Hadji "Hi Jolly" Ali was born in 1828 and was was one of the first camel drivers hired by the US Army in 1856. The idea was to use camels for freight hauling across the southwestern deserts, but the horses, mules, and burros the government was using were frightened by the bigger camels, and the Civil War took priority and funding for the experiment was lost. There is a stone monument in Quartzsite to Hi Jolly and it's the most visited location in town.
What brings this up is on our way home from North Platte along I-80, Margie spotted a camel. Maybe seeing a camel is something you see everyday, but I have not seen a real live camel anywhere other than in a zoo. You may be able to imagine our surprise at seeing a camel on property next to the freeway in of all places Nebraska, so we're chalking this one up to things you don't see every day!
One other quick note about our trip through North Platte. This was our first trip there, and our purpose was to check out Menard's home improvement store. Menard's is not a name we'd heard of in the western US, and the TV ads and newspaper sections make it look like they have everything we could possibly need for our house renovation projects...which we discovered is pretty much true. The store in NP is the largest home improvement store we've been to anywhere, and I imagine more than a couple trips for supplies are in our future.
Our mini road trip covered just under 200 miles, but we did go a scenic route home. I'm still amazed that we saw a camel living along the freeway in Nebraska, and wonder what other highly unusual things we'll get to see along Nebraska's highways and byways.