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Hidden Gems: Western Nebraska

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The pejorative term "fly-over country" was likely coined by someone from Los Angeles or New York. Let's go further and give the inventor his or her career; talent agent or banker. The good people of the Star-Herald, one of Nebraska's daily newspapers, refused to accept that their state is best viewed through the window of a 747. In fact, they've gone even further and singled out Western Nebraska and ginned up a list of 101 things to do and see there.

With a rich history that includes the Missouria, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Otoe and Sioux, it's no wonder many of the items on the list involve Native American history and culture, including a suggested stop at the annual Intertribal Gathering summer powwow at Fort Robinson . There is a glut of outdoors activities in Western Nebraska, like hiking in Soldier Creek Wilderness, fossil hunting in the badlands of Toadstool Geologic Park, and fishing at Island Lake. There are drive-in movie theaters, Oregon Trail hikes (the historic wagon route cut clear across the state), and Tin Roof Sundaes to be devoured in Potter, Nebraska, whose entire population of around 400 could just about fit on a 747.

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