Who needs mountains and oceans when the skies of Western Nebraska can give you all the scenery and glorious vistas you could want. So many people drive down I-80 through Iowa and Nebraska and say they don’t see anything except cornfields and flat land. I say slow down, take a detour on a country road where and actually look at the world around you. The open skies of the Midwest give a 360 panorama of blue sky combined with the action of the clouds.
This is the view from the back of my in-laws farm house outside of Palisade Nebraska. Every night the pheasants fly overhead and you can hear the male roosters crowing in the CRP grass surrounding the house.
In June the wheat fields of Nebraska start to ripen and turn green. Rain is critical at this point, it helps fill out the berries and increases the yields. The farmers in Nebraska have been luckier in 2014 than the wheat farmers of Texas and Oklahoma. It seems the drought has broken. Southwestern Nebraska had 3 inches of rain one day, it was the most rain they have received at one time in over five years. To say my father in law was happy and smiling was an understatement.
Many people think of Nebraska as fly over country, a place not worth stopping as there is nothing to see. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What makes an ocean awe inspiring? The waves and the sky. Nebraska has waves of wheat and corn and a sky with personality and magnificent clouds. There is plenty to do and see in Nebraska if you just look: Omaha Zoo, Holy Family Shrine, rodeos, country fairs, football games, apple jack festival, and plenty more.
You can even see road tracks in the dirt road. I’ve been visiting my in laws for many years during the summer and have never gotten mud on the car. We drove around through the canyons and it was very apparent the wildlife enjoyed the moisture as well. We spotted over 30 deer, a coyote, turkeys, and TWO jack rabbits. My husbands hasn’t seen jack rabbits out there in many years. Here is just one of the mule deer we saw that night. Notice the deer path on the ridge. This is a sight you never see driving 75 mph down the interstate. So next time you take a cross country trip. Take the road less traveled, slow down and enjoy the sights. The countryside has a lot to offer if you just want to look. Bring your camera, don’t be shy. Most people in the area are proud to show off their lovely state and are friendly as can be, as long as you smile and say “I didn’t realize Nebraska was so beautiful!”