PlainSky, Nebraskans: Prairie Grasses and Badlands, Sioux County

Plains Grasses and Badlands, Sioux County

Plains Grasses and Badlands, Sioux County

One of the fascinating things about most residents of the US is the singular answer they’ll give when asked about the Nebraska landscape: “It’s so flat, you can see from one end of the state to the other!”

That answer tells those who live here just how far off Interstate 80 the opinion-holders have ventured; often, it’s less than a mile. Yes, the Platte River valley, through which I-80 runs most of the length of the state, is flat. It is a valley, after all. The same could be said for Oregon’s Willamette valley, near where I used to live. It is just as flat from south of Eugene to near Salem; rumor has residents of Corvallis found a hill in town, once, and killed it.

No, Nebraska isn’t flat–mostly. The huge, rolling treeless Sand Hills, the Loess Hills, the Pine Ridge and Wildcat Hills all bear testament to the contrary of flatness. This image of the northwest badlands in the Nebraska Panhandle could be considered Exhibit A.

 

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