On a trip through Nebraska last year, we (of course!) took back roads as often as possible. On the day we drove from Hastings to Omaha, we started on our usual path, and soon noticed some interesting things that looked like ammunition bunkers or something. Naturally, they required further exploration and we soon found ourselves on a back-back road.
There were, in fact, miles and miles of bunkers. And this place, too, which seems somehow connected to the bunkers in a way that was hard to ascertain.
near Hastings, Nebraska
The only plans we had for the entire day were to, at some point, eat with friends in Lincoln, and then make it to our hotel in Omaha. That was a good plan, because it gave us the couple of hours that we took to explore the World War II-era Naval ammunition depot on the outskirts of Hastings, Nebraska.
I am fairly certain these tanks are newer than the WWII stuff that’s still around. Behind them, in an area where we couldn’t access, is something called the Rocket Motor Loading Plant, which makes me pretty sure we didn’t get to see the really cool things that are there. But the map of the driving tour said it was “absolutely imperative” to stay on the marked roads* and that trespassing could “result in substantial fines or even arrest.” I may be a rebel sometimes, but I didn’t feel too much like risking arrest…or even substantial fines.
*The so-called marked path was actually almost impossible to locate at first. It ended up being the road where I said – with just tons and tons of confidence! – that there was “absolutely no way” it was that road. Ha! Ha! I am a lot of fun to travel with!
I guess there aren’t that many places across the country where the term “cart corral” makes sense. I would have anticipated that the middle of Nebraska would have been one of those places, but this one was left in a surplus yard. And there weren’t any carts around.
In case you’re not from an agriculture region, a grain elevator is where grain’s stored – this article explains it better than I can.
I haven’t photographed a lot of grain elevators, although they are lovely in their industrial-architecture way. This one is especially nice with the vertical lines in the rough concrete and the banks of windows climbing up the side.
My road trip took me to Hastings, Nebraska, where I got to see my pal Brett Erickson. I’ve known Brett for a few years now, and follow his blog. In all that time, and in all those images, I don’t recall that I’ve ever seen any photos of Hastings.
Maybe he didn’t want me to disclose this information, but I was able to find some old buildings while I was in town. Like this place, with those nine windows that caught my attention.
Oh, and just a word of advice here. If you are in Nebraska and it’s a football weekend and everyone from sales clerks to waiters to just random people on the street want to talk football, just go along with it. It’s a lot easier for everyone involved. Never mind how I figured that out.