Monday, September 23, 2013

Quick Trip to Valentine, NE

 Hotel Greeting for SCEA Meeting

Smith Falls State Park

On Friday morning, September 13, I left Peru for Valentine, NE, around six and a half hour from here and north of Broken Bow.


 Friday evening, I took part in an SCEA (State College Education Association) meeting with old friend and new ones.  Our meeting concluded Saturday before eleven, and I found myself elected as Lead Negotiator for our upcoming, next fall, negotiations for a new two-year contract.

I posted some photographs, a couple of which will get published in The Voice,  from the productive meetings.

 Cowboy Highway Trestle Bridge over the Niobrara River

Instead of driving back right away, and for 6.5 hours, I remained in Valentine, a place in Nebraska I had never visited.  

As the set of photographs on Flickr (Take the time to give the slideshow a quick look)
indicate,  I saw some beautiful country on a spectacular afternoon.

At The Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, I drove through the sanctuary--the air smelled of spearmint--but did not see Elk
or Buffalo.  

The sights and the numerous Prairie Dogs entertained me considerably.  And while in the preserve, I took the metal stairway down into a ravine to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fort Waterfall.  

 An aquifer spring feeds the stream that creates the falls, as happens at the next falls I visited.

Next, I drove to Smith Falls State Park and went to see, well, Smith Falls, the highest waterfall in the state and a splendid place, loud too.
I concluded my busy afternoon with a pleasant walk on the recreation trail east of Valentine along the Cowboy Trail that now reaches from Chadron to Norfolk.  

As I discovered, the trail goes over the old trestle bridge, one of the couple hundred bridges the trail crossses. 

In the middle of the bridge, my footsteps
startled a perching Peregrine Falcon, and these birds enjoy heights.

When my wife and I next visit our children in Colorado, we will drive along Highway 20 from Valentine to Chadron and enjoy the beauty of the Sand Hills area of the state.

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