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Historic Places

Posted Monday, January 4, 2010, at 10:43 AM

Eagle's Crest or Rippy Pass?
Driving around southwestern Nebraska, you quickly see the state has spent a a lot of money providing signage about geographic locations. It seems southwestern Nebraska is the canyonlands based on all the different canyons described along the roadways. Now I admit what is described on a road sign as a canyon in Nebraska is a bit different from what I'm used to in Colorado, but I digress. Rivers and streams are almost always signed, and historic area signs and monuments are along most highways as well.

I often wonder where place names come from. Some old timer for sure had something to do with the name, and that's true around our place. When Margie and I bought the place and didn't know anyone yet, we "named" a cut of the road through a nearby hillside "Skunk Hill". The reason we named it what we did was we'd seen three dead skunks shortly after we moved in and it made sense (pun intended) to us.

Funny thing about naming something, you usually find out that the place already has a name and Skunk Hill is known by everyone around these parts as Rippy Pass. I have not asked anyone yet about old Rippy and the story of the name, but I'll get around to it one of these days.

What brings the above to mind is today's trip into town and back. Right at Rippy Pass sitting atop a Cottonwood was a Bald Eagle. The beautiful bird was just sitting there enjoying the view along Medicine Creek I guess as it was still there on our return trip. Had we not already misidentified Skunk Hill, and learned of Rippy Pass, we'd have called the cut Eagle's Crest to honor the sight.

This is the first Bald Eagle we've seen up close in Nebraska, but it's just another reminder of the many great things to see around here if you keep your eyes open.

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A half century back, there were getting to be a few deer along the Republican and tributaries.

Bald eagles !!!! there were few in the Lower 48, thanks to DDT, etc.

The only place you could be sure of seeing those arrogant birds was up in Glacier Park along the Divide, touching on Canada's Waterton Lakes Park.

I would bet whoever Pioneer Rippy was, he would be proud and happy to see an extra name of Eagle Crest attached to the spot.

How about Eagle Crest above Rippy Pass?

How about it, does anyone know the story of Rippy?

Slicker, wouldn't be surprised if someone at the Cambridge, McCook City or McCook College libraries has some records to share.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 3:42 PM

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