From 1963 to 2013 we made many trips to Alma, Nebraska Harlan County Dam and Reservoir. Sometimes we stayed in a motel, sometimes we camped. At first it was in a tent, then a pop out camper. Sometimes we cooked over an open fire up on the river bank sometimes we ate out. Breakfast at our favorite place in Alma was the Bugbees Truck Stop; lunch was sometimes whatever we had with us, other times at a bar in Republican City or Doug's Place in Alma.

Packed and Ready to Go

In 1972 we scheduled a family trip to Alma with Rob and Cindy each getting to bring a friend. Rob picked Vance, Cindy picked Julie, Jim was a toddler. We had the pop out tent for Bob, Jim and me; the tent for Julie and Cindy; and a small pup tent for Rob and Vance. By the time we reached Alma and set up the camper, the tent and the pup tent plus unloaded the "kitchen " gear, it was late. A trip to the bar for a hamburger was our reward. We were in the midst of a heat wave; not typical for Nebraska in June. I remember so well Mom standing on the porch to see us off and telling me Jim should be left at home with her. I chose not to listen to my mom--not the first time. As it turned out, I sure wish I had.

We set up camp in the Alma Trailer Park near the shelter house. In 1972 this was okay. There was a place to cook in the shelter which Jim dubbed the "kitchen". The next morning we went to Bugbees for breakfast. Bob, Rob, and Vance then headed up the river to do some fishing while Cindy, Julie, Jim and I stayed behind to take a walk downtown (about 2 blocks away) and look around. We shopped at Hogelands Market, Hanna's variety store and, of course, the City Park where Jim could swing, etc. As the day wore on, Jim became more and more feverish. By the time the guys got back from the river, we decided to take him to the hospital in Alma. Good thing we did! His temperature was 104 degrees and I am pretty sure that was the temperature for the day. The doctor gave him a shot to help reduce the fever. Our decision was easy; he would be far more comfortable at home. We packed up and returned home. Mom was sympathetic enough not to say, "I told you so!"

Old Methodist Cove

In the Methodist Camp Ground on the first road in was one of our favorite choices for a place to fish. There was a good spot located at the end of the first road. We could park right there and take our gear and chairs down to a small sandy area. There was room for both of us to throw out our lines. One year as we fished side by side, Bob would cast out; I would cast out and soon Bob had a bite as the fish took the line and headed out into the lake. He caught several catfish (and, of course, a carp here and there ) I sat there without a bite. It is always hard to figure out why two fishermen could sit side by side; one would catch fish and the other would not. I am sure Bob could cast out farther than I could. That was my excuse. It was sad the year Alma had some terrific storms with a lot of rain and wind causing the lake to pound this area and actually destroy the access to this favorite spot. As an aside, the picture was used in the first My Trixie website. It is a favorite.

Sunburned (Stupid)

What year? I don't have a clue We were once again staying in Alma. This time at the Arrow Lodge motel. We packed our gear, got live minnows, and decided to fish on the lake. We chose a spot between Methodist campground and Tip Over Point where we could get access down to the edge of the lake. We didn't have to wait very long when one of the lines started to move out into the lake. Walleye don't bite like catfish. They swim out, change the bait and continue. The trick is to pull back on the line at just the right time. Walleye are not known to be close enough to the shore for bank fishing. We could not believe it when we got a bite, learned how to hook one and bring it in fighting all the way. We were getting bites and catching fish one after another. The sun was getting hotter and hotter; we were getting sunburned but did not want to quit!

Bob would go right down to the edge of the lake to land the fish. We didn't want anyone out in in a boat to know we were catching walleye! Finally they quit biting; we packed up and headed to the motel. I am sure we were close to sun stroke; each of us took a cold shower, turned up the air conditioner and crashed for the afternoon. Bob cleaned the fish when it cooled off and Milt was kind enough to put them in his freezer until we were ready to head home.

Tip Over Point

We could access Tip Over point from the road leading into the Methodist Camp Ground. When the lake was low enough, some thoughtful fishermen had cut steps down to the lake. The convenience of driving right up to the spot was great; however, I just knew Bob was going to drive right off the bank

Gremlin Cove

Gremlin Cove was located close to the dam. There was a roped off swimming area as well as access to the lake for fishing. This was a favorite place when the kids were with us.

Cedar Point

Across the lake was Cedar Point where again there was a roped off swimming area. There were times we could park close enough to be within easy walking distance or even drive right down to the lake

Dead End Road

Another place we discovered was on the south side of the lake where the old highway ran prior to the dam being built. Access was quite a drive. About a mile and a half from Alma there was a gravel road leading east. We would take this road which was up and down some steep hills. When we reached the first road headed north back towards the lake we turned. Following this road we could go right to the fishing spot with a sandy beach and plenty of room to fish. Many times we would fish the river in the morning and then head over to the lake. I called these our marathon runs chasing fish. We traveled to Alma to fish and we fished; bad luck or good.

Bob retired from the railroad and we followed our dream. We moved to Alma. It was so much easier to explore all of the familiar places on the lake. Finally the day came when we could buy a boat. I had my heart set on a pontoon