Nebraska National Forest

October 14, 2010

The sign pointed toward the “Nebraska National Forest.” My brother Mauri and I saw the sign, but as we sped along the interstate, the scenery made us wonder where they put the tree. Fred and Suzi Dow, national forest specialists, answered my curiosity (and smart-alecky skepticism):

“Yes, Virginia, there is a forest in Nebraska. … the largest hand-planted forest in the United States.” Apparently visionary botanists have been planting trees in Nebraska’s sandhills for over a century now, taking their cues from Indian legends about a pine forest there.

Two campgrounds offer recreation near the experimental forest – horseshoes, volleyball, gawking at non-native Ginkgo trees, etc. Those annoyed by trees can find a national forest campground in the wide-open spaces of the prairie overlooking the Dismal River. You can’t see it from the interstate. I have a friend who would love it. When he lived near us in western Oregon he complained that you couldn’t see anything – there were too many mountains, hills, and trees.




  1. Miriam (Mesner) Allison says:

    I remember going to the Nebraska National Forest as a young girl with my Girl Scout troop. It seems a little oxymoronic, especially for western Nebraska, but there really is a forest there.

Living in Fun

"Walking Cheerfully" is place to think out loud about how to use and enjoy humor in positive, life-giving ways. We’ll explore how following Christ in all of life can shape, not scuttle, laughter and creative play. What might it mean to laugh with others as you would have them laugh with you?

Probably the other most common posts will be "Finds in Fun." I first learned the phrase “being in fun” from Tom Mullen’s Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences. He points to the playfulness of children, who are readier to laugh and to see the silly than most adults. Living each day “in fun” often makes us laugh as we slog through a nearly endless supply of things odd, silly, klutzy, and preposterous. The stories here are mostly from my own ordinary, “in fun” days.

Fun Nooks and Crannies

There’s “Humor in the Bible,” and these posts explore where it is, how to find it, and what to do with it. It’s one way of thinking about how to read the Bible well.

Since a lot of us spend big chunks of time at work, the “Humor at Work” posts will suggest ways to stay sane and happy, to get along with cow-orkers, and to use humor to do good work.

I’m a book-pusher at heart, and some of my best friends push books, too. I even know some folks who read. So “Fun Books” posts will tell about books that are funny and help us think about humor.

Sometimes I’ll brag on some of the friends I’ve been given or share some photos I’ve enjoyed taking. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe not, but they’ve brought joy in my journey.

Pie Town, New Mexico Weather

Sorry! No actual weather data available!

Data powered by


Recent Posts