Follow:
Travel

Confession: Nebraska’s golden hour stole my heart

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” ― Maud Hart Lovelace

I know… Nebraska. Of all the places, who would have thought I would fall for a random ass state in the middle of the country — a state so obsessed with corn that they made it their college football team’s mascot?

Not me. But it happened.

IMG_4341

We were only in this glorious state for a few hours — just enough time to take a million photos with the welcome sign, see the world famous Carhenge (get it?), and lose our my mind over the fact that Nebraska was so damn shockingly beautiful.

I don’t think Amy was nearly as impressed with the Cornhusker State as I was, but she also regularly plays chess and colors in coloring books. What can I say. The chick’s kinda off.

The rolling hills, sporadic farm equipment, billowing American flags, the golden hour sunlight touching the green green green fields that went on for as far as the eye could see… it was all so entrancing. Admittedly, I can over-romanticize places and tend to walk around with rose-colored glasses when I’m experiencing something new — in a realist’s eyes, driving through Nebraska might be nothing but hundreds of miles of cornfields and small towns. In fact, I spoke with someone recently who said he had driven across Nebraska in January on his way from Colorado to Pennsylvania, and it had been so cold and gray and dull they couldn’t bear to step outside of their car for more than a few seconds. But I couldn’t help but drive through those small towns and imagine the residents see their home through those same rose-colored glasses, too — that they gossip in the little local grocery store, that neighbors help neighbors, that they’re proud of their sweet little Midwestern roots. It was all so pretty and American.
IMG_4276
IMG_4284IMG_4283IMG_4279DSC_0366

Eventually we made our way to the gravely, muddy back roads of Alliance, what I imagine is a classic example of small-town America. We were on our way to the quirky roadside attraction that is Carhenge, a replica of England’s mysterious Stonehenge made completely out of old, spray-painted cars and car parts. How could we drive through the northwestern corner of Nebraska without stopping at Carhenge? It would have been a sin.

DSC_0401IMG_4289IMG_4294 IMG_4296 IMG_4301

This stuff really exists in the Midwest. IMG_4302 IMG_4307 IMG_4304IMG_4371

“To lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock

IMG_4350IMG_4313

Our time in Nebraska was short but sweet. It was golden and fresh. Sometimes it just feels good to be somewhere totally out of your comfort zone, somewhere remote and blank and open and unspoiled. The sky and roads and fields in Nebraska seemed to go on forever, the experience of being there was soothing and refreshing, and though this may be a sentence that is not frequently spoken by many people around the world… I truly can’t wait to go back to Nebraska.

Which photo from Nebraska is your favorite?

Share on
Leave a comment

You may also like

21 Comments

  • Reply Margie

    Nebraska looks beautiful in the summertime. Probably not so much in the winter, but not too many states do in the winter. I really like the Carhenge pictures. So creative! Go Cornhuskers!

    September 10, 2015 at 9:19 am
    • Reply Kristen

      I can think of a state/city that would look beautiful in the winter… SAN DIEGO!

      September 10, 2015 at 11:55 am
  • Reply Laura (PA Pict)

    Car Henge is now on my bucket list.

    September 10, 2015 at 9:47 am
    • Reply Kristen

      It was a cool little detour 🙂

      September 10, 2015 at 11:56 am
  • Reply camerapacker

    Great stuff, you caught a sense of the place with the big sky and flat prairie and the quikieness of at least one of its inhabitants. I love the whole series of “Carhenge”.

    September 10, 2015 at 9:49 am
    • Reply Kristen

      Thanks!! It was a surprisingly beautiful place!

      September 10, 2015 at 11:56 am
  • Reply Paula

    Carhenge? Crazy Nebraskans! 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone before who fell in love with Nebraska…you’re unique! Though I can imagine, with those huge skies, any approaching storm in Nebraska would be very dramatic. Fun post!

    September 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      I’ve recently met a Nebraskan who loves the state even more than I did! But I think he’s a little biased. 🙂

      September 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm
  • Reply shmamyhopf

    Hey! I liked it! I was tired…….. <3 carhenge <3

    September 10, 2015 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply annika

    Carhenge! Haha, that’s great xD

    September 11, 2015 at 10:15 am
    • Reply Kristen

      It was definitely different 🙂

      September 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Hannah Myer

    Now I’m hype for my Nebraska trip. I wonder what it will be like in the fall?!? And those COLORS. God rocks. #proud ✌️

    September 12, 2015 at 2:51 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      #proudofyouGod

      September 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply melissaamateis

    So glad you enjoyed our state! I was born and raised in Nebraska – grew up in the western half of the state (only lived 40 miles from Alliance and went there frequently) and now live in Lincoln. It’s been a wonderful place to live and raise my family. 🙂 Come back and visit as often as you can! 🙂

    September 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      I’m dying to go see a Huskers game! I’ll be back asap!!!

      September 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply She won’t make it 6 months | skyward eyes

    […] to the Continental Divide to Aspen to Boulder. We explored Devil’s Tower and South Dakota and Nebraska. I went to San Francisco for a quick weekend of kayaking and camping at Point Reyes National […]

    September 14, 2015 at 6:09 am
  • Reply acquiescent72

    Wth?!?! Nebraska CAN be interesting…
    Who knew?
    Great pictures, by the way.

    September 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      I felt the same way driving through the state… WHAT?? 🙂 Thank you!

      September 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply Highlights of summer 2015, according to Instagram | skyward eyes

    […] 4. Falling in love with western Nebraska. […]

    September 23, 2015 at 6:48 am
  • Reply Notes on leaving & delayed withdrawal | skyward eyes

    […] and deep red rock canyons. I realized that the Black Hills of South Dakota are gorgeous, and Nebraska was surprisingly beautiful, and being in Utah was seriously hard to wrap my head around – it […]

    December 22, 2015 at 7:28 am
  • Leave a Reply