Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cody, Nebraska: Creepy Town

There are some strange places in this Country, but no place is creepier than little Cody, Nebraska.

It is the opposite of Valentine, Nebraska. But it is situated very close to that other city. So one has to wonder how Cody became what it is, today.

I thoroughly enjoyed my few days in Valentine. It is small-town magic. And there are drawings and signs of hearts, everywhere. Even on the light poles.


Yes, Valentine, Nebraska is the good side of small-town America. And if you get the chance, be sure to visit Valentine on your way through Nebraska. You will enjoy the people and the humble charm in that community.

I left Valentine late in the afternoon. Yes, I could have left in the morning, but I wanted to spend an uninterrupted day at the public library. So I did.

I tramped out to the edge of town, stopped underneath a light pole, put down my pack, sat on it and put my thumb out.

A young lady and her boyfriend, stopped and then took me down the road to Cody: The creepiest town in the Midwest.

Now, Cody is just plain STRANGE.

I noticed that the minute that we pulled-up there.

Old buildings, white-washed and worn, surround the "park." The light is subdued and the trees are all  bent and gnarled.

And the whole place is just too darn quiet.

I caught a vibe when I stepped out of the couple's truck. Something wrong tried to wrap itself around me when my feet hit the grass. And I didn't like it.

The wind picked-up and it got cold, later that night. I was very relieved to feel the warm sunshine, the next morning.

There was a "rest room" of sorts in the park. It had an unlocked door and a light switch. When I turned on the light, I saw just about every kind of insect and arachnid known to Mankind. They were EVERYWHERE!

I turned the light back off, took two steps to the toilet and opened fire without ever sitting down.

The next morning gave me the opportunity to survey Cody in the light of day. It didn't really look any better.

In the park...waving for its pitiful life on a rusted metal pole, was the most faded, ripped-up and tattered U.S. flag this side of Ground Zero. I looked at it and then shook my head. That kind of disrespect of our Country's flag, really bothers me. The way I see it, if a community treats "Old Glory" like that, then it probobly isn't very respectful of people, either.

I really reacted when I noticed the nice, big, modern LED sign that had been posted at the corner entrance to the park. And I think that it is pretty crappy that the citizens of Cody care more about their sign than they do about their flag on the pole.

I packed-up my gear and headed down highway 20. I hoped that I would get a fast ride out of that area. I didn't.

Instead, I sat in the sun, all day and watched the bull-haulers, grain-haulers, hay-haulers, wide loads, John Deere tractors and the occasional traffic, go by.

Finally, late in the afternoon, I walked back to the park, opened up the door to the "shower room" (which is hosted by spiders, bugs and old pieces of soap) and got cleaned-up. Sort of.

Then I recorded this video:

A sheriff's deputy stopped in after the sun went down and drove me to a larger (and more normal) community. From there, still another cop drove me to Rushville, Nebraska...where I borrowed a sleeping bag and assorted blankets, from various sources.

I ate chuckwagon burgers and Nutragrain bars and washed it all down with bottled water before I fell asleep.

The next day, on Sunday, I finally got to sleep in a motel in Chadron, Nebraska. On Monday, I left the State of Nebraska and entered the dreaded State of South Dakota.


Anonymous said...

I missed my Ruthie fix today!! Love your stories. Keep writing, my friend. --Your Favorite Stalker

Ruthie Rader said...

And, indeed I shall. I'm looking forward to literary deals amidst Idiots Out Walking Around and chicken on my pizza. Yeehaw! Hugs!