The name Niobrara means "running water", and early French trappers translated the name to l'eau qui court or "the water that runs". (By contrast, Nebraska is a variation on Niobrathka, or "flat water", in reference to the Platte River and other slow, braided rivers typical of the state, such as the Loup and the Elkhorn.) The water was certainly running on Tuesday, thanks to the heavy rainfall associated with Monday night's epic thunderstorms. (A flood on Valentine's Main Street totaled Linda's Chrysler Sebring while sparing my Outback; clear evidence for the Subaru's invincibility in my opinion, but Ellie disagrees.) We were able to explore a few channels usually not navigable even by kayak, and rarely scraped bottom even at known shoals.
On to some pictures:
The founders: Mike and Linda on the river
- The flooded streets in Val. I got as wet pushing Linda's car on Main Street as I did the next day standing under Smith Falls.
- Cornell Dam. Located on Ft. Niobrara NWR, just above the put-in site, this is the only dam on the river.
- Deb Cox's keeshond, Queso, on her kayak. True to her heritage (Dutch barge dog), Queso looked perfectly at ease on the water; in fact, I can't remember the last time I met a dog so relaxed in any environment.
- Ellie's first leech. She took it well.