Two College Students Visit All 939 Towns In Iowa
What do you do when you're a college student with nothing to do in the middle of a global pandemic? Travel all across your home state of course!
"It's kind of always been a dream of mine since I was 10 years old to visit every town in the state, so one day I just went up to Austin, and we decided to just go for it!" Seth Varner explained.
When Seth went up to his friend Austin Schneider last summer, and proposed that they visit every single town in Nebraska; Austin was baffled.
"What are you supposed to think? It's kind of crazy!" Schneider laughed.
It seems like a crazy and unachievable goal, but not for these sophomores at University of Nebraska Omaha. The idea of this exciting adventure was too hard to pass up. In the summer of 2020, Seth and Austin embarked on a three-month journey to visit all 531 of the incorporated towns in Nebraska. They met some interesting people, saw some breathtaking sights, and learned a whole lot about their home state. By the end of their summer they ended up putting an extra 11,000 miles on their car.
On one day they even visited 33 towns.
"Once we started, I knew we were going to finish [the trip] no matter what," Austin said.
Now, this summer they've decided to explore Iowa...all 939 incorporated towns of it. It initially started as a bit of a joke with some of the people they met last year. Then when spring rolled around they started to seriously consider it.
At the end of March they launched their Facebook page Visit939Iowa where they plan to document their entire journey, and share photos of the sights that they see.
They even use their Facebook page to connect with some of the locals to get recommendations on what they should do when they are in town. Most of the time the Facebook comments are full of restaurant suggestions or landmarks they need to check out, but sometimes it's a one of a kind experience.
Just a few things these two have already been offered include: tickets to a a race track in Onawa for this summer, as well as tours of the Squirrel Cage Jail and a metalworking shop.
Dang! Iowa nice is really a thing.
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Since they are still full-time students, and school is still in session for the next few months, they actually chose Iowa out of convenience. Every weekend they plan to make an entire roundtrip trek from their home base at the University of Nebraska Omaha to a region in Iowa. They've only been going for one weekend and they've already visited twenty towns. Once the summer starts they're hoping to make week long trips.
Next on their list are the following towns: Avoca, Walnut, Shelby, and quite a few more.
Visit 939 Iowa
This duo set up a GoFundMe so their followers can help them cover the cost of this adventure. Everything that they get will go directly to their trip expenses, and any money that they make that surpasses their goal will go towards publishing a book about their journey.
And they have been blown away by the support they've received already. Their Facebook page already has over two thousand likes, and last year it took them almost two months to get this type of attention.
"It's just been blowing up so quickly. I can honestly say that Nebraska was nothing like this," Austin explained.
Most likely the two will be heading towards this part of Iowa by around mid-summer.