No I-80

When people speak of traveling through Nebraska and Iowa the most common thought is ‘boring’. I can see how that can be the conclusion as your car rockets across the flat plains of Nebraska at 75 miles per hour along I-80. Traveling East towards Iowa on I-80 your first sign of a metropolitan area is more of a dehydration desert mirage. You believe you are approaching a major urban area and then the interstate curves and skirts the edge of Lincoln and in 7 quick exits you are back to rural Nebraska. At least the rolling hills are a change from the endless open prairie. Rounding another curve you are blasted into sprawling communities consumed by the Omaha Metro area. Two design elements were necessary when this area was settled, water mobility and future rail access, Omaha has both. This river town planted itself righteously on the banks of the Missouri River and grew West. Requiring all travel along the interstate to carve straight through the city.
As you cross the Missouri River into Iowa the city continues only now it is Council Bluffs. The community is aptly named for it is positioned on and in the bluffs of a millennia ago ice age. Ice bergs the size of Texas carved through this area creating for us spectacular bluffs along the rambling river that seem so out of place on the prairie. As you climb into the western hills of Iowa the terrain seems to roll instead of lay flat, but after the first twenty rises and falls you realize you might be trapped in a Groundhog Day type of repeating cycle. When you finally reach civilization again it passes by quickly and the other side of Des Moines feels a lot like the first three Easterly hours of I-80.
My recommendation, to really enjoy and get to know these beautifully historic states is to leave the interstate system. Travel along the hills of Nebraska. Journey into the seldom explored gems of Iowa. Most of the true joy of any area is not found along the road most traveled. Soul Experiences Tour and Travel

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2 thoughts on “No I-80

  1. Steve Bors

    I agree! Get off the Interstate. In Nebraska, check out highways 250, 22, 61 and 97. All head north from Highway 2 and weave through the Sandhills. Great drives! Also check out the blacktop road between Dunning and Arnold–but take your time, roll down the windows and enjoy!

    1. Thanks Steve! Also hwy 75 is a beautiful drive all the way to hwy 20 and over to hwy 12. Hwy 12 takes you across the top of Nebraska from South Sioux City to Valentine. Beautiful drive anytime of the year!

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