Yeah, skip the Omaha thing. 92 is DESOLATE past St Paul. Interesting little towns from Omaha burbs to there.
So if you do the 92 route, drop south through Ansley and pick up NE 2, you'll pass through the "Gateway to the Sandhills" Broken Bow. Be sure to stop at the Sandhills visitor center barn on the way into town.
Yes, good camping at Halsey Natl forest and at the NE Natl Forest further along. Don't know how you feel about grasslands, but the Ogallala National Grassland and Toadstool park is its own sort of badlands if you 're going that far.
Yes, us flatlanders do love our flatlands. Mountains and trees are OK, but there's something about watching the flow of life clear from the horizon.