A walk in the fog

Two hours after starting our hike, the fog has mostly cleared and Chimney Rock can now be seen.

I have written about how the day after Labor Day is the worst day of the year for me, so my friend, Sandra, offered to take me on a hike the day before to try to create some happy memories around this time of year.

Sandra is the historic sites coordinator for History Nebraska. One of the places she is in charge of is Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Though there is a footpath out to Chimney Rock, people aren’t supposed to go out there. This is because the area can easily be damaged by humans.

Given the amount of modern garbage out there, I think the decision is right to not let a lot of people hike in the area. We humans tend to not respect nature as much as we should.

Sandra also needed to get some photographs to send back to Lincoln for research as well as for some promotional materials. These photos made up most of our day.

The fog completely covered the area. Chimney Rock is in this picture. The grass is also unusually high for this time of year. The dew drenched Sandra and I. By the time we reached Chimney Rock, our pants and t-shirts were soaked.

A flying insect approaches a flower covered in the morning’s moisture at Chimney Rock National Historic Site.

I’m really glad I’m not an insect right now.

A grasshopper hanging out on a leaf near the base of Chimney Rock.

After hiking for thirty minutes, the base of Chimney Rock can just barely be seen through the fog.

Just hanging out on a sunflower.

An ornate box turtle moved quickly through the grass to avoid us. As I quickly snapped this photo…

…this bastard stung me in the stomach. It hurt a lot. Sandra was using sage to keep the mosquitoes away, so I used some on the area on my stomach that was red and quickly swelling. The pain dissipated and we kept hiking.

After forty-five minutes of hiking, we reached the base of Chimney Rock.

Some of the unique formations you’ll find at the base of Chimney Rock.

The dragonflies were flitting about near the base of Chimney Rock.

Another view of the rock formations that make up the base of Chimney Rock. For those of you familiar with the area, the Howard ranch is in the distance, still covered by fog more than an hour after we started our hike.

Sandra looks so tiny in the distance.

With the fog still lingering, it was not possible to get a good photo of the hole in the “chimney” at Chimney Rock.

Humans. Sometimes I hate them. This old, thick, piece of a glass bottle was at the base of the “chimney” at Chimney Rock. Yes, it now lives on my computer desk at home. Sandra and I saw a lot of litter on the trail. If you come in with it, go back out with it. That’s not really a hard concept to grasp, you dirty humans.

A good view of the geological makeup of the “chimney” of Chimney Rock.

On a good day, the sky isn’t foggy and you might see some bald eagles hanging out on the top of Chimney Rock.

You should be mindful of the plants in the area as well.


A Plains Lubber, also known as a homesteader.

Sandra doing her work thing and getting photos for the folks back in Lincoln.

A closeup view of Chimney Rock. This is the view people will see from the distance if all they do is stop on the edge of the highway and not come down to the visitors center.

There is life everywhere at Chimney Rock. You just have to pay attention.

Walking the path on Chimney Rock property.

Sandra and I are walking on the foot path. This view gives you a good idea of how high the grass is today. It is not normally like this in September. The grass should only be about ankle high. Because it was so high and we were hiking so early in the morning, the dew got on us from head to toe.

The fog has lifted and the famous landmark along the overland trails is visible once more. This photo was taken three hours and fifty minutes after we started hiking when Chimney Rock was obscured by the fog.

A mayfly.

What better way to end a hike than to see a turkey vulture showing off for us. He stood in this pose for several minutes.

I hope you enjoyed my little jaunt around Chimney Rock.


A soul who sought solitude in the places I roam


Choosing to stay


  1. Leslie Jordan


  2. Rick Myers

    Really nice set of images. The close up shots with water droplets are wonderful. Super work!!!!!

    • Irene

      Thanks, Rick. I don’t own a macro lens, so I’ve been trying to learn how to get those shots with what I have.

  3. Jerry Lewis

    Thank you for identifying the mayfly. I’ve seen one, but didn’ t know what it was. What an excellently illustrated story. Thanks so much. Were your spirits lifted? You certainly lifted mine. Thanks Irene.

    • Irene

      All thanks go to Sandra. I didn’t know what it was until she said so. My spirits were lifted for a little while.

  4. Suzie K Wysocki

    What a great way to spend a day. Thanks for sharing.

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