The U.S Route 83 Travel Page is devoted to the appreciation of one of America’s longest and most beautiful border-to-border highways, and the peoples, history and lands that surround it.
From the Northern Plains to the Southern Plains, from the borderlands, both north and south, to the Lakota Nation in South Dakota, and Texas Hill Country, Highway 83 has much to offer the traveler who appreciates the wide-open spaces.
This site is devoted to the promotion of U.S. Route 83 as a fascinating place to travel. There are some 125 communities along its path, from small blink-and-you’ll-miss-them hamlets, to medium-sized cities such as Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville. There are no big metropolises found along its 1,885 miles. Very little of it has been converted into tedious Interstates, and what there is, can be avoided on legacy roads that were once Highway 83.
U.S. Highway 83 also continues north into Canada as Manitoba 83, making it a more than 2,000 mile long road!
Stew Magnuson was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His father grew up alongside Highway 83 in a small town, Stapleton, Nebraska, where his grandparents Bernice and Swede Magnuson lived their entire adult lives. When Magnuson was visiting as a boy, and left with his friends to ride bikes along the highway on their way to explore the South Loup River, his grandmother Bernice would always call out to him, “Be careful, that road runs from Canada to Mexico!” He always thought that was funny: as if Canadian child molesters were trolling the highway for 12-year-old boys to kidnap and then spirit away over the lawless southern border.
Nevertheless, his grandmother’s warning stuck with him and some 30 years later he snapped awake at 4 a.m. with the idea for the book buzzing in his head. Within a few months, he was traveling down the highway armed with a voice recorder, a road atlas and a brand new digital camera he barely knew how to use.
The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down U.S. Route 83: The Dakotas, released in February 2014, is the first in a series of three books about the road. Click here to order the paperbacks or eBooks. The Nebraska-Kansas-Oklahoma edition was released in 2015 and the Texas version in late 2017.
He is the author of The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories from the Nebraska-Pine Ridge Border Towns (Texas Tech University Press, 2008).
The Nebraska Center of the Book named the work the 2009 Nebraska Nonfiction Book of the Year. The honor followed ForeWord Magazine’s bronze medal in the regional nonfiction category for books independently published, and nominations by the Writers’ League of Texas for its nonfiction book of the year and the Center of Great Plains Studies for its Great Plains Distinguished Book of the Year award. The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, in partnership with the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Library Commission, chose The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder for its list of Nebraska books that “represent the best literature produced from Nebraska during the past 150 years” to mark the state’s sesquicentennial in 2017.
He also penned Wounded Knee 1973: Still Bleeding, an account of the Wounded Knee Occupation and its aftermath, also available on Amazon.com.
He lives with his wife Nioucha and two children, Sophie and Sawyer, in Arlington, Virginia, where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of National Defense Magazine.
To get signed copies, or for retail opportunities for any of these books, contact Stew Magnuson, HERE.