Anyone who has looked out the window during a cross country flight can tell you that a majority of the fly-over states consist of mostly farmland. From 35,000 feet one can easily make out the big, circular farms with little farm houses that fill the heartland. Many don’t get a chance to have an up-close look like we did at the parts of the country usually viewed from cruising altitude.
After leaving Cheyenne, we hit the interstate to drive across the border into Nebraska. A near death experience in Pine Bluffs, WY did not deter us from making our way into Cornhusker territory. We took the exit off I-80 toward Bushnell and immediately saw the words ‘NO SERVICES’ beneath the city’s name. Now, I had read about Bushnell and how it was pretty desolate, but didn’t realize that the town didn’t have any services. This could be interesting… The ride up US 30 into Bushnell was long, and I’m not going to lie- it was Kurt Russell/Breakdown scary. It’s hard for someone who is used to a town of 8+ million people to be put in the middle of America on a desolate road, heading to a town of only 162 people.
The most recognizable thing in the town of Bushnell is its water tower, which went up in 1917. Other than that, the houses lining the main dirt road were sparse and we drove through the town in a few minutes. However, I did read that the town is starting to make a comeback, with a few new stores popping up. Yay, Bushnell!
About 7 miles down the road lay Kimball, population 2,559. Trivia answer: Kimball is actually home to the highest point in Nebraska. This is exactly how I pictured a middle-America small town. The streets were lined with flags and the town looked inviting. My favorite part was the Goodhand Theater – a one screen movie theater with pull in parking in front of it. If that doesn’t scream small town to me, I don’t know what does!
We spent about an hour in western Nebraska and my biggest regret of the trip is not getting out of the car to take more pictures. But by this point, a) we were still shaken up from nearly dying b) it was really hot c) we were pretty ready to make the 3 hour drive back to Denver. I would like to get back there at some point so I could actually walk around and interact with the locals. I’d love to hear how living in a small-Midwestern town compares to living in a big city. So, if any Bushnell/Kimball residents stumble onto this page, drop me a line!