A Monument to the Motor City...in a cornfield in Nebraska...NEBRASKA
We're not just corn fields ya' know!

Spud made his debut visit to America's heartland of Nebraska in August of 2014. He quickly learned why the state is known as 'The Cornhusker State' after driving past field after rolling field of corn. Rumour has it that many are lobbying to have the motto changed to 'The Genetically Modified Corn Husker State' to keep in tune with the times, but that has yet to pass for approval.

Of course, there is much to see in Nebraska than merely fields of corn. At the top of Spud's list was 'Carhenge'.
During the fuel crisis of the early 1970s, several of the gas-guzzlers being produced at the time were culled from the streets and given a much higher purpose; to be planted in the shape of a celestial calendar in a remote fertile field of northwestern Nebraska

Unlike it's cousin Stonehenge in the UK whose true builders remain unknown, Carhenge was the work of Jim Reinders, a trackhoe and likely a crane. Jim mamanged to pull off in a weekend what the druids, aliens or whomever took likely years to do at Stonehenge.

Like the famous stone circle on the Salisbury Plain, the exact positioning of each vehicle was key, so that collectively, at certain times of the year, the Henge would mark the rising and setting points of both the moon & the sun.

While Stonehenge was configured to align with the Solstices, Carhenge however would mark two key events far more important to the American populace: Super Bowl Sunday, and the release date of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

Yep, Potassium Chloride just isn't that refreshing....After wandering around the amazing structure of muscle car trilithons for a few hours under the sweltering summer sun, the tuber looked to quench his thirst. A quick flip through his guidebook identified that Nebraska was the ideal place to do just that - for after all, Kool-Aid was invented here; in the tiny hamlet of Hastings. The tato jumped into his car and hastily made his way there for a taste of the delicious drink at its home source.

As Spud made his way across the state, his excitement grew at the thought of also meeting one of his childhood heroes: Kool-Aid Man!

After finally arriving at the Perkins Product Company, Spud was given the unfortunate news that his hero would not be there. Apparently he's upstate doing a nickel for multiple charges of breaking & entering. Apparently Kool-Aid man broke through one too many walls and the judge finally had enough. Even after the giant inflatable pitcher offered up some fruity beverage in court, the justice still threw the book at him.

The side dish instead made do by taking a walk through the museum to learn about the history of the magic elixir. Apparently when the drink was first developed in 1917, the product was marketed as a powder that you could buy legally over the counter at a drug store, didn't need to chop it up first with a credit card or razor blade and that you could have instant enjoyment.
Sales initially skyrocketed until people realized that you weren't supposed to snort it.

Once it became known that you added water and then drank it, Kool-Aid found its market and sales returned. To keep the product appearing fresh and relevant through the years, the marketing department continually pushed the boundaries by introducing new flavours of the drink. Some tastes were more popular than others, such as Cherry and Grape. The flavor 'Potassium Chloride' ranked the least favourite, since it was only preferred by a small group in Jonestown, Guyana.

Although the birth of Kool-Aid and Carhenge are things to have national pride for, Nebraskans are likely most proud of their 'saliva sensation':

Spud adds one more to the  saliva sphereThe world's largest spitball

Even though that end result was not intended when a group of homeless youngsters in Omaha's Boys' Town back in the 1950s began affixing postage stamps to one another, some 4,655,000 stamps later the group had amassed a 600 pound ball of solidified saliva.

Rumour has it that most of the drool needed for the project was solicited from retainer wearers, rabid dogs and heavy sleepers from around the county. No doubt this was one of Father Flanagan's greatest achievements with the boys, as it is displayed prominently in Boys Town.


Back to Spud's Story

Show me more travels in the USA!