Wednesday, April 24, 2013

US Hwy 20: NE NE

The minimalist title of this post about Northeastern Nebraska is apt. Unlike northwestern Nebraska which at least had interesting geology and landscapes to make the long straight road and sparse civilization more bearable, northeastern Nebraska has nothing.

I took a ridiculous number of photos to try to capture this nothingness, and have settled on these two as being the best depictions. Even these don't really do it justice.

In case you think I'm being unfair in my description, I offer this evidence of good humor by three towns who have branded themselves "The Middle of Nowhere."

Obviously it's not technically accurate to say that there's nothing and it's nowhere. Various degrees of grassland merged into pasture, then cropland. The towns had their basic commerce, and a few had substantial looking agro-facilities.

Nevertheless, the basic description holds: There's nothing here that warrants exploration, perhaps not even a visit. Unless you're like me, however, and you are fascinated simply by seeing where and how people live. No matter how much of this country I see, I never tire of being informed by the fundamental realities of other people. For anyone who thinks he or she knows what's best or right for everyone else, I suggest you take a road trip like this and see exactly who everyone else is. How would you like them to tell you what's best or right for you?

I had planned to do the run in two stints, but there really wasn't any place -- or reason -- to stop along the way. A couple of the very small towns offer free overnight parking in their town park, but that's about it. Even the very few purported RV establishments were closed, with one of them looking like it hadn't been open for quite some time.

As a result, I pushed on and have made it to the Sioux City area in the farthest northeast corner of the state. On the banks of the Missouri River, I expect to stay here for a couple of days before crossing into Iowa… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Jim Miller said...

How many times did you think of what it must have been like looking at the east end of a team of oxen as you went endlessly west? Talk about grit, that was reeeeeaaaaal grit!