August 3rd was a layover day, a bright and unseasonably cool Tuesday. We unhitched Mercy and spent a good bit of time exploring the spectacular farmland surrounding the village of Pender, Nebraska. Looking for the best vantage point to observe a local airstrip, a hive of activity for cropdusters that day, we found ourselves at a beautiful hilltop cemetery.
Small towns often put their cemeteries on the high ground, I’ve noticed. The grave of Wild Bill Hickok, which we visited later that month in Deadwood, South Dakota, is in Mount Moriah Cemetery — a truly magnificent place, sited on the highest spot practical in the 1870s.
Yesterday, acting on a tip about where to see the best fall foliage, Deb and I drove up to Maple Leaf Cemetery on the north side of Harrison. True to its name, the plot is home to mature maples, and we caught them at their peak — brilliant oranges and golds and reds.
This cemetery, too, is on high ground, with peek-a-boo views of the surrounding countryside.
It seems to me that seeking out cemeteries might be a worthwhile tactic for the traveler. They’re usually maintained as well as (or better than) city parks, and their settings can be breathtaking. And they come with the bonuses of human interest and history.
All you have to do, of course, is not mind being in a graveyard.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.