Niobrara River

Valentine Travel Blog

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hole in the road...

I am finally feeling better after my trip to Iceland..  I didn't have any time to recoup because dad had messaged me before I flew home that he needed me to return to work ASAP! there are rumors that work will slow down a lot this winter :(..

sick and driving over a thousand miles west to meet him in Iowa only to continue west through South Dakota into Valentine, NE.

I have been here several times over the past few years, its a small town, a beef eating town, the last bit of civilization before you hit the sandhills.. 150 miles of nothing but grassy hills and cattle..... 

The weather was lovely today. the air was fresh, the sun was boldly shining and the breeze was gentle as a whisper.. A perfect day to visit the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.

Fort Falls
 I have been here once before and on THAT ill fated day i lost my 16 GB CF card into the damn Niobrara River.. This time I was smart in making sure everything was in its rightful place and chose to visit another part of the park. 

I saw signs for Fort Falls and followed the dusty roads (pitted with prairie dog holes) to the little parking area where the 2 mile trial both begins and ends. Down I go into I guess is a chasm of sorts in search of the waterfall. I could hear it clearly from the parking lot. along the way are little signs educating visitors of the area and the various animal and plant species one might see.. I learn that this area is a meeting point for northern, southern, eastern and western plant species.. that somehow they all kind of merge together to create a rather unique ecosystem.

Niobrara River
 The area is also known for fossil finds of three toed horses and some strange elephant like creature I think.....

The falls were lovely!! A thin layer of water rushing down a 45 foot drop into a calm and tranquil creek... it was a magnificent blend of chaos and control in the natural world.  you could look through the thin veil of water and appreciate the texture and sedimentary patterns of the rocky ground beneath..  LOl I was writing something like that in my journal when a couple of older women came down the steps and spotted me.. "wow, your really taking an interest. must be your first time" they said. I guess when your seen them several times before they begin to lose their magic for you..  I spent a week in Iceland seeing more waterfalls then I have ever seen in my whole life and I still find them to be awe inspiring! 

I took a few pics and then decided to continue along the trail. It followed the creek that then lead into the Niobrara River.

The Niobrara river is the longest river in Nebraska. Its wide, but not as wide as the Mississippi, and it moves with a determination be somewhere.. Its a very beautiful river and I would love to hike along it some more in the future. 

The trail was suppose to be 2 miles long, but it felt shorter.. still it was an easy trail to hike along with lovely scenery to enjoy. 

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hole in the road...
hole in the road...
Fort Falls
Fort Falls
Niobrara River
Niobrara River
Fort Falls
Fort Falls
Bench in the trees
Bench in the trees
Niobrara wildlife refuge..
Niobrara wildlife refuge..
prairie dog hole
prairie dog hole
my legs look loooong
my legs look loooong
so tempting! :P
so tempting! :P
interesting :P
interesting :P
Valentine
photo by: esterrene