When Gretchen Garrison started her “Odyssey Through Nebraska” blog five years ago, she never dreamed it would turn into a chance to write a book about destinations in her home state.
In 2016, The History Press asked Gretchen to turn her travel blog adventures around Nebraska into a book. “Detour Nebraska, Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders” hit the bookshelves in October 2017. (Affiliate Link: Detour Nebraska: Historic Destinations & Natural Wonders)
The book features summaries of more than 150 unique destinations across the state and will have you making your own bucket list of Nebraska travel plans in 2018. If you love history, art, nature or adventure, be sure to pick up a copy of “Detour Nebraska” and start planning your own adventures.
Starting a Travel Blog
Gretchen, who grew up near Walton, Neb., is a teacher by trade. She taught at Lincoln Christian before starting her family. When her oldest son was about to enter kindergarten, she was about to give birth to her fourth child. Rather than transport a child across the city to Lincoln Christian with three younger children in tow, Gretchen and her husband, Kyle, opted to homeschool.
That practice has worked well for her family, which includes four children, Gabriel, 15; Zechariah, 12; Kaylee, 10; and Isaac, 9.
While teaching the fourth-grade Nebraska history lessons for her oldest son, she struggled to find the resources she needed. So, she decided to visit Nebraska historical attractions with her children and write about their adventures on a blog she created called “Odyssey Through Nebraska.” She figured the blog information could then also be shared with other families or teachers looking for Nebraska resources.
“I thought I might as well write about our travels and tell people about what I’m doing,” Gretchen said.
After five years of blogging on “Odyssey Through Nebraska,” she had visited and collected information about many destinations across the state. In the summer of 2016, The History Press contacted Gretchen about making a book out of her blog posts. She agreed.
Writing a Book
In early September 2016, Gretchen embarked on a 1,700-mile trek across the state to collect even more information and photos for her book. She hadn’t visited places like Valentine since she was a child, so she wanted up-to-date information and photos.
“There were a lot of places I wanted to experience again as an adult,” she said.
She then sent the photos to the publisher and began writing and editing. During Christmas break 2016, she spent many long hours writing to complete the book.
“What probably took the longest was that I contacted every place that I wrote about and asked them to proofread their section,” she said. Once she completed her fact-checking, she submitted her final copy.
The book was published and finally released on October 30.
“I’m happy with how the book turned out,” she said. She envisions the book being read by two audiences: those who like to read about Nebraska history and those who would purchase the book to keep in their car as a reference to plan “detours” when traveling the state.
“I hope it’s kind of a combination history guide and travel guide and that people will really use it as a resource of knowing where to go because I think there’s a lot of places in Nebraska that people have no idea about,” Gretchen said.
Gretchen Gave Us Her Top 10 Recommendations for Must-See Nebraska Attractions in 2018 in the Following Story: “Detour Nebraska” Ten Budget-Friendly Destinations To Add To Your 2018 Travel Bucket List
To order your copy of Detour Nebraska, click the affiliate link below: