Virtual Travel – Nebraska

Welcome to Nebraska, the Cornhusker State.

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Nebraska Capitol, History and Symbols 

1954     1971     1987     1991


Today finds us again on the Great Plains in Nebraska. There is more to Nebraska however than flat lands filled with corn. But first, let’s check out the State Capitol in Lincoln. (photo from Wikipedia)

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Nebraska is one of the states that has a State Capitol that is not built in the traditional style. It was the first state capitol to take this approach, having completed this very cool art deco building in 1932. The building is 400′ tall, and can be seen for miles across the prairies of Eastern Nebraska.

The 1954 map celebrating Nebraska’s 100th anniversary is a bit deceiving, it is not for statehood, rather when the Nebraska territory was defined. Nebraska did not become a state until 1867.

Nebraska has one of the ‘coolest’ state symbols, the state drink – Kool Aid! This kid favorite was developed in 1927 by Edwin and Kitty Perkins in the town of Hastings.

Kool-Aid Man

Hastings celebrates this each year with a Kool Air Festival

A sweet escape from reality is found, at least momentarily, in a ...



1965     1973


Because early cattle drives often took cowboys through Nebraska, the state still celebrates this culture. The town of Ogallala is the center of this culture in the state, although highly unlikely to be authentic. (photo from visitnebraska)

Front Street Crystal Palace Review - front street - ogallala


Buffalo Bill Cody spent much of his adult life living in North Platte, Nebraska. His ranch is now a State Historical Park.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park - Nebraska Game and ...

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park - Nebraska Game and ...

Chimney Rock & Scotts Bluff

1972     1978     1980     2011


Scotts Bluff National Monument is located in Western Nebraska, with over 3000 acres of historic trail remnants, as well as the rise that is Scotts Bluff.

It was named after Hiram Scott, who was a clerk for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Scott died near this landmark in 1828.

Because it was such a visual landmark, it served as a destination for travelers on the Oregon Trail, California Trail and Pony Express. The bluff rises 800′ above the surrounding prairies.


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Chimney Rock is another landmark of Western Nebraska. This unique geological formation rises 300′ above the North Platte Valley.

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Regions of Nebraska

1979     1981     1983     1993     1997     2007

Omaha is the largest city in the state, with a metro population of nearly 1 million. (photo from Children’s Hospital of Omaha). The largest employers in the city are government and hospitals.


The top rated attraction according to Tripadvisor is the Henry Doorly Zoo. (photo from Wikipedia)

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Carhenge is a replica of Stonehenge in the middle of the Nebraska prairies. There are 38 automobiles in a circle 96′ in diameter.

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The Nebraska Outback is in North Central Nebraska. This is a recent named used in a tourism campaign. Attractions include: (photos from Wikipedia)

Nebraska National Forest


Smith Falls


Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

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The Sandhills – Mixed Grasses covering sand dunes.

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Outdoors & Rivers

1985     1989     2001     2003


The Platte River is the major waterway through the state. (photo from Wikipedia)

Middle Fork South Platte River

Platte River | river, Nebraska, United States | Britannica



There are vast areas of non developed space in Nebraska. The views below are from far western Nebraska near the Wyoming border.

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Toadstool Geologic Park is located in far northwestern Nebraska. It is essentially a badlands area but with very interesting formations.

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Western Nebraska – 2012 Road Trip – Day 11 – Carhenge, Scotts Bluff & Toadstool Geologic Park

Monday morning, we set off for the rest of our vacation, the scenic route home. We headed north into Wyoming, going past Cheyenne, before heading east across the prairies for the Nebraska border.

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As we crossed into Nebraska we began to see sunflower fields and interestingly unexpected sandstone hills and towers.

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Not far from the border we came to the town of Scottsbluff and the Scotts Bluff National Monument, an important landmark on the Oregon Trail.

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The park contains multiple bluffs which rise over 800 feet above the plaints, and is located along the south side of the North Platte River; the monument is composed of five rock formations named Crown Rock, Dome Rock, Eagle Rock, Saddle Rock, and Sentinel Rock.

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To get to the top you drive the Summit Road. This 1.6 mile drive features scenic views and the only three vehicular tunnels in the state of Nebraska. Once at the top there are some short trails with overlooks of the surrounding town and countryside.

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Back down on the prairie there is a wagon to show what life was like on the Oregon Trail, as well as Park personnel who explain what the trip would’ve been like.

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About 20 miles east of Scottsbluff we came to Chimney Rock, a prominent geological rock formation rising nearly 300 feet above the surrounding valley.

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Northeast of Chimney Rock was, for me, the highlight of the trip – Carhenge!

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Carhenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge located near the city of Alliance, Nebraska, in the middle of a prairie.

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Instead of being built with large stones, Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. It was built in 1987.

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Carhenge replicates Stonehenge’s current “tumble-down” state, rather than the original stone circle erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. In addition to the Stonehenge replica, the Carhenge site includes several other sculptures created from autos covered with various colors of spray paint.

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Travelling northwest through the Oglalla National Grasslands we made our way to the Toadstone Geologic Park, a very nice example of ‘badlands’ in the far northwest corner of Nebraska near the borders of Wyoming and South Dakota.


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The formations throughout this park are very interesting, a precursor of what was to come in South Dakota.

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As we left the park and continued down the dirt road we were stunned by what we saw next, airplane fuselages on a train rolling along the prairies. Apparently Boeing has the 737 fuselages built in Wichita, Kansas, then ships them to Renton, Washington for completion.


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After our long day we looked forward to our motel for the night. I had found a place in Custer, South Dakota called the Rocket, a 1950s retro-themed motel. Dinner was at the Sage Creek Grille, then we crashed for the night.

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