Splendid Isolation: The Prairie Creek Inn

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One of the many things I love about travel is that, oftentimes, it seems like on I’m on a quest due to my many wonderful discoveries.  This trip is no different as my road has brought me to Walton, NE where I have been privileged to stay at the Prairie Creek Inn, a true hidden treasure.

Aside from the little musical humor I injected, the Prairie Creek Inn does have a bit in common with The Waltons.  Like the home of the Waltons, the Prairie Creek Inn is a bit isolated on a beautiful spread of land.  This makes it the ideal place to go if you simply want to get away from it all, clear your head, and renew your spirit.

Also, like the Waltons, you will always be welcomed here by the owners, Bruce and Maureen Stahr.  They were truly good, Christian folk and I was honored to get to know them a little during my stay at their inn.

For the third straight time, I was the sole guest at a bed and breakfast, which made me feel a bit more like Henry David Thoreau.  And my comparison to that famed author is quite apt as I was staying in Inspiration Pointe, dubbed the room for writers and pictured below.  The room gained its name from a CEO who had once stayed in this 2 room suite and actually wrote a novel.  Bruce said others have written poetry here, so I feel honored to be able to add my own little contribution to this literary abode.

Inspiration Pointe

Inspiration Pointe

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Inspiration Pointe's sitting room

Inspiration Pointe’s sitting room

Like Thoreau, the property where the Prairie Creek Inn resides also has a lake on the grounds so I now actually have an inkling of Thoreau’s thoughts as he wrote about Walden Pond.

After meeting the Stahrs and getting situated in my rooms, I decided to take advantage of the waning daylight and walk some of the trails on the land.  The property is massive and I was able to take a good, long, brisk walk (brisker still when a sharp wind started and flurries began).  I enjoyed the peacefulness and quiet of the Creekside and Northwoods Trails and felt a serenity settle into my soul as I walked about the grounds.

The Stahrs are diligently expanding the property as my constitutional brought me to a very nice looking log cabin as well as a smaller guest cottage which are being built and renovated for further rentals.  And, of course, there is the lake on the grounds.  Though frozen over, it was still a magnificent sight.  I was fascinated by this duck sitting on the ice and thought it would make for a terrific photo if I didn’t get scare it off.

Quietly I made my way over to it.  Step by step.  Avoiding branches and dry leaves, I crept up to the little quacker and. . .discovered I’d been duped by a decoy.  I chuckled to myself as I continued on the trail back to the house.

To date, the Prairie Creek Inn is probably the largest and most impressive bed and breakfast I have visited.  I wandered through the entirety of the house, marveling at its beauty and attention to detail as I snapped photos.  Even more interesting is that the foyer contains a stand of pictures explaining how the Prairie Creek Inn came into existence.  Apparently, the Stahrs bought the house for $1.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The house was in Lincoln, NE at the time.  After the purchase, it was loaded onto a semi trailer and carried the 11 miles to its present locale.

After exploring the house, I headed into Lincoln where I enjoyed a meal at Parker’s Smokehouse.  It’s not a bad little BBQ joint.  I had the Nebraska Melt (smoked prime rib with cheese and onions on toasted marble rye bread), steak fries, and a cup of the World Famous Smokehouse Chili.  If you happen to stop here, I would definitely suggest the melt as it was smoky delicious.  I would suggest taking a pass on the chili, though.  It had a good taste and I thought the use of Samuel Adams Lager in the chili sauce was an interesting touch, but it was too watery for my tastes.  However, their original BBQ sauces were quite tasty and I would recommend the Liquid Heat as a good dipping sauce for fries.

After dinner, I returned to the house, made a quick stop to the rec room where I picked up a Dr. Pepper and returned to my room where I could sip and get my photos organized and posted onto Facebook.  Upon completing that, I enjoyed the old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub and stayed up for a while reading the classic novel, The Time Machine, until my eyes began to get bleary with sleep.

I snapped off the lights and watched the glow of my electric fireplace until sleep claimed me.  And I slept like a log.

When I awoke the next morning, my covers hadn’t even been ruffled and I felt like I could take on the world.  I headed downstairs to breakfast where I was served a meal fit for royalty.  A bowl of mixed fruit was waiting on the table and I put a few spoonfuls of that into my dish and munched away while Bruce brought me a goblet of orange juice and a glass of milk.  Then he brought out the main course which I had smelled cooking all the way up in the attic.

It was called egg casserole, but it looked more like a pizza.  It was a fantastic and slightly spicy combination of egg, cheese, bacon, and potatoes.  Maureen brought out homemade cinnamon rolls and I gladly helped myself to one as I chatted with Bruce about his plans for renovating the barn to hold receptions and possibly even have movie nights and music festivals.  I wished the meal wouldn’t end, but after 30 minutes of slow, savory enjoyment, I was full and came up to write today’s article.

If you find yourself in Walton, NE (just outside of the capital city of Lincoln), do yourself a favor and book a room at the Prairie Creek Inn.  You’ll experience peace, tranquility, beauty and enjoy an excellent meal under the hospitality of two great innkeepers.

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