Back after World War II, when the cold war with the communists was in high gear, the US military built a lot of missile silos across the flyover sections of the country. After reflecting further, they also built a bunch of small bases that housed ammunition and other things that went boom.

These storage areas had to be blended into the environment, so instead of housing the boomstuffs in row upon row of cheaply constructed buildings they build partially buried constructs. The two most popular were the Quonset-style and the underground concrete domes. These were difficult to see from the air and if one happened to explode it wouldn't cause a chain reaction with the rest of the buildings.

Decades later, the government closed down many of these bases, leaving the concrete domes on the property.

One of these, the Sioux Army Depot, is located in Cheyenne county near Sidney, Nebraska, the former corporate home of Cabela's, a sporting goods retailer. Since I used to work there, a co-worker knew someone who owned a huge swath of these domes and was renting them out as storage. I picked one up for $200 per year, a bargain when comparing self-storage places running fifty bucks a month.

The section where my E2 Apocalypse Bunker is has over 80 domes out of the 801 total on the former base. The concrete is three feet thick in spots, and the front door looks like a bank vault made out of plate steel. I'd wager the hinges themselves weigh two hundred pounds total.

Inside, the domes are surprisingly dry and pest-free except for the occasional black widow spider. I've never seen a mouse or snake. Overall, the dome is around 55 feet across and about 30 feet tall. You can see the imprints of the wooden forms they used when they poured the concrete back in the fifties. At the apex is a small vent with a cap to keep the rain out. Some were replaced with one of those rotating vents you used to see on houses. Mine has a bunch of tires around it for protection from the cattle that graze in the area. There is around six feet of earth and grass growing on top. The cattle can walk over the tops of the domes and chow down because the soil has built up to the point where the domes look like unnatural little hills all lined up in an Army formation.

There is no electric service except for the main road going to the section. The ruins of a guardhouse is where you make the turn, so it makes a good signpost. I'm assuming they didn't want any electric sparks near the explosives.

The domes would make a cool futuristic home if one could make connecting tunnels to three or four of them with a walled center to keep out the zombies. You could grow a nice garden there.

Since these little bases were built all over the midwest, you should see if there are any near your location. They make excellent storage units, plus you could fit regular cars through the doors and use it as a garage. Should the apocalypse occur, that's where you'll be able to find me, camping out and cleaning one of my shotguns with a scowl on my face unless you show up with lots of food and you shout your E2 user name as you approach. Also, try not to lurch like a zombie and shout "brains".

Here's some pictures:, but note the dome with the shed built in the side is unique.


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