Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sod House Sunday...

I just talked to Diane Burress at the Arthur Bowring Ranch and due to the stormy weather, Sod House Sunday has been postponed until Sunday, July 10....see you then!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lots to do at the City Park!

The Valentine City Municipal Park allows camping for a small fee, however, there are no electric or sewer hook-ups. There are rest rooms though. A new disc golf course is set to be installed within the next few weeks.
What's really great is that several people got together to help the Valentine Trails Coalition fix up the trails that are along the Minnechaduza (Minnie-K-duz-a) Creek. They re-surfaced some of the trails, fixed a bridge near the Moosman Bridge, and several folks picked up trash, totaling 11 bags.

Doesn't that look nice and cool...brand new, just grown GREEN! 
But wait - how did those stairs get there? Trolls? Gnomes? 
You'd have to ask Al. 

That's Al in the white hat, and the boys probably wouldn't like being called trolls or gnomes. They're not wearing those slouchy pointy hats, or the turned up shoes after all. 
They got a text from their coaches to head over and help! 

City Council members Neil Wescott, top, and Toby Miller, bottom, removed some of the ghostly, skeletal, trees remaining after Big Rock Fire which burned 3,000 acres in 2006. 
Neil is using a grinder to knock over the smaller trees and Toby has a grapple on the front and removes the trees that are too large to turn into mulch.  

As you can see here, not all of the park was burned. Actually, the fire kind of jumped over it! Here is the Minnechaduza Creek where the Turtle Races will be held later in July! You could win $700!

The trail really hugs the creek in some places....

 And in others, it opens to a large panorama of stellar beauty and blue skies!

Majestic oaks tower overhead. 

 The trail goes near these little trees too. 

Caught in action! Here Neil and Toby work to remove a large pine that had fallen into the river. They used a giant cable and pull it out. 

Woah! Head's up Al! Neil throws a log onto the bank and removes other debris in the river so it will flow freely. 

It's tedious work to re-surface the trail. Wheel barrows are filled with a fine gravel material which is pushed as close to an area as possible. Then large five gallon pails are carried to the inaccessible areas and are raked. Too bad the gnomes and trolls weren't available to do that part. 

 So now we're left with a clean park ready for people who want to camp. A free flowing Minnechaduza Creek. And trails that have been cleared of overgrowth and resurfaced. 
Come and enjoy what Valentine has to offer you! 
Remember to get your turtles from the Valentine Chamber of Commerce for the 
Turtle Races, July 16, 2011.  You could be the $700 winner!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


After several days of rain, we were blessed with this spectacular sunset last night. 
Check out how the sun is making shadows off the tops of the cloud.
Valentine has received 3.13 inches of rain this know what that means? 
A nice, healthy, full, flowing Niobrara River for everyone who wants to tube, canoe or kayak. 
But not a flooded river!
The Niobrara River is staying where it should. Meanwhile our hearts and prayers go out to those along the Missouri River. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day!

There are all kinds of fathers... our Heavenly Father, our Forefathers, and of course, our dads! It is to them that this post is dedicated.
Since I can't talk about all your fathers, I'll talk about mine. He's strong!

Bison bull strong! 

And I love him dearly, but he's prone to kid stuff from time to time. He'll even admit it if you offer him a big bowl of ice cream without crunchies and with chocolate sauce. 

He's very hard working and has set a great example for all his children - 
both on what to do and what not to do - Thanks Pa!

But all men started with the nurturing of their mothers who also had lessons to share. 

Lessons on how to become a man. They weren't always easy lessons either. 
Some lessons needed to soak in.

Some lessons blew in gently on breezes unseen. 

So, to my big strong dad...who taught me so much. How to be silly. How to be serious - sorta. How to be self sufficient, yet helpful to others. And how to ask my mother first. 
I love you very much. 
Thank you for being so strong and wise like our Forefathers and loving like our  Heavenly Father!

xoxo WD!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

God's own magnificence!

You don't get to see this sight much if you live in a city. Too many buildings and trees in the way, but out here on the wide open prairie you get to see a lot! The skies turned deep dark, almost steely blue. The new green of the trees is accented as the sun peeks through the clouds and highlights them. The storm is passing by to the north and Valentine remains dry Tuesday.

This is looking over the Niobrara River Valley. You can see  just a little bit of the Niobrara River. I was at the area where you walk down to see fort Falls. 

Just a slight turn to the right, and the clouds turn dark and a bit ominous.

mmmm, maybe it's time to get home? 

This is what it looked like out of the hills at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Notice the roads and how tiny they are compared to this giant thunderhead! 

Up close, you can see a little rainbow in the upper left of the cloud. It was spectacular! 
What a show God put on! 

Followed up by this stunner of a sunset. Isn't He a wizard when it comes to colorful skies!

As I write, today, there are tornado warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings, a hazardous weather statement, and severe weather statement. To the north, the clouds do look all steely. And the radar sure looks like its headed our way. 
Batten the hatches! It's still unsettled in the Sandhills where Mother Nature has her way! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sod House Sunday

The Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park in Merriman will be hosting Sod House Sunday, June 26, 2011.
The grounds will be open from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. with a songfest at 10:00 a.m.
Since the celebration will be held on Sunday, there will be an inspirational service with Tom and Karen Cobb at 11:00 a.m.
There will be special events, games for kids, and a quilt display.
C Bar T Catering will be there all day long with a concession stand.
There will be a Team Penning - pre entry required, and a  Calcutta.
Entertainment, Board Branding, and a silent auction throughout the afternoon to benefit Cathy Morrison.
For more information on Sod House Sunday or the Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch, call 308-684-3428.

You're almost there!!! Keep on driving. Watch out for cattle though.

This is the plaque on the Eve Bowring Visitor Center. There's plenty to see inside. 

Inside the Visitor Center, there are showcases which depict the life of Eve Bowring, above, and her husband Arthur, below. They were both very generous people. 

Park Superintendent, Diane Burress will share with you how the ranch came to be, the lives of the Bowrings along with their careers. Diane is pictured in front of a snowy mural painted inside the Visitor Center. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer has come to the Sandhills!

Summer has finally come to the Sandhills which just experienced a record breaking 102 degree Monday, June 6. But the temperature has settled down to a nice, comfortable mid 80s now - perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, or tubing the Niobrara River.
But there's other things to do here like the annual Valentine Motor Club Car show last weekend! Fabulous old cars that create a yearning, and stirring to the open road and the "way things used to be." Here's the big money question...If you could have only one of these cars, which would you choose?
Here are the picks:

Pretty!?! Exciting! Old and new...

There were plenty of people enjoying the sights, along with some good food!

Until next year....keep workin' on your rides! Shine them up, tune them up, and rev them up! Come to Valentine for the annual car show and maybe your car will be the one that gets the point!

A classic mid 40s model with sun roof, push button door knob sans handle, and deep well covers...what a sweet ride, both inside and out!

So, which one did you pick????

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Highway 83 Historical Marker

A brand new Historical Marker has been added to Highway 83 at Wood Lake, Nebraska. The marker commemorates the lives of two pilots who were killed while doing a training exercise. The planes crashed scattering debris over a large area in Cherry County. 
The pilots, 1st Lt. John B. Beatty and 2nd Lt. Earnest W. Fanslau, were doing an instrument flight training and had "gone under the hood" when the crash occurred February 5, 1944 at 10:45 a.m. 
The Historical Marker was dedicated Saturday, May 29, 2011, after the Memorial Day observation in Wood Lake. 
Local individuals thought these WWII pilots' lives needed to be recognized and raised the needed funds to pay for the marker.