterizing Your Camping Gear

Tips for Winterizing Your Camping Gear

Can you believe that winter is just around the corner? Nebraska has had a beautiful November, so far, but every Nebraskan knows what is ahead – cold weather. While camping in Nebraska during the winter is an unforgettable experience, many campers would rather pack away their camping equipment for the cold season and wait for spring. It is now the time to get ready for the negative temperatures by winterizing your RVs and campers, and cleaning and storing your camping gear. Here are some tips for how to winterize a camper and camping gear:

Outdoor Adventurists:

Dry out your gear. If you have just recently taken a fall camping trip, make sure that you lay out all of your equipment to dry. This will keep mold from growing due to dampness, and this ensures that your gear will keep its quality for years to come.

Clean out tents. Before you store away your tent, make sure that it is completely cleared out. Consider setting it up the in your lawn, garage, or living room and sweeping out any food or debris that could cause mold or mildew while it is stored away.

Empty batteries, gas, oil, etc. Before you store your lamps, flashlights, gas appliances, propane appliances, or other products that may run off of energy chemicals, make sure that you empty the gas, oil, and batteries. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of battery corrosion and fire hazards.

RV/Camper Adventurists:

Clear water lines and tanks. Make certain that you clear and flush out any sources of water within your RV or camper. If any water is left inside, it can potentially cause large amounts of damage to water lines and tanks due to the expanding and contracting of freezing and thawing water. For a detailed step-by-step on how to winterize a camper or RV, check out a full list here.

Clean. Once again, avoid mold and mildew by cleaning and drying the inside of your RV or camper. Make sure that all food and beverages have been cleared from the refrigerator and cabinets. This will also ensure that mice or other rodents aren’t scavenging for food inside. Also consider washing and waxing the exterior of your camper to ensure that it stays in tip-top shape for your next adventure-filled season.

Search for damages. Make certain that you go over your RV or camper’s exterior and interior for any cracks, damages, or wear and tear. Double-check all of the window and door seals along with other sealant areas inside. If the damage looks significant enough, consider bringing it into a repair shop, so you don’t have to worry about ice or snow making its way inside to cause further damage.

Place your RV/Camper on jacks. Avoid putting too much pressure on your tires throughout the cold months by putting your RV on stabilized jacks. By parking your RV or camper on jacks, you will be able to prolong the longevity of the tires.

Protect against harsh weather. If you have the opportunity, move your RV or camper into a sheltered area to protect it from snow, rain, and wind. By doing this, you will be able to extend the quality and life of your camping vehicle.

Note: If you do not want to winterize your RV or camper yourself, there are companies that will do it for you.

Packing up your camping gear for the winter can be a sad thought for any outdoor adventurist, but it means that you’ll be ready to go for all of your adventures while camping in Nebraska next year. With our helpful information on how to winterize your camper and gear, we are sure that you will be ready for your next adventure with us!

The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental is your Nebraska Sandhills camping and RV vacation destination.  To make your reservations for your next adventure while camping in Nebraska, give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us online.  Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook to stay updated on all things Sandhills Motel!

Five Tips for Fall Camping with Kids

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Five Tips for Fall Camping with Kids

Five Tips for Fall Camping with Kids

When it comes to your family vacation bucket list, camping in Nebraska during the cool fall weather is a MUST. The fires always seem a little bit cozier and the relaxing feeling of warming up in the morning with some hot chocolate or coffee is incomparable. While fall camping in Nebraska may require a little more planning for even the most skilled adventurists, nothing quite compares to preparing for the greatest outdoor adventure of all – camping with kids. Use these helpful tips to plan the perfect family get away.

1. Plan activities for your campsite. Planning some type of game or activity provides the perfect entertainment for your child, without the hassle of leaving your camp area. It doesn’t need to be some wild adventure that you found on the internet somewhere; instead, you could simply pack bubbles, a pair of binoculars, or even come up with a simple nature scavenger hunt. The main focus is getting your child to stay away from electronics and just enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors.

2. Invest in quality gear. Sure, the Frozen themed sleeping bags sound like an adorable idea when choosing what camping gear to bring on your trip, but it isn’t the most practical choice for camping with kids in fall weather. It is a good idea to make sure you invest in quality sleeping bags, jackets, tents, and other gear that is meant to keep you warm during the chilly temperatures. By keeping your toddler warm and cozy throughout the trip, you can avoid a meltdown, or even bringing home a sick child.

3. Make it educational. Never miss out on an opportunity to teach your child valuable life skills. Teach them simple things such as fire safety. If they haven’t already learned about fire safety in school or daycare, go over the Stop, Drop, and Roll technique as well as the proper way to put out a fire. It is also a good opportunity to teach them about the beautiful nature and wildlife in the area. Consider bringing some type of birdwatching book or track identification book so your child can learn hands-on. Educating your child during a family camping trip could turn into a fun bonding hobby as he or she grows older.

4. Pack food that your child enjoys. Every parent knows that a hungry child is not a happy child. Make sure that you pack lots of foods that your picky eater will have no problem eating. You can’t go wrong with yummy fruit snacks or granola bars! Save yourself from a potential tantrum by packing a large variety of easy, age-appropriate food.

5. Check and double-double check. Forgetting something that seems like a small item to you may be catastrophic to your small child. If you didn’t pack their favorite stuffed animal, you may find it difficult putting them to bed without their familiar cuddle buddy. It is important to remember to pack everything you can possibly think of, even down to something as simple as extra batteries for your “lightsaber” flashlights. Double checking all of your camping trip essentials will ensure that you and your family will have an optimal experience and create moments that your children will remember for years to come.

Camping with kids truly can be a wonderful adventure. With these five helpful tips, you and your family are sure to have an unforgettable trip while camping in Nebraska during the fall season.

Fall Camping in Nebraska Tips

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Fall Camping in Nebraska Tips

The fun of camping doesn’t have to end after the hot, summer weather is gone for the year. If you enjoy the cool, crisp air of autumn and keeping snug next to a bonfire with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands, fall camping is just the thing for you. With Nebraska typically having mild weather this time of year, an afternoon hike can be enjoyed without getting hot and sweaty as you would in the summer, and a night’s sleep can be had without braving through the well below freezing temperatures of winter. But just like camping in Nebraska during any other time of the year, being prepared will ensure you stay comfortable and safe during your trip. By following the tips below, you can make your next fall camping excursion a vacation to remember.

Dress for the weather
Although temperatures tend to be mild in the fall, it is best to bring attire along with you to protect you from any kind of adverse weather. Bring a winter coat, no matter how warm the forecast predicts the area to be while you’re camping. Dressing in layers is the way to go so that you can remove items during the day, and then put them back on as needed as the evening chill sets in. Long underwear, knit hats, mittens, and lightweight jackets are all great for layering during your trip. Waterproof boots and outerwear are a must on any camping trip, but are particularly essential in the fall so you don’t end up wet, cold and miserable.

Bring the right equipment
What works for camping in Nebraska in the summer doesn’t always work for fall camping, so take a look at your camping equipment before you head out for the campground, and make sure it’s up to par for your autumn plans. Sleeping bags are typically categorized by whether they’re a summer season (when outside temperatures are 35°F and higher temperature), 3-season (for temperatures between 10°F and 35°F) or a winter season (for temperatures 10°F and colder) sleeping bag. The chilly fall nights call for a 3-season sleeping bag, preferably one with a hood to keep heat from escaping. A sleeping pad is also a necessity in the fall, and will keep you from lying directly on the cold ground. Your tent may be the most crucial out of all of your camping gear, and should be a sturdy waterproof 3-season model that can withstand wind and rain.

Set up early
With the days getting shorter and shorter, dark seems to arrive before you know it. Fumbling while trying to assemble your tent by the glow of a flashlight is time consuming and frustrating. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to put your camp together while the sun is still up so that by the time evening rolls around, you’ll be free to roast s’mores and tell ghost stories by the campfire.

Keep your campfire safe
Arguably, one of the best things about camping during the autumn months is keeping cozy next to a campfire, but making sure you practice a few safety tips can ensure your camping trip doesn’t go up in flames. While you’re preparing for your trip, check to see if there are fire restrictions in place in the area you plan to camp in. Flammable fluids should never be used to start a campfire, and the use of them could result in serious injuries. Always keep your campfire attended, since a flare up can cause a disaster in a matter of minutes. And remember to put your fire completely out before going to bed or leaving the campsite; drown the fire out with water or use a shovel to mix dirt into the fire until the fire site is completely cool.

Eat hearty
Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the comfort foods that satisfy your hunger and keep you toasty. Foods packed in protein will do an excellent job of giving you energy that will help you stay warm. If you wake up shivering in the morning, cook up a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs on the camp stove to warm you right up. Warm beverages like hot cocoa or cider are not only tasty fall-time treats, but also heat up your hands while you’re enjoying them.

Camping in Nebraska is an activity that your family can enjoy any season of the year. Fall camping is a great way to get up close and personal with beautiful fall foliage and enjoy all of the things that make this season so special. Plan your fall camping trip in Nebraska today!

Tips for staying cool during the heat of summer

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Tips for staying cool during the heat of summer

As summer progresses on and even moves into fall, the temperature rises. Even some fall temperatures can still reach 90s or better. It is important not to get too hot or dehydrated. Here are some tips to stay cool during summer and early fall.
Loose fitting clothing
Nothing is worse than wearing a tight shirt on a hot day. Change your wardrobe to some loose clothing. The more flowy the shirt, the cooler you will be. It is also important to stay away from dark colors such as black and brown as they attract the sun. Go for more light colors such as white or pink.

Plastic bottles of water in freezer
It is important to store some plastic water bottles in your freezer. It allows them to freeze so when you’re ready to go outside and battle the summer heat, you can just grab one of these. It will slowly start to melt and every sip will taste ice cold. If you do not want to drink the freezing water, it could be used as an ice pack to help you stay cool. Just place it on your head or the back of your neck.

Fans
Fans really help when it comes to cooling off. The best way to have this set up is to have it in front of an open window. This creates a cross breeze. It uses the wind from the outside to make a breeze and the fan makes it cool. If you have multiple windows in a room and multiple fans, you can set this up at both windows and have more airflow. As the summer transitions into fall, this will be especially helpful when the nights start to cool off. Make sure you keep your windows open at night to get a jump start on cooling the house down for the next day. Beat the summer heat before it has a chance to start. If there is nothing but hot air moving outside, turn the fans around to blow out the window, pushing hot air out of the house instead of pulling it in. You can also switch the direction of your ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise, which will pull the hot air up and out instead of just moving it around the room.

Lights off
Another way to stay cool during the summer heat is to keep the lights off in your house. Light bulbs give off heat so it is best to use natural lighting during the day to keep your house cool. Even energy efficient light bulbs give off heat so this can be the reason why your house is so warm. The good thing about summer is that it stays light outside until 8 or 9 p.m. so you won’t have to turn the lights on until dark.

Reduce use of appliances—stove, microwave, etc
Just like lights, appliances give off heat when they are being used. The stove, microwave, and even the toaster can give off heat when food is being cooked. During the hot summer days, opt for more cool food items, such as salad. If you feel like making a hot dish, use the grill outside instead of turning the stove on.

Go for a swim
A fun way to stay cool is to go swimming. Most pools in the summer time will have a perfect water temperature. You don’t have to break a sweat when swimming either by treading in the deep end. Find a shallow part of the pool and just relax. Better get on this soon though; pools will start to close soon for the fall and winter seasons.

Hopefully these tips will help keep you cool during the summer to fall transition! We do have a pool, so you won’t have to worry about getting to hot when you’re visiting.

Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

In the past 38 years, none of the lower 48 states of the United States have been able to view a total solar eclipse. The last one was in February 1979. On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will be visible from the United States; it is being called the “Great American Eclipse.” A total solar eclipse is when the moon completely covers the sun. During a total solar eclipse, temperatures will drop and the area will become dark. Total solar eclipses aren’t rare, but they are for those who live in the United States. The next eclipse to hit this area won’t be until August 2024.

The Sandhills of Nebraska will be the central location for viewing the total solar eclipse. Nebraska has treeless prairies, low light pollution, and open skies. There are many viewing points in Nebraska that allow you to be in the path of totality. The path of totality means that the total solar eclipse will be visible, if you’re not in the path of totality, the eclipse will be a partial eclipse. Interstate 80 from North Platte to Lincoln and Highway 385 near Alliance are in the path of totality. It is best to stay as far west in Nebraska for the most ideal viewing points.

Alliance, Nebraska, which is one hour away from Sandhills Motel, is on the centerline of the eclipse. This means that Alliance will have one of the longest viewing times of the total solar eclipse, which is 2.5 minutes. There will be viewing areas set up all around Alliance at places such as Carhenge, Alliance Airport, and Laing Lake Park. Alliance is even celebrating by having “The Weekend of the Eclipse.” This will be filled with food, bands, arts, and games. Along with these activities, different educational opportunities will be happening. The solar eclipse will start its partial phase at 10:27 a.m. MDT with its totality starting at 11:49 a.m. MDT. There are high chances of having no clouds in the sky.

Nebraska is the closest destination for over 30 million Americans, and is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors from North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, and even Canada.

The Sandhills Motel is in a prime location for those who want to view the total solar eclipse in August. Within traveling distance from towns such as Alliance and Highway 385, Sandhills Motel will be the best option. For those who choose to watch the eclipse in Mullen, Nebraska the partial phase starts at 10:30 a.m. MDT and the totality starts at 11:53 a.m. MDT. The duration of the eclipse is 1 minute and 24 seconds.

Camping Hacks for Pets

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Camping Hacks for Pets

When the summer months come around, it becomes camping season. Many campgrounds allow guests to have pets, and bringing along a pet is one way to make sure they aren’t lonely when you leave them at home. Here are some camping hacks for pets.

Bring an old dog bed
Unless you’re okay with cuddling in a small tent with your pet, bring an old bed of theirs. It’s best to make sure it’s old since your pet will probably be getting dirty during your camping trip. Depending on how comfortable you are with the campsite, you can keep the bed outside or you can allow your pet to sleep inside the tent with you. Along with this, it also gives your animal a place to lay down when everyone is just hanging out around the campfire.

Bring insect repellant
When your pet is out playing in grass or trees, it is prone to getting ticks. The best way to deal with this situation is to prevent it before it happens. The most common camping hacks are to get a tick collar or tick spray. The tick collar can stay on your pet the entire camping trip, but the tick spray will have to be reapplied daily. If you’re worried about pesticides, you can make your own natural tick repellant by mixing two tablespoons of almond oil with Rose Geranium oil. After this, place a few drops on your pet’s neck or collar. This will ensure that camping with dogs doesn’t turn into them bringing the camping trip home with them.

LED light for the collar
Sometimes during the night, the only thing providing light is the fire you set up earlier. It is nerve racking to wonder where your pet is then having to find a flashlight and call their name to find them. Purchase a LED light for their collar. This way, you will always know where they are when it’s dark outside. LED lights are the best option since you can see the blue color from a distance.

Bring a Carabiner
This camping hack will make keeping your dog at your campsite easier. Sometimes it is hard to find a good pole to tie the leash around, so if there is a carabiner attached to the end of your pet’s leash, you can secure their leash to anything. If you have an active pet, bring along some rope. Tie each end onto a tree, and then connect the leach to the rope. Now your pet has more room to run and play, making camping with dogs much easier.

Extra marshmallows
S’mores is a traditional camping food item. Chocolate is toxic to most pets, but thankfully, marshmallows are not. Marshmallows are just sugar, so if you don’t mind having a chunky pet, give them a few. They’ll enjoy the sweet treat after a long day.

Remember these camping hacks when you come out this summer. We are a pet friendly property and love camping with dogs!