From our overnight stop in Sioux Falls, we were headed south and soon passed through Iowa and into Nebraska.
With the addition of Nebraska to our map,
we’ve now camped in 26 states! This was our last addition to the map for a while, though, since our next few stops are in states we’ve already been to – Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and of course, Michigan! Hopefully next year we’ll get another group of states filled in!
We found our way to the Walnut Creek Recreation Area, just outside Omaha, and were lucky enough to get the last 50 amp site.
This was a really nice little campground, run by the city of Papillion. The sites are all long and paved, with a paved patio. They only have electric hookup (some 50 amp, some 30 amp), but still a great deal at $16/night. There are several water hydrants for filling your fresh water tank, and a dump station on the way out. We were only staying for 3 nights, so we had plenty of room in our tanks.
We came to Omaha because Bryce had seen the Henry Doorly Zoo on “Only in America”, so we made plans to head into Omaha on Saturday . . . probably not the best plan . . . we should have gone on Friday! As we approached the freeway exit, traffic backed up and we crawled off the exit and up to the zoo parking lot. Apparently, everyone else in Omaha had the same idea!
We finally got our tickets and entered the zoo. Once inside, we tried to go in a different direction from everybody else. The first few exhibits were small, and I was thinking that we weren’t going to be too impressed,
but then we arrived at Bear Canyon,
where the bears were outside and moving around, and the Gorilla Valley, where we were shocked at how many gorillas they have here!
These 2 gorillas were in one enclosure, and they made sure to stay at opposite sides of their space – when one would get too close, the other would run away! This guy here (above) was really aggressive – he kept bellowing and pounding on his chest, and a couple times he slammed into the window where the people inside were standing! He scared one little boy half to death!!
These were only a couple of the gorillas in residence – I think they had about 15 altogether!
They were really fun to watch, even this guy when he decided to moon us!! LOL
Actually, I think he was getting drink from the pool!
making us realize that we were hungry too, so while we were still close to the entrance gate, Nicolas and Bryce went out to the car and got our lunch.
After lunch, we made out way to the back of the zoo, and trudged our way up Pachyderm Hill.
Along the way, we saw some more prairie dogs . . . including these guys who were taking a nap,
and this little guy who just wanted to play in the street! The docent was keeping a close eye on him, and eventually got him back into the grass!
We could have ridden the train up to the top of the hill,
or even ridden the Skyfari,
but the lines were REALLY long, so we decided to walk! Nicolas and Bryce studied the white rhinos (albino rhinos!),
and we got a good look at them when they came around the corner and walked right towards us!
Walking back through the safari, we saw monkey island
surrounded by thousands of Koi fish,
and we saw several other unusual animals --
the ostrich and the bongo,
as well as the giraffe and her new baby!
The guys studied the map to see where we needed to go next,
and we made our way toward the Aquarium. Ugh! This was the worst part of the day!! It was SO crowded in there – bumper to bumper – and with all the strollers and wagons, it was even worse. There were several points when we couldn’t even move!!
Despite the crowds, we managed to see some cool animals . . . like the pompano (Bryce caught one of these in Florida, but couldn’t keep it!),
and the penguins,
and several species of jellies (NOT jellyfish – we learned at Lovers Key that they are no longer classified as fish!).
We walked through the Desert Dome,
and saw plenty of animals that we were glad we didn’t run into when we were in the REAL desert!!
Our next stop was the Lied Jungle,
which was pretty cool, and full of exotic animals and plants!
We were getting pretty tired by this time, and we weren’t the only ones! Walking through the Cat Complex, it appeared to be naptime!
Even the babies were sleeping!!
I guess it was these guys’ turn to stand guard!
After the Cat Complex, we thought about going back to see the gorillas some more, but we were just too tired, and ready to go back to the RV!
It was a nice day, and the Henry Doorly Zoo turned out to be a really good zoo . . . we were glad Larry the Cableguy introduced us to it!