2018 Van Life Week Four: America’s Heartland
I got a kick out of the emails and comments last week about the excitement we would encounter crossing Nebraska and Iowa. I get it. Clearly, these states don’t have the mountains, the skiing, or the white water rafting. They don’t seem to be about cycling, running or golf, either…
Well, you’re right, already: thrills-a-minute are difficult to find in these parts.
A lot of folks seem to like it this way just fine. Thank you very much.
And, you know what? Just because there aren’t “thrills-a-minute”, doesn’t mean there aren’t thrills.
First, a Perspective Check
I must share the surprising 175 interstate miles of Colorado terrain, that does not look like Colorado: The Eastern Side of Colorado
So, I’d just like to point out, Colorado becomes the Snoozeville warm-up, before entering Nebraska.
Nebraskans will tell you to get off the interstate, to really see their state. And, if there was something other than an interstate to get across their state, we’d’ve done it.
Nonetheless, there was an attempt to make the drive interesting by creating their own roadside attraction: The Great Platte River Road Archway.
We camped along our Nebraska route. One night at a private campground, which almost always translates to a parking lot for big RV’ers. This one however, was sweet and accommodated tent campers too.
We spent a night in Kearney – which conveniently has a brewery, Thunderhead Brewing.
I enjoy how the brewery expressed the heartland energy.
And, I got to play with a newfangled fire pit, which I adored.
At this point, we decided that we should check out Omaha, for no other reason than, why not?
We stayed with a marvelous AirBnb hostess near the Omaha village of Dundee.
Soon after we settle in, Marjie is home from work, drops off a flat of plants, groceries and suggests if we can get back before the sun goes down – when she has to get the chickens in the coop – she’d like to give us a tour of her city. No hesitation, “we’re in!”
We see stately homes, open park spaces, a historic theater which now shows independent films/movies, hear about the zoo, drive by her family church and get an overall sense of bearings and things to eat, I mean, things to do.
Our second day we decide to see the zoo. We tour a butterfly garden, hear noisy monkeys, and see a lot of activity on a cool day.
But you know, even with a very good reputation, there’s always something sad about a zoo…
Folks are proud of all their state has to offer. And if you should come for a visit, they won’t rub it in your face that they’re from around here and you’re not. They’ll just be glad you came, and be happy to show you around. And talk about the Huskers.
Or in Marjie’s case, the Creighton’s…