There have been times on this trip where the interstate is, of course, the shortest way to travel between two points. For those drives, podcasts and playlists have been my company. However, the back roads are where it’s at, even in the cornfield-laden midwest.
I am the ONLY Petersen who was born out East. The rest of my family was born in the Chicago area. My parents’ parents had farms. Summers meant visiting Gramma and Grampa on their small truck farm in Lombard Illinois, running through their gardens, watching them sell vegetables by the road. My Grampa Pete lived in overalls. I have photos of him surrounded by pumpkins he grew. My mother told a story of watching her mother chop off a chicken’s head, drain the blood, and prepare it for dinner.
The horizontal lines of Midwestern farmlands hold a sentimental AND aesthetic beauty for me. So the long drive across Nebraska on this day was lovely.
Outside of Ogallala, I found beautiful rolling hills.
I’m a sucker for a good windmill.
The modern irrigation systems look prehistoric.
And as I develop my painter’s eye, I am drawn to textures and unusual lines.
I arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska a few hours later. I parked in the historic Haymarket district. In the 1860’s, it started as a square true to its name-wagons and hay were sold here. Now it’s a trendy area surrounding an arena, filled with shops and restaurants. I had a fun time roaming. I’d ask a clerk in a shop for a recommendation of where I should go. The Ice Cream Shop! So I’d go to the ice cream shop, buy a treat and ask those clerks where I should go–The Train Mural! So I’d go to the Train Mural….etc. It was a wonderful way to stretch my legs and explore the area on a very hot afternoon.
I ended up in Council Bluffs Iowa for the night. It’s just over the state line from Omaha. I had been intending to visit the Omaha Art Museum but I learned it was closed, so I had to wait until the morning. A fabulous basic hotel near the highway provided me with a good bed, a great shower, and no windstorm.