Niobrara National Scenic River Visitor Center- Valentine, NE

Five out of five stars.

I have been to MANY Scenic River Visitor Centers, so I thought Niobrara would be just another run-of-the-mill SRVC: couple of picnic tables, a few infographic signs, geese that hiss at you with murder in their eyes- you know, the usual. But this little gem in Valentine, Nebraska exceeded even my wildest expectations. It was almost like someone had gotten ahold of that notebook that I use to write down all of those incredible waterside highway attraction tourism ideas and turned them into the happiest, most welcoming place of joy a boy could imagine. I knew that there was no lack of exciting places in visit in Nebraska, but even that legendary Nebraskan reputation for titillation doesn’t do this place justice!

In all my travels I have never seen water that is so wet! It was like floating on a raincloud but without the inconvenience of the cloud. While wading near the shore, I found a broken Colt .45 malt liquor bottle that the sunlight reflected off of in poetic fashion. It was like watching Picasso vomit glitter onto a moist canvas. As the sun went down over Niobrara, I was reminded of all of the beauty that there is in this world and also that part in Pay It Forward when that kid dies and was reduced to a puddle of emotion. I cried the type of tears one cries when simultaneously overwhelmed by breathtaking beauty and the thought of a child actor being stabbed.

This would be a great place to take someone else’s kids.


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