August 25, 2011 Posted by Josh in Places

Nebraska: Small story for a big state

So we figured we couldn't pass through an entire state and not say a thing about it. And Nebraska is deserving of some credit in our little journey. With that being said... our Nebraska experience:

The first town we decided to stop in was North Platte. This little town sits just off Interstate 70 on the western side of Nebraska. It just so happened to be the 4th of July as well. We realize quickly that there wasn't going to be much in North Platte and decide to stop at one of the only open businesses in town: Wal-Mart. Redneck Americana galore. A nice variety of shall we say "hefty" people proudly traipsing around in their XXXL cut-off-sleeve American flag T shirts and such. Some of the biggest babies I'd ever seen, one actually munching on potato chips while his mother wheeled him around the store.  Are babies even supposed to be capable of eating potato chips?

We decide to move on. Flatness. Corn. Ah, but we knew this was coming. No big deal. We head down the 70 another 100 miles or so to the next "good-sized" town on the map. Same story here, more or less. Not much. We think briefly about sticking around for the fireworks (and these people obviously loved them some fireworks), but bright, flashing, colorful lights have never been Meisha's thing. For obvious reasons.

Now here's the neat thing about flat lands, small American towns, night time, freeway and the 4th of July:  Instead of one town's fireworks, we got to see every town's fireworks.  And had the freeway mostly to ourselves. Even better than that: we got our own little "fireworks" show. A glowing green splat appeared on the windshield. "Was that a firefly?" We asked each other. Another one splats and it's confirmed. "AWESOME!" We both yell in unison. Neither of us had ever seen a firefly and what an exciting way to experience them for the first time. We spend the evening in mild entertainment exclaiming "There's another one!" pretty much every time these glowing splats appeared on the windshield. This was perhaps the absolute highlight of our time in Nebraska... sorry, Nebraska.

So... we ended up traversing almost the entire state of Nebraska in one day. That's right, it took us well over a month to get from Utah to Colorado and just under a day to almost entirely cross Nebraska. Oops. We get some hot and sweaty sleep at a rest stop just outside of Lincoln. Our first taste of humidity. Little did we know of what was to come. We headed in to Lincoln, spent a day and a half there, didn't really find or do much (in hindsight, we decided we really didn't try very hard) and moved on to Omaha.

Hmmmm... Omaha. Again we probably could have tried a little harder. Upon doing some research, we found they had a Lifetime Fitness with a climbing wall. Sold. We head to the gym to inquire about one day or possibly one week passes. They inform us that there are no options like that and invite us to try the gym that day for free. Awesome.  We were feeling so dirty that we opted to shower before working out (after too, of course). Our workout pretty much consisted of climbing.

We had the chance to talk to some locals while we were there and when we asked them what there was to do in Omaha the reply was "In Omaha??? Well, how long are ya gonna be here?" We reply "Dunno, maybe a week or so?" His face turns to shock. "You're gonna spend a week in Omaha? What are you gonna do?" We laughed... "We were hoping you could tell us." After a bit of thought, as well as asking around to the other locals, the answer was "Well, there are a lot of bars..."

We left for Iowa that night.
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