Day 14- Nenzel to Springview, about 84 miles (9-14-17)
We had a great start to the day. Father Lou cooked us a delicious breakfast. He decided to ride us out of town… or should I say… ride with us out of town. He joined us for the eight mile ride to Kilgore (info/trivia found on Day 13 post), where we dined last night.
Heading southeast on Hwy 20 about 22 miles, we landed in Valentine (county seat of Cherry County, population 2737).
There is much to do in the Valentine area:
* Canoe down the Niobrara National Scenic River. (Note: Vic wanted to do this today!)
* Smith Falls– Nebraska’s newest state park. It feature’s Nebraska’s highest waterfall.
* Cowboy Trail “big bridge” over the Niobrara River.
* Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge
After leaving Valentine, we shot up north on Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway Hwy 12. We skirted the Niobrara refuges and headed 18 miles northeast to Sparks (unincorporated community in Cherry County, population 69).
We were glad to reach Springview (county seat of Keya Paha County, population 242), where Vic has relatives (parents of Vic’s son-in-law, Ben and Sue Weston). We will be staying in their Weston Ranch Bunkhouse, 14 miles northwest of Springview.
Total miles: 991
6 hours, 41 minutes
Average speed: 12.6 mph
* Valentine’s slogan is Small town… Big adventure. It is also referred to as the Heart City.
* The city was named for E.K. Valentine, a popular congressman who was elected to congress for his work toward westward development in Nebraska.
* The Valentine Post Office stamps approximately 10,000 Valentine’s Day cards with their special cachet each year and then re-mails for people who want their valentines post marked from the Heart City.
Learn more about Valentine
* Sparks was the last name of the four brothers who laid out the community.
* Businesses in the village include an outfitting company that caters to visitors to the nearby Niobrara River, a convenience store that houses the post office, a restaurant, and the Sparks Museum of History.
* It was named for a spring near the town’s center which has since dried up.
* Four landowners each contriubted 40 acres to comprise the town around 1885.
Learn more about Springview