The Ashfall Fossil Park is a little out of your way as you trek through Nebraska but the stop is definitely one that should be on your list. The park is located in the rolling hills of northeast NE so a scenic drive when compared to the freeway. The visit center/museum portion of the park has educational displays and hands on items. There are several shelters and a building that are discovery centers and allow the kids to enjoy a hands-on experience at the park. The observation building where the college interns are uncovering fossils is very impressive. The interns enjoy sharing what they know about the ashfall event at this ancient waterhole and the animals of the past. Well preserved fossils cover almost all of the floor in the building (and outside). We spend about two hours there and that was about the right amount of time.
There is a book titled Ashfall written by Mike Mullen. The author thoroughly investigated the impact of an ashfall. Then, he wrote a story about a modern-day event if the Yellowstone super-volcano was to erupt. Visiting the park and reading the book complement each other very well. I highly recommend doing both.
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