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Tuesday Trivia: Nebraska Roadtrip

March 16, 2010

Where would you take a foreigner to show off where you live?*

I’ll be honest. When I came across this Tuesday Trivia question, I thought about cheating a bit. I live in Omaha, Neb.

Omaha is nice, but it’s not the first place I’d recommend to a foreigner visiting the United States (sorry omaha). It would be much easier to recommend a trip to Texas’ Hill Country, DC, Boston or any number of other readily identified American sites.

Nebraska Sand Hills

But that’s just too obvious.

Instead, I can look closer to my current home and recommend a road trip across Nebraska. More specially, you’d want to cut across the state diagonally from Omaha toward Rapid City, S.D., by way of the back roads that’ll take you along the River Loup and through the Sand Hills.

Amazingly, while most folks would think Nebraska is as flat and desolate as parts of Kansas or South Dakota (and believe, parts of it are), the Sand Hills would show you an unexpected side of Nebraska. The simple description is that they’re sand dunes grown over with wild grasses. I’m sure some botanist or other science-y sort will balk at my description, but I’m too lazy to google this information right now.

On my summer road trip through this area a while back, I was awed by the scenery. There were rolling hills, beautiful skies and other assorted features that made the landscape pretty. All in all, I liked it.

I will caution you on a couple of points. Gas stations a few and far between on some roads. So fuel up when you can. Along with gas stations being few and far between, so are places to grab a cold drink. So pack a cooler.

Nebraska River Loup

Lastly, there’s a particular odd little town along the way. It has 2D, cut outs of mini-18th century people standing around town. When I drove through the town in broad daylight, I was creeped out. Majorly creeped out. There were no real people. No cars. No dogs. Nothing. Just the creepy cut-out people. It was the setting for a horror movie where the 2D cut-out people would come to life at dusk or when the fog rolls in.

Getting back to positive recommendations for a Nebraska road. Start in Omaha. Avoid I-80 as much as possible. Head north and west. Stopover in Chadron or Alliance. Head up to Rapid City, Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands area the next day.

Et voila! Show-off recommendations for a foreigner.

*The source of Tuesday Trivia is my set of “Travel Topics To Go” cards. Learn more.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2010 12:05 am

    Wow, you make NB look good. That can’t be easy! 2-D town sounds WEIRD.

  2. March 22, 2010 8:18 pm

    I spent so much time in Nebraska growing up. Both my parents are from there (Lincoln and Beatrice, respectively), so I have a great appreciation for the state. And I agree, it may not be topping my list of most-recommended places to visit, but it’s a good egg in the world of states.

  3. March 22, 2010 9:16 pm

    Kat – The 2D town is *beyond* weird. Stephen King could make a good story out of it. And you know I know what I’m talking about since we both lived on the edge of nowhere in Maine.

    Molly – Nebraska may not be a top three, but it’d beat the snot out of Oklahoma even with its hands tied behind its back.

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